Pacific Comes Home To The WCC
Pacific Media Relations
The billboard off the I-5 welcomes Pacific to the WCC.
In a year of change, with unfamiliarity trying to blend in with the familiar and what was once old becoming new again, the biggest difference so far is the new look and old home for Pacific Athletics.
As of July 1, 2013, the Pacific Tigers are back in the West Coast Conference, which they helped found back in 1952, for the first time in 42 years.
“We are delighted to join the West Coast Conference. This is a conference built on deeply held values that Pacific has in common with the other WCC institutions: commitment to high-quality academics and to developing the whole student, including their intellectual, social, physical and spiritual growth,” stated Pacific President Pamela A. Eibeck when the move was made.
It was the right choice both logically and emotionally. The Big West Conference, Pacific’s home from 1971-2013, featured eight (nine with last year’s addition of Hawaii) comparatively new public schools, most of which are in the University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) systems.
While Pacific stood out like a sore thumb in the Big West, it fits right into the WCC. The WCC schools match Pacific in size, history, age and religious affiliation (though Pacific has not been financially supported by the United Methodist Church since 1969).
Pacific, San Francisco, Saint Mary’s, Santa Clara and San Jose State formed the West Coast Conference (WCC), previously titled the West Coast Athletic Conference (WCAC), more than sixty years ago. Since then, the WCC has grown into one of of the best, if not the best, “mid-major” conferences in the country.
Up and down, back to front, the WCC is a major step up in competition and exposure (Gonzaga was the No. 1 overall seed in last year’s Men’s NCAA Tournament).
Eight of the ten schools, including Pacific, have won national championships in some sport. The WCC has churned out sports figures such as Bill Russell, Steve Nash, Brandi Chastain, Kasey Keller, CJ Wilson, Theo Epstein and John Stockton.
WCC teams are thrust onto the national stage often–particularly in basketball. With the recent success of Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s in the men’s game, Pacific will, as a result, get some great national exposure on major networks.
The WCC also has its own network, TheW.tv, which broadcasts WCC games. Pacific has already been featured a few times, with the Tigers’ women’s volleyball match against Santa Clara being the Oct. 17 “Volleyball Game of the Week”.
In short, the change is going to be apparent for its difficulty–if not for its unfamiliarity.
As Pacific students look at the athletics schedule and watch their Tigers compete, many are both intrigued and slightly puzzled by these strange new teams facing Pacific. Gone are the days of battling Cal Poly, Long Beach State, UC Davis, CSU Fullerton and the rest of the schools from the Big West.
Now, the Orange Army must make itself known to an offering of both old and new opponents. The Brigham Young University (BYU) Cougars, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Loyola Marymount Lions, Pepperdine Waves, Portland Pilots, Saint Mary’s Gaels, San Diego Toreros, San Francisco Dons and Santa Clara Broncos welcome Pacific back to its old home.
The welcoming process has already begun. Megan Birch ’14 scored Pacific’s first point back in the WCC in the Tigers’ first win in its new conference: a 3-1 women’s volleyball victory over Gonzaga on Sept. 17.
Women’s soccer hosts both San Francisco and Santa Clara on Homecoming weekend. Basketball season looms, with the first game back against Saint Mary’s and the big trip to Spokane as highlights.
It’s going to be a memorable, historic year. It will also be the first step back into the old frontier.
So, while current students and parents mingle with returning alumni and legends of old during Homecoming weekend, the Pacific Tigers are coming home as well.
The following two tabs change content below.
University Of The Pacific's Newspaper Since 1908
Latest posts by The Pacifican (see all)
- The Pacifican announces Staff Awards for 2015-16 - May 21, 2016
- Congratulations to the winners of Standards of Excellence - May 16, 2016
- Athlete of the Week: Ben Stevenson ’17 - October 16, 2014