Cal State San Marcos Makes Jump to Division II

Cougars officially leave NAIA, become members of NCAA

The California State University San Marcos athletics department is officially taking a step up.

The Cougars announced Friday that they have successfully completed the transition from the NAIA to the NCAA Division II membership. CSUSM had been competing at the D-II level for the last two years but were ineligible for post-season play since they were in the transition phase.

“This move benefits our athletics program on multiple levels,” said CSUSM President Karen Haynes in a statement. “During the transition to Division II, we have been establishing exciting rivalries with regional universities, our student-athletes have been able to spend more time in the classroom thanks to reduced travel time, and our University is better aligned athletically with schools of similar size and stature. This is another great day for the University and our athletics program.”

The Cougars have been competing as members of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (along with U.C. San Diego) for the last two years. Had they been able to participate in post-season events, CSUSM would have had 10 teams qualify for the playoffs.

The CSUSM athletics department was established in 1998 with men’s and women’s golf, cross country and track and field. In 2006 they added baseball, softball and men’s and women’s soccer. Men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball started in 2010, all at the NAIA level.

Though it has not been around very long the Cougars have already established a strong athletics presence in San Diego. This past season the CCAA recognized 29 CSUSM athletes as All-Academic performers. That was the 3rd most in the conference behind UCSD (39) and Chico State (38).

The athletics department is planning a public celebration to begin their first full year as an NCAA Division II member institution at noon on August 31 at The Sports Center on campus.

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