West Coast Conference
West Coast Conference logo 2019 with name.svg
FormerlyWest Coast Athletic Conference (1956–1989)
California Basketball Association (1952–1956)
AssociationNCAA
Founded1952
CommissionerGloria Nevarez (since 2018)
Sports fielded
  • 15
    • men's: 6
    • women's: 9
DivisionDivision I
Subdivisionnon-football
No. of teams10 (9 in 2023)
HeadquartersSan Mateo, California
RegionWestern United States
Official websitewww.wccsports.com
Locations
Location of teams in (({title))}

The West Coast Conference (WCC) — known as the California Basketball Association from 1952 to 1956 and then as the West Coast Athletic Conference until 1989 — is a collegiate athletic conference affiliated with 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. The conference's newest member, the University of the Pacific (which rejoined in 2013 after a 42-year absence), is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, although it has been financially independent of the church since 1969.[1]

History

West Coast Conference logo from 2011 to 2019
West Coast Conference logo from 2011 to 2019
Locations of current West Coast Conference full member institutions.
Locations of current West Coast Conference full member institutions.

The league was chartered by five northern California institutions, four from the San Francisco 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]

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 Pacific-10 Conference (now the Pac-12 Conference) had remained unchanged for a longer period.

The WCC participates at the NCAA Division I level and is considered to be a mid-major athletic conference. The conference sponsors 15 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. Although the WCAC's stature declined in the 1960s, San Francisco 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. As San Francisco was from the 1940s to the early 1980s, Gonzaga has gained recognition as a major basketball power, despite the WCC being a mid-major conference. Gonzaga has been to 23 consecutive NCAA tournaments—the longest streak for any school in the Western United States, the third-longest active streak, and the sixth-longest streak in history. They have also been to all but one WCC tournament final since 1995, and have played for the conference title every year since 1998. In 2016–17, the Bulldogs advanced all the way to the national championship game—the deepest run by a WC(A)C team since San Francisco went to three consecutive Final Fours from 1955 to 1957. The Bulldogs reached the title game again in 2021, this time entering the game unbeaten, but again losing, this time to Baylor.

Saint Mary's has also made marks for the conference as the Gaels appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2019, and 2021 (making the "Sweet Sixteen" in 2010).

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. Even so, the two additions, Brigham Young University and University of the Pacific are both faith-based institutions, although Pacific has not been financially sponsored by the United Methodist Church since 1969.

On August 31, 2010, 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.[5][6] BYU's arrival gave the WCC another school with a rich basketball tradition. The Cougars made the NCAA Tournament six straight times before failing to do so in 2013, and had made 26 NCAA Tournament appearances before joining the conference.

On March 27, 2012, the University of the Pacific (UOP), a charter member of the conference in 1952, accepted an invitation to rejoin the WCC, effective 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 that it later abandoned in 1995.[7]

The WCC became the first Division I conference to adopt a conference-wide diversity hiring commitment, announcing the "Russell Rule", based on the NFL's Rooney Rule and named after Basketball Hall of Famer and social activist Bill Russell, a graduate of charter and current conference member San Francisco, on August 2, 2020. In its announcement, the WCC stated:[8]

The “Russell Rule” requires each member institution to include a member of a traditionally underrepresented community in the pool of final candidates for every athletic director, senior administrator, head coach and full-time assistant coach position in the athletic department.

The WCC announced on July 19, 2022 that it would add men's water polo starting in 2023–24. Full members Loyola Marymount, Pacific, Pepperdine, and Santa Clara will be joined by affiliates Air Force, California Baptist, and San Jose State.[9]

Member schools

Current members

Departing members are highlighted in red. BYU will join the Big 12 Conference in 2023.
Institution Location Founded Joined Type Enrollment Endowment
(millions)
Nickname Colors
Brigham Young University Provo, Utah 1875 2011 Private
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
34,737 $1,470 Cougars    
Gonzaga University Spokane, Washington 1887 1979 Private
Catholic - Jesuit
7,421 $276 Bulldogs      
Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, California 1865 1955 Private
Catholic - Jesuit
8,972 $472 Lions    
University of the Pacific[10][11] Stockton, California 1851 1952;
2013[a]
Private
United Methodist Church
6,652 $453 Tigers    
Pepperdine University Malibu, California 1937 1955 Private
Churches of Christ
6,000 $892 Waves      
University of Portland Portland, Oregon 1901 1976 Private
Catholic - Holy Cross
3,200 $173 Pilots    
Saint Mary's College of California Moraga, California 1863 1952 Private
Catholic - De La Salle Brothers
4,768 $180 Gaels      
University of San Diego San Diego, California 1949 1979 Private
Catholic - Diocesan
7,548 $530 Toreros      
University of San Francisco San Francisco, California 1855 1952 Private
Catholic - Jesuit
10,017 $393 Dons    
Santa Clara University Santa Clara, California 1851 1952 Private
Catholic - Jesuit
8,300 $979 Broncos    
Notes
  1. ^ Pacific left the WCC after the 1970–71 school year to join the Pacific Coast Athletic Association (now known as the Big West Conference); and re-joined back to the WCC, effectively the 2013–14 school year.

Associate member

Institution Location Founded Joined Type Enrollment Endowment
(millions)
Team Primary
conference
WCC
sport(s)
Creighton University Omaha, Nebraska 1878 2010–11 Private
Jesuit
8,910 $713 Bluejays Big East Women's rowing

Future associate members

Institution Location Founded Joining Type Enrollment Endowment
(millions)
Team Primary
conference
WCC
sport(s)
United States Air Force Academy
(Air Force)
USAF Academy, Colorado 1954 2023–24 Federal 4,304 $98.9 Falcons Mountain West Men's water polo
California Baptist University Riverside, California 1950 2023–24 Private
(Baptist)
11,491 $82.9 Lancers WAC Men's water polo
San Jose State University San Jose, California 1857 2023–24 Public
(CSU)
33,025 $197.1 Spartans Mountain West Men's water polo

Former members

Institution Nickname Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Left Current
conference
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
San Jose State University
(SJSU)
Spartans San Jose, California 1857 Public 30,448 1952 1969 Mountain West
Seattle University Redhawks Seattle, Washington 1891 Private
(Jesuit)
7,500 1971 1980 WAC

Former associate members

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Left Primary
conference
WCC
sport(s)
California State University, Bakersfield
(CSUB)
Roadrunners Bakersfield, California 1965 Public 8,317 2012–13 2012–13 Big West 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
University of Nevada, Reno
(Nevada)
Wolf Pack Reno, Nevada 1874 Public 18,227 1984–85bs.;
1985–86w.sp.
1990–91bs.;
1986–87w.sp.
Mountain West baseball,
women's basketball,
women's tennis,
women's volleyball
United States International University
(USIU)
Gulls San Diego, California 2001 Private 3,871 1985–86 1986–87 n/a[a] women's basketball,
women's tennis,
women's volleyball
Notes
  1. ^ USIU dropped its athletics program following the end of the 1990–91 school year.

Membership timeline

Big 12 ConferenceBrigham Young UniversityUniversity of San DiegoGonzaga UniversityUniversity of PortlandWestern Athletic ConferenceGreat Northwest Athletic ConferenceNorthwest ConferenceNational Association of Intercollegiate AthleticsSeattle UniversityMountain West ConferenceWestern Athletic ConferenceBig West ConferenceBig Sky ConferenceUniversity of Nevada, RenoMountain West ConferenceWestern Athletic ConferenceBig West ConferenceUniversity of Nevada, Las VegasBig West ConferenceUniversity of California, Santa BarbaraPepperdine UniversityLoyola Marymount UniversityMountain West ConferenceWestern Athletic ConferenceBig West ConferenceCalifornia State University, FresnoSaint Mary's College of CaliforniaSanta Clara UniversityUniversity of San FranciscoBig West ConferenceUniversity of the Pacific (United States)Mountain West ConferenceWestern Athletic ConferenceBig West ConferenceSan Jose State University

Full members Other Conference Other Conference

Sports

The West Coast Conference sponsors championship competition in six men's and nine women's NCAA sanctioned sports, with the newest addition being softball in 2013–14.[12]

Teams in West Coast Conference competition
Sport Men's Women's
Baseball
10
-
Basketball
10
10
Beach Volleyball
-
7
Cross Country
9
10
Golf
9
5
Rowing
-
7
Soccer
8
10
Softball
-
6
Tennis
10
10
Volleyball
-
10

See also: List of West Coast Conference baseball champions, West Coast Conference men's basketball tournament, and West Coast Conference women's basketball tournament

Men's sports

Departing members are highlighted in red.

Men's sponsored sports by school
School Baseball Basketball Cross
Country
Golf Soccer Tennis Total
Sports
BYU 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 Green tickY 5
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
Saint 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 8 10 56
Men's varsity sports not sponsored by the West Coast Conference which are played by WCC schools
School Football Rowing[a] Swimming
& Diving
Track & Field
(Indoor)
Track & Field
(Outdoor)
Volleyball Water Polo[b]
BYU FBS Independent No MPSF MPSF Independent 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 No Golden Coast
Pepperdine No No No No Independent MPSF Golden Coast
Portland No No No Independent Independent No No
Saint 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 Independent Independent No WWPA
  1. ^ The NCAA sanctions rowing only for women. Men's college rowing is governed by the Intercollegiate Rowing Association.
  2. ^ The WCC will sponsor water polo starting in the 2023–24 school year, with the four full members sponsoring that sport joined by associates Air Force, California Baptist, and San Jose State.

Women's sports

Departing members are highlighted in red.

Women's sponsored sports by school
School Basketball Beach
Volleyball
Cross
Country
Golf Rowing Soccer Softball Tennis Volleyball Total
West Coast
Sports
BYU Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 7
Gonzaga Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY 7
Loyola Marymount Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 8
Pacific Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 7
Pepperdine Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY 7
Portland Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY 7
Saint Mary's Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 8
San Diego Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 7
San Francisco Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY 7
Santa Clara Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 9
Totals 10 7 10 5 6+1[a] 10 6 10 10 74+1
  1. ^ Associate member Creighton.
Women's varsity sports not sponsored by the West Coast Conference which are played by WCC schools
School Gymnastics Lacrosse Swimming
& Diving
Track & Field
(Indoor)
Track & Field
(Outdoor)
Water Polo
BYU Mountain Rim No MPSF MPSF Independent No
Gonzaga No No No Independent Independent No
Loyola Marymount No No PCS&DC Independent Independent Golden Coast
Pacific No No MPSF No Independent Golden Coast
Pepperdine No No PCS&DC No Independent No
Portland No No No Independent Independent No
Saint Mary's No No No No Independent No
San Diego No No MPSF No Independent No
San Francisco No No No Independent Independent No
Santa Clara No No No Independent Independent Golden Coast

Facilities

School Basketball Arena Capacity Baseball Stadium Capacity Soccer Stadium Capacity
Brigham Young Marriott Center 19,000 Larry H. Miller Field 2,710 South Stadium 4,200
Gonzaga McCarthey Athletic Center 6,000 Washington Trust Field 1,500 Luger 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 University Credit Union 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 2,000 Negoesco Stadium 3,000
Santa Clara Leavey Center 4,500 Stephen Schott Stadium 1,500 Buck Shaw Stadium 10,300

Notable sports figures

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

See also

References

  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 Archived March 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Wccsports.cstv.com (July 1, 2011).
  5. ^ "BYU Becomes Ninth Member of West Coast Conference" (Press release). West Coast Conference. July 1, 2011. Archived from the original on August 9, 2016. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  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. ^ "Russell Rule Diversity Hiring Commitment" (Press release). West Coast Conference. August 3, 2020. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  9. ^ "West Coast Conference Adds Men's Water Polo" (Press release). West Coast Conference. July 19, 2022. Retrieved July 27, 2022.
  10. ^ "Pacific Rankings". www.pacific.edu.
  11. ^ "Endowment Investments". www.pacific.edu.
  12. ^ The West Coast Conference Official Athletic Site. Wccsports.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
  13. ^ Pepperdine Athletes Prepare for Beijing Olympics | Pepperdine University. Pepperdine.edu.
  14. ^ a b c National Men Water Polo Team USA Men's Olympic Team. Usawaterpolo.org.
  15. ^ "BYU sweeps California Baptist as Taylor Sander sets program kills record". NCAA. March 23, 2014. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  16. ^ [1] Archived July 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Dr. Ted Leland. "Ted Leland Bio - Pacific". Pacifictigers.com. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  18. ^ "John Fassel athletic career, photos, articles, and videos". Fanbase. Archived from the original on November 8, 2015. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  19. ^ Hobson, Geoff. "Cincinnati Bengals: Hue Jackson". Bengals.com. Archived from the original on March 27, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2015.