West Coast Conference: Wikis


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West Coast Conference
Established 1952
Members 8
Sports fielded 13
Region West Coast of the United States
States 3 - California, Oregon, Washington
Past names California Basketball Association,
West Coast Athletic Conference
Headquarters San Bruno, California
Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich (2008-present)
WCC West Coast Conference Map.PNG

The West Coast Conference (WCC) is an NCAA collegiate athletics conference consisting of eight member schools across the states of California, Oregon, and Washington.

All of the current members are private, religiously-affiliated institutions. Seven of the eight are affiliated with the Catholic Church (Pepperdine is the only exception; it is a Churches of Christ affiliated university). Four of the seven Catholic schools are Jesuit affiliates.



During the massive upheaval of conference affiliations in the 1990s, the WCC remained very stable. It has not had a school join or leave for nearly 30 years (the last change of membership was in 1980, when Seattle University left the conference). Only two conferences, the Ivy League and the Pac-10, have remained unchanged for a longer period of time.

The league was chartered by five northern California institutions, four from the Bay Area (San Francisco, Saint Mary's, Santa Clara, San Jose State) and 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. The name was then shortened in 1989, dropping the word "Athletic." [1]

The WCC participates at the NCAA Division I level and is considered to be one of the better mid-major conferences in the country. The conference sponsors 13 sports but does not include football as one of them. In fact, San Diego is the only conference member that still plays football at any level; 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, and 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.

Most 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. Like San Francisco before it, Gonzaga has arguably become the closest thing to a major power in a mid-major conference. Saint Mary's has also made marks for the conference as the Gaels appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2005 and 2008. On May 28, 2009, NBA referee Violet Palmer was hired as coordinator of women's basketball officials for the West Coast Conference and will remain with the NBA, where she has worked for 12 seasons.[2]

Current members

Locations of current West Coast Conference full member institutions.
Institution Nickname Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Joined
Gonzaga University Bulldogs Spokane, Washington 1887 Private/Catholic (Jesuit) 7,229 1979
Loyola Marymount University Lions Los Angeles, California 1865 Private/Catholic (Jesuit) 8,972 1955
Pepperdine University Waves Malibu, California 1937 Private/Church of Christ 6,053 1955
University of Portland Pilots Portland, Oregon 1901 Private/Catholic (Holy Cross) 3,200 1976
Saint Mary's College of California Gaels Moraga, California 1863 Private/Catholic (Christian Brothers) 4,768 1952
University of San Diego Toreros San Diego, California 1949 Private/Catholic (unaffiliated) 7,548 1979
University of San Francisco Dons San Francisco, California 1855 Private/Catholic (Jesuit) 8,722 1952
Santa Clara University Broncos Santa Clara, California 1851 Private/Catholic (Jesuit) 8,377 1952

Former members


The WCC sponsors intercollegiate competition in men’s baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, men's and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis, women's rowing, and women’s volleyball.



Famous sports figures

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

Conference Facilities

School Soccer Stadium Capacity Basketball Arena Capacity Baseball Stadium Capacity
Gonzaga Gonzaga Soccer Field 2,000 McCarthey Athletic Center 6,000 Washington Trust Field and Patterson Baseball Complex 1,500
Loyola Marymount Sullivan Field 2,000 Gersten Pavilion 4,156 George C. Page Stadium 600
Pepperdine Tari Frahm Rokus Field 1,000 Firestone Fieldhouse 3,104 Eddy D. Field Stadium 1,800
Portland Merlo Field 4,892 Chiles Center 4,852 Joe Etzel Field 1,500
Saint Mary's Saint Mary's Stadium 5,500 McKeon Pavilion 3,500 Louis Guisto Field 500
San Diego Torero Stadium 6,000 Jenny Craig Pavilion 5,100 Cunningham Stadium 1,200
San Francisco Negoesco Stadium 3,000 War Memorial Gymnasium 5,300 Benedetti Diamond 1,000
Santa Clara Buck Shaw Stadium 6,800 Leavey Center 6,000 Stephen Schott Stadium 1,500

Notes and references

External links


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