Pacific West Conference
|Pacific West Conference
|Sports fielded||15 (men's: 7; women's: 8)|
|Headquarters||Newport Beach, California|
|Commissioner||Bob Hogue (since 2007)|
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.
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. In addition, some Hawaii-based colleges joined the new conference.
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
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. 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.
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. 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, 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. 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.
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.
The conference currently has 13 full members :
* Transitioning from NAIA, ineligible for NCAA postseason play.
- - Simon Fraser was briefly a member for one season in 1998-99 before the university's first NCAA bid was rejected.
- - 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.
- - Montana State-Billings and Western New Mexico left in 2005.
- Men's Tennis (2002, 2003)
- Women's Tennis (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007)
- Women's Volleyball (1999, 2002)
- Men's Soccer (1996)
- Men's Indoor Track & Field (2012)
- Women's Volleyball (1998, 2000)
- Softball (2010)
As of 2011.
|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|
|Dixie State||Burns Arena||4,869|
|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|
- Staff (June 2, 2011). "PacWest conference expands to 14 schools". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
- "About the GNAC". Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
- "PacWest adds Dominican University of California as 9th conference program". Pacific West Conference. June 12, 2009. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
- "PWC Adds Baseball". Pacific West Conference. 2008.
- Broughton, Bob (January 3, 2011). "Five Southern California schools headed for Division II". Courtesy Runner. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
- "HNU enters NCAA II member process". July 13, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- "Grand Canyon University to Join WAC" (Press release). Western Athletic Conference. November 27, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
- "Members". Pacific West Conference. Retrieved June 23, 2011.