West Coast Conference

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West Coast Conference
(WCC)
West Coast Conference logo
Established 1952
Association NCAA
Division Division I non-football
Members 10
Sports fielded 14 (men's: 6; women's: 8)
Region Western United States
Former names West Coast Athletic Conference (1956–1989)
California Basketball Association (1952–1956)
Headquarters San Bruno, California
Commissioner Lynn Holzman (since 2014)
Website wccsports.com
Locations
West Coast Conference locations

The West Coast Conference (WCC) is a collegiate athletic conference affiliated in NCAA Division I consisting of ten member schools across the states of California, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

All of the current members are private, faith-based institutions. Seven members are Catholic Church affiliates, with four of these schools being Jesuit institutions. Pepperdine is an affiliate of the Churches of Christ. Brigham Young University is an affiliate of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). The conference's newest member, the University of the Pacific (which joined in 2013), is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, although it has not been financially supported by the church since 1969.[1]

History[edit]

During the massive upheaval of conference affiliations in the 1990s, the WCC remained very stable. Before the 2010 realignment that eventually led to Brigham Young joining the conference, the last change of membership was in 1980, when Seattle University left the conference. At the time, only the Ivy League and Pac-10 (now Pac-12) had remained unchanged for a longer period.

Locations of current West Coast Conference full member institutions.

The league was chartered by five northern California institutions, four from the Bay Area (San Francisco, Saint Mary's, Santa Clara, San Jose State) and one, Pacific, from Stockton. It began as the California Basketball Association, playing its first game on January 2, 1953. After two seasons under that name, the conference expanded to include Los Angeles-area schools Loyola (now Loyola Marymount) and Pepperdine in 1955 and became the "West Coast Athletic Conference" in 1956. After more than three decades as the WCAC, the name was shortened in the summer of 1989, dropping the word "Athletic."[2][3][4]

The WCC participates at the NCAA Division I level and is considered to be one of the better mid-major conferences in the country. The conference sponsors 13 sports but does not include football as one of them. San Diego (Pioneer Football League) and Brigham Young (FBS independent) are the only schools fielding a football team. The rest have all dropped the sport, some as early as the 1940s, before the conference existed (Gonzaga and Portland), and one as late as 2003 (Saint Mary's).

Historically, the WCC's strongest sports have been soccer (nine national champions, including back-to-back women's soccer titles in 2001 and 2002) and tennis (five individual champions and one team champion). The conference has also made its presence felt nationally in men's basketball. San Francisco won two consecutive national titles in the 1950s with all-time great Bill Russell and was reckoned as a "major" basketball power until the early 1980s. Also of note was Loyola Marymount's inspired run to the Elite Eight in 1990 following the death of Hank Gathers during that season's WCC championship tournament.

More recently, Gonzaga's rise to national prominence after being invited to the NCAA Tournament every year since their Cinderella run to the "Elite Eight" in 1999 has helped make the WCC a household name. The addition of Brigham Young University (BYU) in 2011 gave the WCC another nationally recognized basketball power. In 2011, BYU player Jimmer Fredette was the National Consensus Player of the Year, as he led BYU to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament. As San Francisco was from the 1940s to the early 1980s, Gonzaga and BYU are nationally recognized basketball powers. Currently, the longest consecutive NCAA appearance streak in the Western U.S. belongs to Gonzaga (15), which is tied for the seventh-longest consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance streak among all tournament years. Gonzaga's streak is tied for the fourth longest active streak and is the seventh longest streak in history. BYU made the NCAA Tournament six straight times before failing to do so in 2013. Saint Mary's has also made marks for the conference as the Gaels appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2005, 2008, 2010, and 2012 (making the "Sweet Sixteen" in 2010). On May 28, 2009, NBA referee Violet Palmer was hired as coordinator of women's basketball officials for the West Coast Conference and will remain with the NBA, where she has worked for 12 seasons.[5]

Eventually, with the 2010 realignment opening up new avenues for expansion, the WCC decided to revisit expansion plans. The conference decided that it would only seek out private schools, but would not limit its search to faith-based institutions.

On August 31, 2010, Brigham Young University (BYU) announced plans to join the WCC for the 2011–12 season in all sports the conference offers. BYU joined the conference on July 1, 2011.[6] A list of locations for sports not offered by the WCC is found below for all schools, along with the location of where they compete. BYU is the first member of the WCC since Nevada's departure in 1979 to be located within an Interior West state rather than a West Coast state.

On March 27, 2012, the University of the Pacific (UOP), a charter member of the conference, announced that it accepted an invitation to re-join the WCC on July 1, 2013. The move removed Pacific from the Big West Conference back to the WCC, which Pacific left in 1971 in order to pursue its interests in football, which it later abandoned in 1995.[7]

Membership[edit]

Current members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Endowment U.S.News
Ranking
Team Colors Joined
Brigham Young University Provo, Utah 1875 Private
LDS
34,100 $920M 62
(National)
Cougars Blue, White & Tan
              
2011
Gonzaga University Spokane, Washington 1887 Private
Jesuit
7,229 $121M 4
(Regional-West)
Bulldogs Blue, White & Red
              
1979
Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, California 1865 Private
Jesuit/Marymount/St.Joseph
8,972 $361M 3
(Regional-West)
Lions Blue & Crimson
         
1955
University of the Pacific Stockton, California 1851 Private
Nonsectarian
6,652 $212M 106
(National)
Tigers Orange & Black
         
1952,*
2013
Pepperdine University Malibu, California 1937 Private
Churches of Christ
6,000 $608M 54
(National)
Waves Blue & Orange
         
1955
University of Portland Portland, Oregon 1901 Private
Congregation of Holy Cross
3,200 $100M 6
(Regional-West)
Pilots Purple & White
         
1976
Saint Mary's College of California Moraga, California 1863 Private
De La Salle Brothers
4,768 $123M 15
(Regional-West)
Gaels Red, White & Blue
              
1952
University of San Diego San Diego, California 1949 Private
Diocesan Catholic
7,548 $346M 92
(National)
Toreros Navy blue,
Columbia blue & White
              
1979
University of San Francisco San Francisco, California 1855 Private
Jesuit
10,017 $237M 106
(National)
Dons Green & Gold
         
1952
Santa Clara University Santa Clara, California 1851 Private
Jesuit
8,300 $688M 2
(Regional-West)
Broncos Red & White
         
1952

* - Pacific previously withdrew from the WCC from 1971-72 to 2012-13

Former members[edit]

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Left Current
Conference
San Jose State University Spartans San Jose, California 1857 Public 30,448 1952 1969 Mountain West
California State University, Fresno
(Fresno State)
Bulldogs Fresno, California 1911 Public 22,565 1955 1957 Mountain West
University of California, Santa Barbara
(UCSB)
Gauchos Santa Barbara, California 1891 Public 21,927 1964 1969 Big West
University of Nevada, Reno
(Nevada)
Wolf Pack Reno, Nevada 1874 Public 18,227 1969 1979 Mountain West
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
(UNLV)
Rebels Paradise, Nevada 1957 Public 28,203 1969 1975 Mountain West
Seattle University Redhawks Seattle, Washington 1891 Private 7,500 1971 1980 WAC

Former associate members[edit]

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Left Primary
Conference
WCC Sports
California State University, Bakersfield
(CSUB)
Roadrunners Bakersfield, California 1965 Public 8,317 2012-13 2012-13 WAC women's golf
California State University, Los Angeles
(CSULA)
Golden Eagles Los Angeles, California 1947 Public 23,258 1975-76 1975-76 CCAA
(NCAA Division II)
baseball
Creighton University Bluejays Omaha, Nebraska 1878 Private 7,730 2010-11 2012-13 Big East women's rowing
University of Nevada, Reno
(Nevada)
Wolf Pack Reno, Nevada 1874 Public 18,227 1984-85,
1985-86,
1985-86
1990-91,bs.
1986-87,w.ten.
1986-87w.vb.
Mountain West baseball,
women's tennis,
women's volleyball
United States International University Gulls San Diego, California 2001 Private 3,871 1985-86,
1985-86
1986-87,w.ten.
1986-87w.vb.
n/a^ women's tennis,
women's volleyball
Note

^ - U.S.I.U. dropped athletics program following the end of the 1990-91 season.

Membership timeline[edit]

Brigham Young University University of San Diego Gonzaga University University of Portland Western Athletic Conference Great Northwest Athletic Conference National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Seattle University Mountain West Conference Western Athletic Conference Big West Conference Big Sky Conference University of Nevada, Reno Mountain West Conference Western Athletic Conference Big West Conference University of Nevada, Las Vegas Big West Conference University of California, Santa Barbara Pepperdine University Loyola Marymount University Mountain West Conference Western Athletic Conference Big West Conference California State University, Fresno Saint Mary's College of California Santa Clara University University of San Francisco Big West Conference University of the Pacific (United States) Mountain West Conference Western Athletic Conference Big West Conference San Jose State University

Full members Other Conference Other Conference

  • Due to space limitations, the following affiliations are not linked within the timeline:
    • Fresno State had dual membership with the California Collegiate Athletic Association during their tenure in the WCAC before committing full-time with the CCAA from 1957 to 1969:
    • UC Santa Barbara joined what was then the PCAA in 1969. It left in 1974 to become independent and returned in 1976.
    • Seattle was a member of the Northwest Conference, then affiliated with the NAIA, from 1997 to 1999. The school then returned to the NCAA as a Division II institution and played as an independent until 2001.

Sports[edit]

The West Coast Conference sponsors championship competition in six men's and eight women's NCAA sanctioned sports, with the newest addition being softball, a women's sport that will play its first conference season in the 2013-14 school year.[8]

Teams in West Coast Conference competition
Sport Men's Women's
Baseball
10
-
Basketball
10
10
Cross Country
9
10
Golf
9
5
Rowing
-
7
Soccer
7
10
Softball
-
8
Tennis
10
10
Volleyball
-
10
Men's sponsored sports by school
School Baseball Basketball Cross Country Golf Soccer Tennis Total
West Coast
Sports
Brigham Young Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY 5
Gonzaga Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 6
Loyola Marymount Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 6
Pacific Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY + Green tickY 4
Pepperdine Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY 5
Portland Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY 5
St. Mary's Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 6
San Diego Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 6
San Francisco Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 6
Santa Clara Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 6
Totals 10 10 9 9 7 10 55
  • + = Pacific is adding men's soccer for 2014.
Men's varsity sports not sponsored by the West Coast Conference which are played by WCC schools
School Football Rowing Swimming & Diving Track & Field (Indoor) Track & Field (Outdoor) Volleyball Water Polo
Brigham Young FBS Independent No MPSF MPSF IC4A MPSF No
Gonzaga No WIRA No Independent Independent No No
Loyola Marymount No WIRA No Independent Independent No WWPA
Pacific No No MPSF No No MPSF MPSF
Pepperdine No No No No Independent MPSF MPSF
Portland No No No Independent Independent No No
St. Mary's No No No No Independent No No
San Diego Pioneer League WIRA No No No No No
San Francisco No No No Independent Independent No No
Santa Clara No WIRA No No Independent No WWPA
Women's sponsored sports by school
School Basketball Cross Country Golf Rowing Soccer Softball Tennis Volleyball Total
West Coas
Sports
Brigham Young Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 7
Gonzaga Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY 7
Loyola Marymount Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 7
Pacific Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 6
Pepperdine Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY 6
Portland Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY 6
St. Mary's Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 7
San Diego Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 7
San Francisco Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY 6
Santa Clara Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 8
Totals 10 10 5 6+1* 10 6 10 10 67+1


Women's varsity sports not sponsored by the West Coast Conference which are played by WCC schools
School Gymnastics Lacrosse Sand volleyball * Swimming & Diving Track & Field (Indoor) Track & Field (Outdoor) Water Polo
Brigham Young Mountain Rim No No MPSF MPSF ECAC No
Gonzaga No No No No Independent Independent No
Loyola Marymount No No Independent MPSF Independent Independent Golden Coast
Pacific No No Independent MPSF No Independent Big West
Pepperdine No No Independent PCS&DC No Independent No
Portland No No No No Independent Independent No
St. Mary's No MPSF No No No Independent No
San Diego No No No MPSF No Independent No
San Francisco No No Independent No Independent Independent No
Santa Clara No No No No No Independent Golden Coast
  • * = Sand volleyball is an NCAA "emerging sport" which is fully sanctioned, but does not yet have a national championship.[9]

Famous sports figures[edit]

Some of the famous athletes who played collegiately for WCC schools, and coaches and executives that attended WCC schools, include:

Facilities[edit]

School Basketball Arena Capacity Baseball Stadium Capacity Soccer Stadium Capacity
Brigham Young Marriott Center 20,900 Larry H. Miller Field 2,710 South Stadium 3,800
Gonzaga McCarthey Athletic Center 6,000 Washington Trust Field and Patterson Baseball Complex 1,500 Gonzaga Soccer Field 2,000
Loyola Marymount Gersten Pavilion 4,156 George C. Page Stadium 1,200 Sullivan Field 2,000
Pacific Alex G. Spanos Center 6,150 Klein Family Field 2,500 Knoles Field 600
Pepperdine Firestone Fieldhouse 3,104 Eddy D. Field Stadium 1,800 Tari Frahm Rokus Field 1,000
Portland Chiles Center 4,852 Joe Etzel Field 1,000 Merlo Field 4,892
Saint Mary's McKeon Pavilion 3,500 Louis Guisto Field 1,000 Saint Mary's Stadium 5,500
San Diego Jenny Craig Pavilion 5,100 Fowler Park 1,700 Torero Stadium 6,000
San Francisco War Memorial Gymnasium 5,300 Dante Benedetti Diamond at Max Ulrich Field 2,000 Negoesco Stadium 3,000
Santa Clara Leavey Center 4,500 Stephen Schott Stadium 1,500 Buck Shaw Stadium 10,300

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History & Mission". University of the Pacific. Retrieved March 31, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Transactions: College". Times Daily (Florence, AL). Associated Press. July 14, 1989. p. 2B. 
  3. ^ "WCAC shortens its name to West Coast Conference". Spokane Chronicle. July 14, 1989. p. B5. 
  4. ^ West Coast Conference Official Athletics Site – On Campus. Wccsports.cstv.com (July 1, 2011).
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ Katz, Andy (August 31, 2010). "BYU leaving MWC for 2011–12 season". ESPN. Retrieved September 1, 2010. 
  7. ^ VanderBeek, Brian (March 28, 2012). "University of the Pacific joins West Coast Conference". The Modesto Bee. Retrieved March 28, 2012. 
  8. ^ The West Coast Conference Official Athletic Site. Wccsports.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
  9. ^ http://web1.ncaa.org/onlineDir/exec2/sponsorship
  10. ^ Pepperdine Athletes Prepare for Beijing Olympics | Pepperdine University. Pepperdine.edu.
  11. ^ a b c National Men Water Polo Team USA Men's Olympic Team. Usawaterpolo.org.

External links[edit]