University of the Pacific Officially Re-Joins WCC Today
SAN BRUNO, Calif. - For the second time in the last three years, the West Coast Conference has a new member.
The University of the Pacific formally joined the WCC Monday and will field a team in 10 of the Conference's 14 sponsored sports – including softball, which will be played under the West Coast Conference banner for the first time in 2014.
"We are delighted to be part of the West Coast Conference once again," said University of the Pacific President Pamela A. Eibeck. "This is a conference that celebrates the values we hold dear at Pacific: high-quality academics; great teaching; serious athletic competition; and developing the whole student, including their intellectual, social, physical, and spiritual growth."
Pacific will join in the WCC in 2013-14 in baseball, men's and women's basketball, women's cross country, men's golf, women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis and women's volleyball.
"This is an important day for Pacific Athletics, as we return to the West Coast Conference," said Ted Leland, PhD, Pacific Vice President for External Relations and Athletics. "We are looking forward to a high level of competition with this outstanding set of institutions. We have already seen an increased level of anticipation and excitement as we head into the 2013-14 school year."
Gonzaga University athletic director Mike Roth said Pacific’s history in the conference is well documented.
“Pacific was a charter member of this conference in 1952 and was in the league for 19 years. There’s already a history and a tradition based on their previous membership. Ted Leland is one of the most highly-respected athletic directors in the country and is dedicated to building on Pacific’s athletic tradition,” Roth said.
The University of the Pacific has enjoyed an impressive recent history of men's basketball success, including a Big West Conference Tournament title and NCAA appearance in 2013. The Tigers also made back-to-back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2004, 2005 and 2006. The Tigers upset fifth-seeded Providence in the 2004 NCAA Tournament, and after receiving an at-large bid as a No. 8 seed in 2005, posted an opening round win over Pittsburgh. Pacific made its third straight NCAA appearance in 2006 and fell in overtime to fourth-seeded Boston College.
Pacific has enjoyed success in women's sports, as well, winning the Big West Conference women's basketball title and establishing a new school record with 27 wins in 2013. Both of Pacific's NCAA Championships have come in women's volleyball with back-to-back national titles in 1985 and 1986 amidst a stretch of 24 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
"We are excited to welcome back the University of the Pacific in what is another historic day for the West Coast Conference," said WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich. "The return of the University of the Pacific adds a private, like-minded institution to our membership, which shares the common bond of an aligned emphasis on combining excellence in academics and holistic education with excellence in athletics. Pacific has a phenomenal history of competitive success in our conference sports – including men's basketball, as evidenced by their participation in the NCAA tournament this March – and we anticipate continued success in the future."
The West Coast Conference traces its beginnings to 1952, where the California Basketball Association was created to provide a venue for five San Francisco Bay Area schools to compete in basketball - including University of the Pacific, Saint Mary's College, the University of San Francisco, Santa Clara University. The conference expanded to include Loyola Marymount University and Pepperdine University in 1955, becoming the West Coast Athletic Conference. In 1977, the University of Portland joined the WCAC. Gonzaga and the University of San Diego began competing in the WCAC in 1979 (shortened to WCC in 1989), and Brigham Young joined the West Coast Conference in 2011.
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