Golden Coast Conference
CommissionerMike Daniels (since October 2013)
Sports fielded
  • 1
    • men's: 0
    • women's: 1
DivisionNational Collegiate
RegionWest Coast

The Golden Coast Conference (GCC) is a collegiate athletic conference in the United States in which its members compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association National Collegiate (D-NC) division. The conference sponsors one sport, water polo, and was founded in 2013 fielding women's teams. A men's division was added for Fall 2016, but was discontinued after the 2022 season.



Founded in 2013, the Golden Coast Conference originally started as a women's only conference in NCAA water polo.[1] Mike Daniels, the commissioner of the Golden State Athletic Conference, was named as the league's first commissioner in October 2013 and held both roles simultaneously. The National Collegiate Athletic Association awarded Division I status to the conference effective August 1, 2013.[2]

GCC founding members were Azusa Pacific University, California Baptist University, Fresno Pacific University, Loyola Marymount University, San Diego State University, Santa Clara University and University of the Pacific. The first season of play was in Spring 2014, although the league did not qualify for an automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship.[3]

The Spring 2016 season marked the first time the conference had an automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship with the inaugural honors going to San Diego State.[4][5]

Introduction of men's division

Fall 2016 saw the introduction of a men's competition as the non-Pac-12 Conference members playing water polo within the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation totaled six, the required number for a new conference.[6] California State University, Long Beach, Pepperdine University, San Jose State University, University of California, Irvine, University of California, Santa Barbara, and University of the Pacific broke away from the MPSF to create the men's division of the Golden Coast Conference.[7][8] The splintering caused the MPSF's membership to drop to 4 teams.[8][9] The effects of the split were felt across the country and resulted in a major realignment of the Collegiate Water Polo Association.[10]

With the West Coast Conference and Big West Conference both sponsoring men's water polo in 2023, all six men's members of the conference left after the 2022 season, causing the Golden Coast Conference to stop sponsoring men's water polo.[11]


Institution Location Nickname Joined Primary
Azusa Pacific University Azusa, California Cougars 2014 Pacific West NCAA D-II
California Baptist University Riverside, California Lancers 2014 WAC NCAA D-I
California State University, Fresno Fresno, California Bulldogs 2017 Mountain West NCAA D-I
Concordia University–Irvine Irvine, California Eagles 2015 Pacific West NCAA D-II
Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, California Lions 2014 West Coast NCAA D-I
University of the Pacific Stockton, California Tigers 2014 West Coast NCAA D-I
San Diego State University San Diego, California Aztecs 2014 Mountain West NCAA D-I
Santa Clara University Santa Clara, California Broncos 2014 West Coast NCAA D-I

Former members

Institution Location Nickname Joined Left Primary
Division (M) (W)
University of California, Irvine Irvine, California Anteaters 2016 2023 Big West NCAA D-I Green tickY
California State University, Long Beach Long Beach, California Beach 2016 2023 Big West NCAA D-I Green tickY
University of California, Santa Barbara Isla Vista, California Gauchos 2016 2023 Big West NCAA D-I Green tickY
Fresno Pacific University Fresno, California Sunbirds 2014 2017 Pacific West NCAA D-II Green tickY
University of the Pacific Stockton, California Tigers 2016 2023 West Coast NCAA D-I Green tickY
Pepperdine University Malibu, California Waves 2016 2023 West Coast NCAA D-I Green tickY
San Jose State University San Jose, California Spartans 2016 2023 Mountain West NCAA D-I Green tickY


  1. ^ "New Women's Water Polo League, Golden Coast Conference, Hires Mike Daniels as Commissioner". Santa Clara Broncos. October 15, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  2. ^ "Report of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Administration Cabinet, June 27, 2013, Teleconference" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. June 27, 2013. p. 1. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  3. ^ "Local sports digest: Matt Page, ex-Serra High star, named top NAIA baseball player". San Jose Mercury News. San Jose, California. June 3, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  4. ^ "Carin Crawford Named Coach of the Year". Golden Coast Conference. May 11, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  5. ^ Smith, James (May 10, 2016). "HIGHLIGHTS: Aztecs 10, Pacific 9, GCC Championship". Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  6. ^ Randazzo, Michael (April 1, 2016). "MPSF Breakup Causes a Chain Reaction In the East". Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  7. ^ "GCC Launches Men's Division To Begin Play in 2016". Golden Coast Conference. January 21, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Smith, James (January 30, 2016). "Golden Coast Conference Roils NCAA Men's Water Polo". Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  9. ^ Hull, Michael (September 16, 2016). "Men's water polo season to feature new conferences, new rules". Daily Bruin. Los Angeles. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  10. ^ "Collegiate Water Polo Association to Divide into Two Men's Varsity Conferences for 2016 Season". Collegiate Water Polo Association. April 1, 2016. Archived from the original on May 7, 2016. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  11. ^ "Changes in NCAA Men's Water Polo" (Press release). Golden Coast Conference. July 22, 2022. Retrieved July 2, 2023.