|Conference||West Coast Conference|
|NCAA||NCAA Division I|
|Athletic director||Steve Potts|
|Basketball arena||Firestone Fieldhouse|
|Baseball stadium||Eddy D. Field Stadium|
|Mascot||Willie the Wave|
|Fight song||"Fight For Pepperdine"|
The Pepperdine Waves are the athletics teams of Pepperdine University, located outside the city of Malibu, California. They compete at the Division I level of the NCAA. The school is a member of the West Coast Conference for the majority of its programs.
Pepperdine University was recently ranked by the Sears Cup as having the most successful athletic program for non-football Division I schools. (Stanford was ranked the most successful Division I athletic program with football.) Pepperdine University sponsors seventeen NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics teams. There are also several intercollegiate sports clubs such as men's soccer, men's and women's lacrosse, surf team, Ultimate Frisbee and men's rugby.
Pepperdine's chief athletic rival is the Loyola Marymount Lions, who are also in the WCC.
Nickname, colors and mascot
Since the school's founding, the school's nickname has been the Waves. It was selected by president Batsell Baxter, as the general consensus among faculty and students was that there were too many animal names in college athletics at the time. Though the school was located near the Watts section of Los Angeles at the time, the name has stuck, becoming more appropriate after the school's move to Malibu. Also since the founding, the school's colors have been blue and orange. They were chosen by President Baxter over the final choice of blue and gold as at the time, no other Pacific school used the colors, which represented the blue of the Pacific Ocean and the oranges grown by the state of California. (Cal State Fullerton has since adopted similar colors, though their shades are darker than Pepperdine's.)
The school's first mascot was Roland the Wave (a nod to the popular cheer "Roll on you Waves!"). From 1945 to 1950 the school used a wave costume (less amorphous than the current mascot's) on the sidelines. In 1951, Joe the Pelican was introduced at a football game. The idea was quickly dropped, however, because of the expense of caring for a live pelican. In 1952, Willy the Wave made his debut. Willy has always had the head and "hair" of a wave, though he has gone through several costumes, including one with white hair representing the foam of a wave, and the early 1990s version which bore a strong resemblance to the Mac Tonight mascot of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese commercials at the time. In 1996, Willy was replaced with King Neptune as part of a re-branding effort. The nickname never took off, however, and was scrapped in 2003. It was not until 2006, however, that Willy made his final return to Pepperdine athletics, this time with a larger wave head and usually wearing boardshorts and an Aloha shirt.
Sports at Pepperdine
Men's Intercollegiate Sports
Women's Intercollegiate Sports
- * = Sand volleyball is an NCAA "emerging sport" which is fully sanctioned, but does not yet have a national championship. Pepperdine's team competes as an independent.
- † = The swimming and diving team competes in the Pacific Collegiate Swimming & Diving Conference, which comprises mostly NAIA and Division II schools.
- ^ = The men's and women's track teams compete as independents.
- # = The men's volleyball and water polo teams compete in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
NCAA Division I team championships:
- Baseball (1992)
- Men's golf (1997)
- Men's tennis (2006)
- Men's volleyball (1978, 1985, 1986, 1992, 2005)
- Water polo (1997)
- Women's sand volleyball (2012, 2014)
NCAA Division I individual titles:
- Robbie Weiss (1988 tennis - singles)
- Carlos Di Laura & Kelly Jones (1985 tennis - doubles)
- Jerome Jones & Kelly Jones (1984 tennis - doubles)
Pepperdine golfers who have won at the professional level are Brent Geiberger (2 PGA Tour wins), Jason Gore (1 PGA Tour win, 7 Web.com Tour wins), Jeff Gove (3 Web.com Tour wins), Michael Putnam (3 Web.com Tour wins), and Byron Smith (4 Canadian Tour wins).
- Firestone Fieldhouse - basketball & volleyball
- Eddy D. Field Stadium - baseball
- Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool - women's swimming & diving and men's water polo
- Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center - tennis
- Tari Frahm Rokus Field - soccer
- Stotsenberg Track - track & field
- Athletics Performance Center - training facilities
- Helen Stone Performance Center - athletics training & offices
- Zuma Beach - sand volleyball home site
- We Are The Waves - PepperdineSports.com
- School Colors: Blue & Orange - PepperdineSports.com
- The Story of the Pepperdine Mascot - PepperdineSports.com
- "Pepperdine Golf – Records Book – 2012–13 Men's Golf". Retrieved June 14, 2013.