Following an athletic year where Colorado Mesa University finished with six regular season championships and five Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championships, the question of whether Division I is an imminent possibility can be asked.
The Mavericks have had sustained success with several programs: baseball, softball, women’s basketball, men’s lacrosse and men’s soccer. Those, combined with the recent success of teams like football, swimming & diving and volleyball, are the driving force behind the idea of CMU moving up to Division I.
However, it is not only the success of the programs that are bringing this idea to fruition.
“We have more student athletes than any other university in the state of Colorado, outside of the Air Force Academy,” co-athletic Director Kris Mort said in an interview last week.
So think about this. CMU has more student athletes than universities like Colorado State University, Colorado University, Denver University and the University of Northern Colorado, all of which are Division I programs in the state. Along with the number of student athletes at CMU, the university also offers over 20 varsity sports. That is more than CSU (14), CU (15), DU (15) and UNC (18).
But, what is possibly even more impressive is the fact that CMU has continued to build their athletic program by adding two varsity sports in three years, both of which they have gotten on the ground floor as one of the first handful of universities to offer them (beach volleyball and triathlon).
When all of this is wrapped up into one, it looks like moving up to Division I could be not only in the future, but in the near future. However, there is one thing missing on CMU’s resume: a team national championship.
Yes, we have won a lot of RMAC trophies. Yes, we have more athletes than just about anyone else in the state. And yes, we offer more varsity sports than most colleges in the state. But winning means everything.
While baseball has gotten close over the last few years, the closest being their second place finish back in 2014, the school is still without a national championship. The school is still without the highest achievement in collegiate sports.
Despite the solid resume, until this school wins at least one team national championship, Division II is where we will stay. But the second we win one, get ready, because things are going to start to heat up.