West Coast Conference

Last updated

West Coast Conference
WCC
West Coast Conference logo 2019 with name.svg
Established1952
Association NCAA
Division Division I
Subdivisionnon-football
Members10
Sports fielded
  • 15
    • men's: 6
    • women's: 9
Region Western United States
Former namesWest Coast Athletic Conference (1956–1989)
California Basketball Association (1952–1956)
Headquarters San Mateo, California
Commissioner Gloria Nevarez (since 2018)
Website www.wccsports.com
Locations
WCC West Coast Conference Map.PNG

The West Coast Conference (WCC) — known as the California Basketball Association from 1953 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.

Contents

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 re-joined 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.svg
West Coast Conference logo from 2011 to 2019
Locations of current West Coast Conference full member institutions. WestCoastLocations.png
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 19 consecutive NCAA tournaments—the longest streak for any school in the Western United States, tied for the fourth-longest active streak, and the seventh-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.

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, and 2019 (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, 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. [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.

Membership

Current members

InstitutionLocationFoundedJoinedTypeEnrollmentEndowment (millions)NicknameColors
Brigham Young University Provo, Utah 18752011Private
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
34,100$1,470 Cougars          
Gonzaga University Spokane, Washington 18871979Private
Jesuit
7,421$276 Bulldogs      
Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, California 18651955Private
Jesuit
8,972$472 Lions          
University of the Pacific [9] [10] Stockton, California 18511952,*
2013
Private
United Methodist Church
6,652$453 Tigers          
Pepperdine University Malibu, California 19371955Private
Churches of Christ
6,000$892 Waves               
University of Portland Portland, Oregon 19011976Private
Holy Cross
3,200$173 Pilots          
Saint Mary's College of California Moraga, California 18631952Private
De La Salle Brothers
4,768$180 Gaels               
University of San Diego San Diego, California 19491979Private
Roman Catholic
7,548$530 Toreros               
University of San Francisco San Francisco, California 18551952Private
Jesuit
10,017$393 Dons          
Santa Clara University Santa Clara, California 18511952Private
Jesuit
8,300$979 Broncos          

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

Associate member

InstitutionLocationFoundedJoinedTypeEnrollmentEndowment (millions)TeamPrimary
Conference
WCC Sport(s)
Creighton University Omaha, Nebraska 18782010Private
Jesuit
8,910$568 Bluejays Big East women's rowing

Former members

InstitutionTeamLocationFoundedJoinedTypeEnrollmentLeftCurrent
Conference
San Jose State University
(SJSU)
Spartans San Jose, California 18571952Public30,4481969 Mountain West
California State University, Fresno
(Fresno State)
Bulldogs Fresno, California 19111955Public22,5651957 Mountain West
University of California, Santa Barbara
(UCSB)
Gauchos Santa Barbara, California 18911964Public21,9271969 Big West
University of Nevada, Reno
(Nevada)
Wolf Pack Reno, Nevada 18741969Public18,2271979 Mountain West
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
(UNLV)
Rebels Paradise, Nevada 19571969Public28,2031975 Mountain West
Seattle University Redhawks Seattle, Washington 18911971Private
Jesuit
7,5001980 WAC

Former associate members

InstitutionTeamLocationFoundedJoinedTypeEnrollmentLeftPrimary
Conference
WCC Sports
California State University, Bakersfield
(CSUB)
Roadrunners Bakersfield, California 19652012–13Public8,3172012–13 Big West women's golf
California State University, Los Angeles
(CSULA)
Golden Eagles Los Angeles, California 19471975–76Public23,2581975–76 CCAA
(NCAA Division II)
baseball
University of Nevada, Reno
(Nevada)
Wolf Pack Reno, Nevada 18741984–85
1985–86
Public18,2271990–91 (baseball)
1986–87 (others)
Mountain West baseball,
women's basketball,
women's tennis,
women's volleyball
United States International University
(USIU)
Gulls San Diego, California 20011985–86Private3,8711986–87 (all)n/a^women's basketball,
women's tennis,
women's volleyball
Note

^ – USIU dropped its athletics program following the end of the 1990–91 school year.

Membership timeline

Brigham Young UniversityUniversity of San DiegoGonzaga UniversityUniversity of PortlandWestern Athletic ConferenceGreat Northwest Athletic 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 UniversityWest Coast Conference

Full membersOther ConferenceOther 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. [11]

Teams in West Coast Conference competition
SportMen'sWomen'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

Men's sports

Men's sponsored sports by school
School Baseball Basketball Cross
Country
Golf Soccer Tennis Total
Sports
BYUGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svg5
GonzagaGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg6
Loyola MarymountGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg6
PacificGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg5
PepperdineGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svg5
PortlandGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg5
Saint Mary'sGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg6
San DiegoGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg6
San FranciscoGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg6
Santa ClaraGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg6
Totals10109981056
Men's varsity sports not sponsored by the West Coast Conference which are played by WCC schools
School Football Rowing [lower-alpha 1] Swimming
& Diving
Track & Field
(Indoor)
Track & Field
(Outdoor)
Volleyball Water Polo
BYU FBS Independent No MPSF MPSF Independent MPSF No
GonzagaNo WIRA NoIndependentIndependentNoNo
Loyola MarymountNo WIRA NoIndependentIndependentNo WWPA
PacificNoNo MPSF NoNoNo Golden Coast
PepperdineNoNoNoNoIndependent MPSF Golden Coast
PortlandNoNoNoIndependentIndependentNoNo
Saint Mary'sNoNoNoNoIndependentNoNo
San Diego Pioneer League WIRA NoNoNoNoNo
San FranciscoNoNoNoIndependentIndependentNoNo
Santa ClaraNo WIRA NoIndependentIndependentNo WWPA
  1. The NCAA sanctions rowing only for women. Men's college rowing is governed by the Intercollegiate Rowing Association.

Women's sports

Women's sponsored sports by school
School Basketball Beach
Volleyball
Cross
Country
Golf Rowing Soccer Softball Tennis Volleyball Total
West Coast
Sports
BYUGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg7
GonzagaGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg7
Loyola MarymountGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg8
PacificGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg7
PepperdineGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg7
PortlandGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg7
Saint Mary'sGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg8
San DiegoGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg7
San FranciscoGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg7
Santa ClaraGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg9
Totals1071056+1 [lower-alpha 1] 106101074+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 IndependentNo
GonzagaNoNoNoIndependentIndependentNo
Loyola MarymountNoNoPCS&DCIndependentIndependent Golden Coast
PacificNoNo MPSF NoIndependent Golden Coast
PepperdineNoNoPCS&DCNoIndependentNo
PortlandNoNoNoIndependentIndependentNo
Saint Mary'sNoNoNoNoIndependentNo
San DiegoNoNo MPSF NoIndependentNo
San FranciscoNoNoNoIndependentIndependentNo
Santa ClaraNoNoNoIndependentIndependent Golden Coast

    Facilities

    SchoolBasketball ArenaCapacityBaseball StadiumCapacitySoccer StadiumCapacity
    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 1,500Luger Field2,000
    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 2,500Knoles Field600
    Pepperdine Firestone Fieldhouse 3,104 Eddy D. Field Stadium 1,800Tari Frahm Rokus Field1,000
    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 1,000Saint Mary's Stadium5,500
    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

    Related Research Articles

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    The 2015–16 West Coast Conference women's basketball season began with practices in October 2015 and ended with the 2016 West Coast Conference Women's Basketball Tournament at the Orleans Arena March 3–8, 2016 in Paradise, Nevada. The regular season started in November, with the conference schedule starting at the end of December.

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    2020–21 BYU Cougars womens volleyball team

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