|Conference||West Coast Conference|
|NCAA||NCAA Division I|
|Athletic director||Steve Potts|
|Basketball arena||Firestone Fieldhouse|
|Baseball stadium||Eddy D. Field Stadium|
|Soccer stadium||Tari Frahm Rokus Field|
|Other arenas|| Alumni Park |
Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool
Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center
|Mascot||Willie the Wave|
|Fight song||"Fight For Pepperdine"|
|Colors||Blue, White, and Orange |
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.
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 in South Los Angeles at the time, the name has stuck, becoming more appropriate after the school's move to Malibu.
|Men's sports||Women's sports|
|Cross country||Cross country|
|Track and field†||Swimming and diving|
|Water polo||Track and field†|
|† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor|
Major league pitcher Jon Moscot pitched for the baseball team in 2011 and 12.Other Waves pitchers who went on to success in the majors include Dan Haren, Randy Wolf, and Noah Lowry.
Pepperdine sponsors both men's and women's NCAA Division I college basketball teams.
The Pepperdine Waves men's basketball team began play in the 1938–1939 season, and has amassed 12 regular-season conference titles and three conference tournament championships. It qualified for the NAIA Men's Basketball Tournament seven times during the 1940s and 1950s. It has made 13 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, six in the National Invitation Tournament, and three in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI), and it won the CBI championship in 2021. Thirty-one former Waves have been drafted in the NBA draft, and 17 have played in the National Basketball Association.
The Pepperdine Waves women's basketball team began play in the 1975–76 season and has won four conference regular-season titles and three conference tournament championships. The Waves have made four appearances in the NCAA Tournament and six in the Women's National Invitation Tournament.
The Pepperdine Waves women's beach volleyball team represents Pepperdine University in women's beach volleyball.Pepperdine launched its beach volleyball program in 2011.
The men's golf team has won 20 West Coast Conference championships (1987, 1989, 1991,1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2015, 2018, 2019)They won the NCAA Division I Championship in 1997 and 2021.
Pepperdine golfers who have won at the professional level are Brent Geiberger (2 PGA Tour wins), Jason Gore (1 PGA Tour win, 7 Korn Ferry Tour wins), Andrew Putnam (1 PGA Tour win, 2 Korn Ferry Tour wins), Jeff Gove (3 Korn Ferry Tour wins), Michael Putnam (3 Web.com Tour wins), and Byron Smith (1 Korn Ferry Tour win, 4 Canadian Tour wins).
In 1982 Brad Gilbert transferred to Pepperdine University, playing for Allen Fox. He became an All-American and reached the finals of the 1982 NCAA Championship. Gilbert is a 1999 inductee into the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame.
Andrew Sznajder played college tennis at Pepperdine, where he was a two-time All-American selection (1987 and 1988; he was # 3 in college rankings both years).In 1988, he won the Intercollegiate Tennis Association indoor individual championship. He turned pro in his sophomore year.
Merrill Moses, three-time Olympic water polo player and silver medalist, played water polo for the Waves for four years from 1995-98.He was All-American honorable mention in 1996, first team in 1997, and second team in 1998. He was also All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation all four years, and 1997 MPSF Goalkeeper of the Year. He helped lead Pepperdine to the 1997 NCAA championship, and was game and team MVP. Moses is now Associate Head Coach in water polo at Pepperdine.
Pepperdine played football from 1946 to 1961. At the end of the inaugural 1946 season the Waves defeated Nebraska Wesleyan University in the 1947 Will Rogers Bowl.
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.
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 Tulane Green Wave are the athletic teams that represent Tulane University, located in New Orleans, Louisiana. Tulane competes in NCAA Division I as a member of the American Athletic Conference. There are 14 Green Wave intercollegiate programs.
The UCLA Bruins are the athletic teams that represent the University of California, Los Angeles. The Bruin men's and women's teams participate in NCAA Division I as part of the Pac-12 Conference and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF). For football, they are in the Football Bowl Subdivision of Division I. UCLA is second to only Stanford University as the school with the most NCAA team championships at 119 NCAA team championships. UCLA offers 11 varsity sports programs for men and 14 for women.
The Stanford Cardinal are the athletic teams that represent Stanford University. As of April 17, 2021, Stanford's program has won 128 NCAA team championships, as well as 25 consecutive NACDA Directors' Cups, awarded annually to the most successful overall college sports program in the nation. Stanford has won at least one NCAA team championship each academic year for 45 consecutive years, starting in 1976–77 and continuing through 2020–21. 165 Stanford-affiliated athletes have won a total of 270 Olympic medals, including 27 medals at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games. Stanford's teams compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level as a member of the Pac-12 Conference, along with other schools from the western third of the United States.
The UC Irvine Anteaters are the athletic teams fielded by the University of California, Irvine. Its athletics programs participate in the NCAA's Division I, as members of the Big West Conference and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. For earlier years of the school's existence, the teams participated at the Division II level with great success as explained below.
The San Diego State Aztecs are the athletic teams that represent San Diego State University (SDSU). San Diego State currently sponsors six men's and thirteen women's sports at the varsity level.
The San Jose State Spartans are the athletic teams that represent San José State University. SJSU sports teams compete in the Mountain West Conference at the NCAA Division I FBS level. San Jose State is one of seven universities in the state of California to participate in NCAA Division I FBS athletics, along with the University of California, Fresno State, San Diego State, Stanford, UCLA, and USC. SJSU has participated in athletics since it first fielded a baseball team in 1890.
The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos are the intercollegiate athletic teams who represent the University of California, Santa Barbara. Referred to in athletic competition as UC Santa Barbara or UCSB, the Gauchos participate in 19 NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports with the majority competing in the Big West Conference. UCSB currently fields varsity teams in 10 men's sports and 9 women's sports.
The Fresno State Bulldogs are the intercollegiate athletic teams that represent California State University, Fresno. The university is a member of NCAA Division I's Mountain West Conference (MW). It was a member of the Western Athletic Conference from 1992 until 2012, when it left for the Mountain West alongside fellow WAC member Nevada.
Merrill M. Moses is a United States Olympic silver medalist, three-time Olympian, and three-time Pan American Games gold medalist water polo goalkeeper. He played college water polo for Pepperdine University, where he was an All-American and helped lead the team to the 1997 NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship. Moses is now Associate Head Coach in water polo at Pepperdine.
The Louisiana–Monroe Warhawks are the intercollegiate athletics teams representing the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM). ULM currently fields 15 varsity teams in 11 sports, and competes at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level as a member of the Sun Belt Conference.
The St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers are the 21 teams that represent St. Francis College in athletics. The Terriers are members of the NCAA Division I and participate in the Northeast Conference (NEC) except in three sports that the NEC does not sponsor— men's volleyball and men's and women's water polo. The water polo teams respectively compete in the Collegiate Water Polo Association and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, while men's volleyball plays as an independent before joining the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association in July 2021.
The UC Davis Aggies are the athletic teams that represent the University of California, Davis.
The Long Beach State Beach, previously known as the 49ers, are the athletic teams that represent California State University, Long Beach. Teams compete in 19 sports at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level. Long Beach State is a founding member of the Big West Conference, and also competes in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and the Golden Coast Conference for sports not sponsored by the Big West.
The UC Riverside Highlanders represent the University of California, Riverside in Riverside, California in intercollegiate athletics. The Highlanders compete in NCAA Division I; they are members of the Big West Conference.
The Pepperdine Waves men's basketball team is an American college basketball team that represents Pepperdine University in NCAA Division I, the highest level of intercollegiate athletics sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The Waves compete in the West Coast Conference and are coached by Lorenzo Romar. The Waves have qualified for the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament 13 times. Thirty-one former Waves have been drafted by the NBA, and 17 former Waves have played in the NBA, including Dennis Johnson, an inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology's intercollegiate sports teams, called the MIT Engineers, compete mostly in NCAA Division III. It has won 22 Team National Championships, 42 Individual National Championships. MIT is the all-time Division III leader in producing Academic All-Americas (302) and rank second across all NCAA Divisions. MIT Athletes won 13 Elite 90 awards and ranks first among NCAA Division III programs, and third among all divisions. Most of the school's sports compete in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), with sports not sponsored by the NEWMAC housed in several other conferences. Men's volleyball competes in the single-sport United Volleyball Conference. One MIT sport, women's rowing, competes in Division I in the Eastern Association of Women's Rowing Colleges (EAWRC). Men's water polo, a sport in which the NCAA holds a single national championship for all three of its divisions, competes in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) alongside Division I and Division II members. Three sports compete outside NCAA governance: men's rowing competes in the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges (EARC), sailing in the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association of ICSA and squash in the College Squash Association. In April 2009, budget cuts led to MIT's eliminating eight of its 41 sports, including the mixed men's and women's teams in alpine skiing and pistol; separate teams for men and women in ice hockey and gymnastics; and men's programs in golf and wrestling.
The Sonoma State Seawolves are the athletic teams that represent Sonoma State University, located in Rohnert Park, California, in NCAA Division II intercollegiate sports. The Seawolves compete as members of the California Collegiate Athletic Association for all 13 varsity sports except for women's water polo, which competes in the Western Water Polo Association and men's and women's tennis, which compete in the Pacific West Conference.
The Fresno Pacific Sunbirds are the 16 varsity athletic teams that represent Fresno Pacific University, located in Fresno, California, in NCAA Division II intercollegiate sports. The Sunbirds compete as members of the Pacific West Conference for most sports except water polo, which will join the Western Water Polo Association.
The 1997 NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship was the 29th annual NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship to determine the national champion of NCAA men's collegiate water polo. Tournament matches were played at the International Swimming Hall of Fame Aquatics Complex in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, during December 1997.
The UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs are the athletic teams that represent the University of California, Santa Cruz. The Banana Slugs compete in Division III of the NCAA, mostly in the Coast to Coast Athletic Conference (C2C). There are fifteen varsity sports – men's and women's basketball, tennis, soccer, volleyball, swimming and diving, cross country, and women's golf. UCSC teams have been Division III nationally ranked in tennis, soccer, men's volleyball, and swimming. UCSC maintains a number of successful club sides.