Pacific West Conference

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Pacific West Conference
Pacific West Conference logo
Established 1992
Association NCAA
Division Division II
Members 13
Sports fielded 15 (men's: 7; women's: 8)
Region Pacific States
Headquarters Newport Beach, California
Commissioner Bob Hogue (since 2007)
Pacific West Conference locations

The Pacific West Conference (also known as the PacWest) is a collegiate athletic conference affiliated with National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II level. Member institutions are located in California, Utah, and Hawaii.

The conference sponsors the following sports: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, and tennis for both men and women; and softball and volleyball for women only. The newest PacWest sports are men's tennis and women's golf, both added in 2012-13.[1]


The PacWest was formed in 1992 when the Great Northwest Conference (a men's conference) merged with the Continental Divide Conference (a women's conference containing some of the same members), in response to the departures of several members and new NCAA legislation requiring conferences to have at least six members.[2] In addition, some Hawaii-based colleges joined the new conference.

At one point the conference expanded to 16 members, but in 2001, member schools from Washington, Alaska, California, and Oregon left to form the new Great Northwest Athletic Conference.[2]

With the departure of the final two mainland members, Montana State University-Billings and Western New Mexico University, to join the Heartland Conference in 2005, the four Hawaii universities played one season as “independents” after receiving a waiver from the NCAA to keep the conference in name, while searching for new members, because in order to be eligible for conference membership in the NCAA, a conference must consist of a minimum of six member institutions who sponsor at least ten sports, with two team sports for each sex.

New PacWest Conference[edit]

To comply with conference membership regulations, Hawaii Pacific (HPU), Chaminade, BYU–Hawai‘i and Hawai‘i–Hilo added new sports to their programs. In July 2005, the Pacific West Conference voted to admit Notre Dame de Namur University as a provisional member, as it moved from the NAIA to the NCAA Division II. Grand Canyon University, formerly an NCAA D-II Independent, also joined the conference, returning the Pacific West Conference to full conference status with six members. Dixie State College joined the conference for the 2007-08 season.1 In 2008, it was announced that Academy of Art University would join the conference in the 2009-2010 Season as the conference's 8th member. In 2009 it was announced that Dominican University of California would join the conference in the 2009-2010 season as the conference's 9th member.[3] That same year, the conference announced it would sponsor baseball as its 11th sport, with Hawaii Pacific University, University of Hawaii-Hilo, Dixie State College of Utah, and Grand Canyon University competing on a Division II level.[4]

Recent Expansion[edit]

The conference began expansion in 2010 when the PacWest invited California Baptist University, from the NAIA's premier Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) to join the conference beginning with the 2011-2012 school year.[5] On June 1, 2011, the conference announced the additions of Azusa Pacific University, Fresno Pacific University and Point Loma Nazarene University, all members of the GSAC,[1] which will begin Pacific West Conference play during the 2012-2013 season. Holy Names University was also added to the PacWest in 2011, but did not begin the NCAA Division II membership process from the NAIA until July 13, 2012.[6] As part of the transition process from NAIA to NCAA California Baptist is ineligible for NCAA post season play until 2013-14, while the 2011 additions are ineligible until 2014-15 and Holy Names until 2015-16.[1]

On November 27, 2012, Grand Canyon announced it would leave the PacWest after the 2012–13 school year to accept an invitation to join the struggling and depleted Division I Western Athletic Conference.[7]


Current members[edit]

The conference currently has 13 full members :

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined
Academy of Art University San Francisco, California 1929 Private (For-profit) 16,000 Urban Knights 2009
Azusa Pacific University* Azusa, California 1899 Private (Evangelical) 8,539 Cougars 2012
Brigham Young University–Hawaii** Laie, Hawaii 1955 Private (LDS Church) 2,400 Seasiders 1992
California Baptist University Riverside, California 1950 Private (Baptist) 7,144 Lancers 2011
Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, Hawaii 1955 Private (Catholic, Marianist) 2,836 Silverswords 1992
Dixie State University St. George, Utah 1911 Public 5,944 Red Storm 2007
Dominican University of California San Rafael, California 1890 Private (Catholic) 2,125 Penguins 2009
Fresno Pacific University* Fresno, California 1944 Private (Mennonite) 3,700 Sunbirds 2012
University of Hawaii at Hilo Hilo, Hawaii 1941 Public 3,800 Vulcans 1992
Hawaii Pacific University Honolulu, Hawaii 1965 Private (Nonsectarian) 9,000 Sea Warriors 1992
Holy Names University* Oakland, California 1868 Private (Catholic, SNJM) 1,331 Hawks 2012
Notre Dame de Namur University Belmont, California 1851 Private (Catholic, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur) 1,967 Argonauts 2005
Point Loma Nazarene University* San Diego, California 1902 Private (Nazarene) 3,487 Sea Lions 2012

* Transitioning from NAIA, ineligible for NCAA postseason play.
** BYU-Hawai'i will phase out their athletic teams over the next three years [8]

Affiliate members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined Primary
Sonoma State University Rohnert Park, California 1960 Public 8,769 Seawolves 2013 CCAA men's tennis;
women's tennis

Former members[edit]

  • - Simon Fraser University was briefly a member for one season in 1998-99 before the university's first NCAA bid was rejected.[2]
  • - Alaska, Alaska-Anchorage, Central Washington, Humboldt State, Northwest Nazarene, Saint Martin's, Seattle Pacific, Western Oregon, and Western Washington left in 2001 to form the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.[2]
  • - Montana State-Billings and Western New Mexico left in 2005.[2]
Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Current Conference
University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska 1917 Public 11,034 Nanooks 1992 2001 GNAC
University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage, Alaska 1954 Public 17,890 Seawolves 1992 2001 GNAC
Central Washington University Ellensburg, Washington 1891 Public 11,000 Wildcats 1998 2001 GNAC
Grand Canyon University Phoenix, Arizona 1949 Private 40,001 Antelopes 2005 2013 WAC
(NCAA Division I)
Humboldt State University Arcata, California 1913 Public 8,116 Lumberjacks 1998 2001 CCAA
Montana State University at Billings Billings, Montana 1927 Public 5,081 Yellowjackets 1992 2005 GNAC
Northwest Nazarene University Nampa, Idaho 1913 Private 1,836 Crusaders 1999 2001 GNAC
Saint Martin's University Lacey, Washington 1895 Private 1,425 Saints 1998 2001 GNAC
Seattle Pacific University Seattle, Washington 1891 Private 4,056 Falcons 1992 2001 GNAC
Simon Fraser University Burnaby, British Columbia 1965 Public 35,604 Clan 1998 1999 GNAC
Western New Mexico University Silver City, New Mexico 1893 Public 3,500 Mustangs 1998 2005 RMAC
Western Oregon University Monmouth, Oregon 1856 Public 6,233 Wolves 1998 2001 GNAC
Western Washington University Bellingham, Washington 1893 Public 14,575 Vikings 1998 2001 GNAC

Membership timeline[edit]

 Full member (all sports)   Full member (non-football)   Associate member (football-only)   Associate member (sport) 

National Championships[edit]


  • Men's Tennis (2002, 2003)
  • Women's Tennis (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007)
  • Women's Volleyball (1999, 2002)

Grand Canyon

  • Men's Soccer (1996)
  • Men's Indoor Track & Field (2012)

Hawaii Pacific

  • Women's Volleyball (1998, 2000)
  • Softball (2010)

Conference facilities[edit]

As of 2011.[9]

Team Basketball Arena Capacity
Academy of Art Kezar Pavilion 4,000
Azusa Pacific Felix Events Center 3,500
BYU–Hawaii Cannon Activities Center 4,500
California Baptist Van Dyne Gymnasium 1,200
Chaminade McCabe Gymnasium 2,800
Dixie State Burns Arena 4,869
Dominican Conlan Center 1,285
Fresno Pacific Special Events Center 1,500
Hawai‘i–Hilo Afook-Chinen Civic Center 3,800
Hawai'i Pacific Blaisdell Center
St. Andrew's Priory
Notre Dame de Namur Walter Gleasen Gym 800
Point Loma Nazarene Golden Gym 1,600


  1. ^ a b c Staff (June 2, 2011). "PacWest conference expands to 14 schools". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved June 2, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "About the GNAC". Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Retrieved June 2, 2011. 
  3. ^ "PacWest adds Dominican University of California as 9th conference program". Pacific West Conference. June 12, 2009. Retrieved June 2, 2011. 
  4. ^ "PWC Adds Baseball". Pacific West Conference. 2008. 
  5. ^ Broughton, Bob (January 3, 2011). "Five Southern California schools headed for Division II". Courtesy Runner. Retrieved June 2, 2011. 
  6. ^ "HNU enters NCAA II member process". July 13, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Grand Canyon University to Join WAC" (Press release). Western Athletic Conference. November 27, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Members". Pacific West Conference. Retrieved June 23, 2011. 

External links[edit]