La Mirada Blog
Articles by Neil Morgan
Biola University's application for membership into the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division II has been approved for the three-year membership process.
"We couldn't be more excited about the news of joining the NCAA Division II," said Biola University President Barry H. Corey. "Membership will allow Biola to become part of an organization that aligns closely with our vision and values. I believe we have a great deal to offer one another."
Approval by NCAA officials is the culmination of a several-year effort on the part of Biola administrators. After careful consideration of the value of changing athletic affiliations, the Board of Trustees voted in January of 2015 to pursue NCAA membership. Under the leadership of Biola Director of Athletics Dr. Bethany Miller, the University prepared and submitted its application in January of this year, and underwent an NCAA campus review in April.
Biola, which has been affiliated with the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) since 1964, has seen its accomplishments on the field increase in recent years. The university reached an athletic milestone last season when for the first time in program history its teams earned a spot inside of the top-10 in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup rankings. In addition, Biola's athletic teams won five Golden State Athletic Conference championships during the 2015-16 season.
The Eagles will continue as an active member of the GSAC conference and the NAIA for the 2016-17 school year while completing Provisional Year One with the NCAA. Beginning in Provisional Year Two (2017-18), Biola will join the Pacific West (PacWest) Conference and compete with schedules made up of NCAA opponents. With successful completion of Provisional Year Three (2018-19) of the membership process, the Eagles will gain full, active NCAA DII membership and become eligible to compete for NCAA Division II championships beginning as early as 2019-20.
The PacWest Conference is made up of 14 member institutions and sponsors 15 NCAA Division II sports. The conference is made up of institutions based in Southern California, Northern California, Hawaii and Utah. Biola will join a conference featuring former GSAC rivals Azusa Pacific, California Baptist, Concordia-Irvine, Fresno Pacific and Point Loma.
"The NCAA Division II is a great fit for Biola University," said Miller. "The strong emphasis on student-athlete academic success, community engagement, and competitive excellence aligns with our philosophy to develop student-athletes in Christ like character and to thrive at Biola and beyond. We have much to accomplish during our Provisional Membership period, and we are committed to becoming a model Division II institution."
Biola Athletics sponsors 19 varsity intercollegiate athletic programs (nine men's, 10 women's). Over the past five seasons Biola's athletic teams won 10 GSAC championships and four GSAC tournament championships, sending 44 different teams to their respective NAIA national tournaments. Over the previous three years, Biola's student-athletes have accumulated 102 NAIA All-American honors and 234 all-conference honors.
"Biola is ready for the next era of competition in intercollegiate athletics," said Corey.
Re-posted with permission, (c) Biola University
Fullerton~The turnaround is complete. Biola Men’s Basketball once again reigns supreme in the Golden State Athletic Conference as Dr. Dave Holmquist’s boys clinched the conference tournament title with a 60-52 victory over No. 7 Hope International last Tuesday night.
“We just have one great thing after another happening for us,” said Holmquist. “To win on their court against a very good, well-coached team feels great.”
Eight points was the largest lead either team had the entire night in what will go down as another absolute GSAC Instant Classic. This Instant Classic just so happened to be seen live by a crowd of about 2,000 and delivered to living rooms all across Southern California courtesy FOX Sports Prime Ticket.
Shining bright in the biggest moment, a huge defensive performance from start-to-finish and team effort on the offensive end carried the Eagles, the regular season champions, to the tournament title as well. It is the team’s first tournament title since 2011-12 and clinches the team’s first berth at the NAIA National Tournament since that same year.
Throughout this journey Dr. Holmquist continues to remark on is just how close this team is, how much they care for one another and how much fun they have together. All three of those aspects were on full display for the audience throughout this evening’s battle.
La Mirada~Before the season began in October the coaches in the Golden State Athletic Conference voted and picked Biola Men’s Basketball to finish fifth in the conference standings.
After a 4-12 GSAC run in 2014-15, this Biola Eagles team smashed all preseason expectations and on Saturday became the 2015-16 GSAC Champions. It’s Biola’s first GSAC regular season title since 2001-02 and solidifies the Eagles’ place as the front-runner to win the conference tournament and earn a bid to the NAIA National Tournament.
On Saturday night, the Eagles completed its 27-3 run through the regular season with 65-59 win over No. 5 Hope International to clinch the conference title and finish with a regular season conference record of 14-2.
“I feel great,” said Head Coach Dr. Dave Holmquist. “I’ve coached here 36 years and I’ve never been more proud of a team than this one. I think this win tonight is just a reflection of the kind of effort and character these players showed all year long.”
The crowd inside Chase Gymnasium was shattering decibel levels throughout the night as the large contingent of Biola supporters and much smaller group of Hope International fans battled back and forth to support their respective sides.
A three-point make from Ryan Swain opened the scoring in the first minute of play. Those points gave Biola an instant lead, a lead that would carry throughout the entire 40 minutes of play as the Eagles never trailed.
Never losing the lead was not indicative of exactly how the night played out, as a well-coached HIU team kept tensions running high and the score close throughout.
La Mirada~This past Tuesday night, a journey that’s taken 1,255 games and 38-plus seasons hit another major meaningful milestone as Head Coach Dr. Dave Holmquist became the eighth collegiate men’s basketball coach to hit 900 career coaching victories.
A 79-60 victory over the Bethesda Flames at home got coach Holmquist to the big number as the 2015-16 Biola Eagles team improved to 9-1 to start the season.
“It feels great to have done this with so many people who have been here over the years,” said Holmquist. “I have so many good memories about so many former players and teams, and I feel very grateful that I was able to stay at one place for so long.”
Holmquist is in his 36th season at the helm of the Eagles and 39th season overall. He began his career in 1975-76 as he coached the first of his three years overseeing the Fresno Pacific Sunbirds.
The win even more firmly secures the coach’s place in history as he reaches a 900 win club that includes the likes of Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boheim, Don Meyer and Bobby Knight.
The next illustrious head coach that Holmquist will pass on the all-time wins list is the legendary former Indiana Hoosier head coach, Knight. Three more victories this year would move Holmquist past Knight’s 902 and into seventh place all-time. Holmquist is already the winningest active coach in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division I, and he was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2002.
“This is such a good place to work,” said Holmquist. “It’s a place where people want to help you. I’ve been blessed to work here at my school. I feel so fortunate to have the job I’ve had and coach the people I have. I just feel very blessed.”