A New Beginning: Pacific's Return To The West Coast Conference Is Official


Video - Interview with Dr. Ted Leland

Stockton, Calif. - A new begining for Pacific Athletics begins today, as the Tigers return to the West Coast Conference. Pacific 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. 

Pacific was one of five founding members of the WCC (then the California Basketball Association) in 1952-53 and remained in the Conference until 1971.

“The West Coast Conference is delighted to welcome back University of the Pacific as our 10th member institution,” said University of San Diego President Mary E. Lyons, PhD. “Pacific has a rich tradition of strong academics and competitive athletics and will fit right in with our other WCC schools. We look forward to competing with them and working with them to build an even stronger conference whose teams regularly participate in post-season tournaments and national championships.”

"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 joined current WCC members Saint Mary's College, the University of San Francisco and Santa Clara University, as well as San Jose State, as the five founding members of the California Basketball Association. The league began play on January 2, 1953, as a convenient way for five Northern California schools to play basketball.

The league became the West Coast Athletic Conference in 1956 after adding both Loyola Marymount University and Pepperdine University in 1955. Pacific left the WCAC in1971, and since that time, the Conference has added the University of Portland (1976), Gonzaga University (1979), the University of San Diego (1979) and Brigham Young University (2011) and shortened its name to the West Coast Conference.

The University of the Pacific has enjoyed an impressive recent history of men's basketball success, With NCAA Tournament appearances in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2013. 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. The Tiger softball team was the 2011 Big West champion, winning 37 games. 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.

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. Men's Soccer will be added as a varsity sport at Pacific beginning in 2014.

"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."

"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."

"On behalf of the Executive Council, I'm thrilled to welcome the University of the Pacific back to the West Coast Conference,” said University of San Francisco Director of Athletics Scott Sidwell.  “As a charter member of the conference, Pacific has played a large role in shaping the rich history of the WCC and has developed athletic programs of national distinction while maintaining the highest degree of integrity and an unwavering commitment to its academic mission. The addition of Pacific is an important milestone in the rapid growth of the West Coast Conference as a national leader in intercollegiate athletics."

About the West Coast Conference

The West Coast Conference was formed in 1952 and has evolved and grown to become a nationally recognized and competitive force in Division I intercollegiate athletics, with 13 conference-sponsored sports: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, women's rowing, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis and women's volleyball. The WCC is characterized by the stability of its membership and its unique emphasis on combining excellence in athletics with excellence in academics.

About the University of the Pacific

University of the Pacific is a nationally ranked university with a long tradition of dedicated teaching, small class sizes, practical experience and a vibrant residential life. Founded in 1851, Pacific is the oldest University in California. Its breathtaking Gothic main campus in Stockton is home to seven schools and colleges. In addition to the dentistry school in San Francisco, Pacific also has the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento-one of California's largest law schools. Total University enrollment is nearly7,000. For more information about University of the Pacific, visit www.Pacific.edu.



1952-71, 2013-Present

Saint Mary's


Santa Clara


San Francisco


Loyola Marymount








San Diego




San Jose State








UC Santa Barbara


Fresno State