Western Collegiate Lacrosse League

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Western Collegiate Lacrosse League
Western Collegiate Lacrosse League logo
Established 1980
Association MCLA
Division Division I, II
Members 14
Sports fielded College lacrosse (men's: 14; women's: 0)
Region West Coast of the United States
Headquarters San Luis Obispo, California
Commissioner Gary Podesta
Website http://mcla.us/WCLL/

The Western Collegiate Lacrosse League (WCLL) is a conference that participates in the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA). The WCLL operates in California and Nevada and is split into two divisions, Division I and Division II.[1] The conference is governed by an executive board and the teams that win the conference's divisional playoffs receive automatic bids to the MCLA National Tournament.


The roots of the WCLL go back to 1959 when the California Lacrosse Association (CLA) was created. This was a hybrid organization that included both college and men's club teams in Southern California. Similarly, the teams in Northern California participated in the Northern California Lacrosse Association (NCLA). The founding members of the CLA included Claremont, Los Angeles Lacrosse Club, Orange County Lacrosse Club, San Fernando Valley Lacrosse Club, OMBAC, San Marino Lacrosse Club and others. In 1969, UCLA joined the league, followed by UCSB in 1970. In 1976, the CLA expanded with the addition of Southern California. On occasion the CLA Champion would face the NCLA Champion at the end of the season to determine a conference or "California State Champion". UCSB captured the final state championship played under this arrangement defeating their northern counterparts in 1978. In 1979, at the urging of CLA VP and San Diego State alum Mitch Fenton, a separate organization for the collegiate teams in both the CLA and NCLA was brainstormed.

The union that would eventually become the WCLL was founded on Super Bowl Sunday, January 20, 1980 as the California Collegiate Lacrosse Association (CCLA). A select few gathered at the house of then UCLA Head Coach Mayer Davidson's house in West Los Angeles. Co-founders also included Stanford Head Coach Sam Sadtler, the Claremont Head Coach and Fenton. The original 9 members were: California, Claremont, San Diego State, Santa Clara, Southern California, Stanford, UC Davis, UCLA and UCSB. Fenton served as the first president of the association. When the association was formed it was determined that the top team of the Northern Division would play the top team of the Southern Division at the end of the season to determine the conference champion. In the inaugural championship, the UCSB Gauchos defeated the Stanford Cardinal. One year later, Whittier College joined the league. In 1982, the University of Arizona, Arizona State and Northern Arizona joined the CCLA. That same year the Stanford Cardinal took home the championship defeating UCLA at Stanford.

In 1983, the CCLA renamed itself the Western Collegiate Lacrosse League. That same year Cal Poly SLO joined the conference. Arizona Head Coach and WCLL Co-Founder Mickey-Miles Felton, who was instrumental in the addition of the Arizona schools the year before, served as the league's first president. The WCLL Championship Trophy is named in his honor.

In 1985, Loyola Marymount University was admitted to the conference. In 1987, Chico State was admitted as a full member of the conference. In 1988, the WCLL split into A and B divisions (later I and II). That same year Chapman University joined the WCLL as a Division II member. In 1989, Sonoma State joined the WCLL.

In 1997, the WCLL, was one of the charter conferences in the US Lacrosse Intercollegiate Associates (USLIA). Prior to the 2000 season, Whittier College departed joining the NCAA Division III as an independent. Following the 2002 season, Division II member Cal State San Marcos left the conference. Following the 2004 season, Division II member Cal State Hayward (now Cal State East Bay) left the conference.

The addition of the University of Nevada, Reno and St. Mary's College to the WCLL Division I at the annual conference meeting in 2004 lead to a massive realignment of the conference. The 20 Division I teams were split into 4 geographic divisions (North, Central, Los Angeles and South) for the 2005 season. In 2005, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and UC Santa Cruz joined the league, followed by Cal State Fullerton and San Jose State in 2006. That same year, the USLIA reorganized into the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA).[2]

The league grew into the largest MCLA conferences but saw big changes in 2009.[3] The University of California, Merced joined the league for the 2009 season but the league lost its entire Central Division, made up of Chapman, UC Santa Barbara, Claremont, Loyola Marymount, USC, and UCLA; and lost the majoity of its Southern Division, including: Arizona State, San Diego State, Arizona, San Diego, UC San Diego. The WCLL also lost six of ten Division II members, including: Biola, Cal Lutheran, Cal State Fullerton, Occidental, Pepperdine, UC Irvine, and UNLV. The exiting teams formed the Southwestern Lacrosse Conference (SLC).[3]

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Conference Championships
Division I
University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, California 1868 Public (University of California system) 33,000 Golden Bears 1980 5
University of California, Davis Davis, California 1905 Public (University of California system) 30,474 Aggies 1980
California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, California 1901 Public (California State University system) 19,777 Mustangs 1983 2009, 2010, 2011
California State University, Chico Chico, California 1887 Public (California State University system) 14,500 Wildcats 1987
Santa Clara University Santa Clara, California 1851 Private (Roman Catholic) 7,487 Broncos 1980
Sonoma State University Rohnert Park, California 1960 Public (California State University system) 8,400 Seawolves 1989 3
Stanford University Palo Alto, California 1891 Private (Non-sectarian) 14,654 Cardinal 1980 1
Division II
University of California, Merced Merced, California 2005 Public (University of California system) 4,000 Golden Bobcats 2009
University of California, Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, California 1965 Public (University of California system) 15,012 Banana Slugs 2005 1993,2008, 2009
Humboldt State University Arcata, California 1913 Public (California State University system) 7,773 Lumberjacks 2010
University of Nevada, Reno Reno, Nevada 1874 Public (Nevada System of Higher Education) 15,588 Wolf Pack 2004
University of the Pacific Stockton, California 1851 Private (Methodist) 6,100 Tigers
Saint Mary's College of California Moraga, California 1863 Private (Roman Catholic) 4,536 Gaels 1989 1991, 2000, 2010, 2011, 2012
San Jose State University San Jose, California 1857 Public (California State University system) 31,906 Spartans 2006

Former members[edit]

Institution Location Team Nickname Tenure New Conference New Classification
Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona Sun Devils 1982–2009 SLC MCLA Division I
Biola University La Mirada, California Eagles 2001–2009 SLC MCLA Division II
California Lutheran University Thousand Oaks, California Kingsmen 2005–2009 SLC MCLA Division II
California State University, Fullerton Fullerton, California Titans 2006–2009 SLC MCLA Division II
California State University, Hayward Hayward, California Pioneers 1997–2004 ceased operations in 2004 N/A
California State University, Sacramento Sacramento, California Hornets 1986–1998 ceased operations in 1998 N/A
California State University, San Marcos San Marcos, California Cougars unknown-2002 N/A N/A
Chapman University Orange, California Panthers 1988–2009 SLC MCLA Division I
Claremont McKenna College Claremont, California Cougars 1980–2009 SLC MCLA Division I
Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, California Lions 1985–2009 SLC MCLA Division I
Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, Arizona Lumberjacks 1982-unknown N/A N/A
Pepperdine University Malibu, California Waves unknown–2009 SLC MCLA Division II
Occidental College Los Angeles, California Tigers 2006–2009 SLC MCLA Division II
San Diego State University San Diego, California Aztecs 1980–2009 SLC MCLA Division I
University of Arizona Tucson, Arizona Wildcats 1982–2009 SLC MCLA Division I
University of California, Irvine Irvine, California Anteaters 1988–2009 SLC MCLA Division II
University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, California Bruins 1980–2009 SLC MCLA Division I
University of California, San Diego San Diego, California Tritons unknown–2009 SLC MCLA Division I
University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, California Gauchos 1980–2009 SLC MCLA Division I
University of Nevada, Las Vegas Las Vegas, Nevada Rebels 2005–2009 SLC MCLA Division I
University of San Diego San Diego, California Toreros unknown–2009 SLC MCLA Division I
University of Southern California Los Angeles, California Trojans 1980–2009 SLC MCLA Division I
Whittier College Whittier, California The Poets 1981–1999 Independent NCAA Division III

Past Conference Champions[edit]

Division I[edit]

Season Conference Champion North Division South Division
1980 UCSB Stanford UCSB
1981 California California UCSB
1982 Stanford Stanford UCLA
1983 UCSB UCSB Arizona
1984 UCSB UCSB San Diego State
1985 Whittier California Whittier
1986 Whittier Stanford Whittier
1987 UCSB UCSB Whittier
1988 Whittier Whittier
1989 Whittier Whittier
1990 Arizona
1991 Whittier Whittier
1992 Whittier Whittier
1993 Whittier Whittier
1994 California California UCSD
1995 California Whittier
1996 Whittier Sonoma State Whittier
1997 Whittier Sonoma State Whittier
1998 California California Whittier
1999 Whittier Sonoma State Whittier
2000 California Sonoma State Arizona
2001 Sonoma State Sonoma State Arizona
2002 Sonoma State Sonoma State Arizona
2003 UCSB Sonoma State UCSB
2004 UCSB Sonoma State UCSB
Season Central Los Angeles
2005 UCSB Sonoma State UC San Diego Cal Poly SLO UCSB
2006 Sonoma State Sonoma State Arizona Cal Poly SLO UCSB
2007 UCSB Sonoma State Arizona California Chapman*
2008 Chapman Sonoma State Arizona State Stanford Chapman
2009 Cal Poly
2010 Cal Poly
2011 Cal Poly
2012 Cal Poly
2013 Stanford
2014 Cal Poly

* ineligible for playoffs (runner-up UCSB received LA Division #1 seed, 3rd place Claremont received #2 seed)

Team Championships Winning years
Whittier 10 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1999
UCSB 8 1980, 1983, 1984, 1987, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007
California 5 1981, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2000
Cal Poly 5 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014
Sonoma State 3 2001, 2002, 2006
Stanford 2 1982, 2013
Arizona 1 1990
Chapman 1 2008
  • Note: Bold text denotes MCLA National Champion
  • Note: Italic text denotes MCLA National Champion runner-up

Division II[edit]

Season Conference Champion North Division South Division
1988 Chico State
1989 Chico State
1991 Saint Mary's
1992 Chapman
1993 UC Santa Cruz
1994 UC Irvine
1995 Arizona State
1996 Sacramento State
1997 Arizona State
1998 San Diego
1999 San Diego
2000 Saint Mary's Saint Mary's Claremont
2001 Chapman Saint Mary's Chapman
2002 Southern California Saint Mary's Pepperdine
2003 Claremont Saint Mary's Claremont
2004 San Diego Saint Mary's San Diego
2005 San Diego
2006 San Diego Claremont San Diego
2007 UC Irvine Pepperdine UC Irvine
2008 UC Santa Cruz UC Santa Cruz Biola
2009 UC Santa Cruz Saint Mary's
2010 Saint Mary's UC Santa Cruz
2011 Saint Mary's UC Santa Cruz
2012 Saint Mary's UC Santa Cruz
2013 UC Santa Cruz Nevada
2014 Nevada
Team Championships Winning years
San Diego 5 1998, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2006
Saint Mary's 5 1991, 2000, 2010, 2011, 2012
UC Santa Cruz 4 1993, 2008, 2009, 2013
Arizona State 2 1995, 1997
Chapman 2 1992, 2001
Chico State 2 1988, 1989
UC Irvine 1 2007
Claremont 1 2003
Southern California 1 2002
Nevada 1 2014
  • Note: Bold text denotes MCLA National Champion


  1. ^ "About the WCLL". WCLL. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  2. ^ "History of Cal Poly Lacrosse". California Polytechnic State University. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "SLC History". SLC. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 

External links[edit]