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Big West Conference

Big West Conference
Big West Conference logo
Established 1969
Association NCAA
Division Division I non-football
Members 9
Sports fielded 16 (men's: 7; women's: 9)
Region West Coast
Former names Pacific Coast Athletic Association
Headquarters Irvine, California
Commissioner Dennis Farrell (since 1992)
Website .org.bigwestwww
Locations
Big West Conference locations

The Big West Conference (BWC) is a mid-major collegiate athletic conference that is classified with NCAA Division I. When the conference began in 1969, its name was the Pacific Coast Athletic Association (PCAA). After nineteen years, in 1988, its name was changed to the Big West Conference. The conference stopped sponsoring college football after the 2000 season.

Contents

  • History 1
    • Creation of the Pacific Coast Athletic Association 1.1
    • Evolution 1.2
    • The change to the Big West 1.3
  • Member schools 2
    • Current members 2.1
      • Full members 2.1.1
      • Affiliate members 2.1.2
    • Former members 2.2
      • Former full members 2.2.1
      • Former affiliate members 2.2.2
      • Former football-only members 2.2.3
    • Membership timeline 2.3
  • Sports 3
    • Men's sponsored sports by school 3.1
    • Women's sponsored sports by school 3.2
  • Facilities 4
  • Champions 5
    • Baseball 5.1
    • Men's Basketball 5.2
    • Women's Basketball 5.3
    • Football 5.4
  • References 6
  • External links 7

History

Locations of Big West Conference full member institutions.

Creation of the Pacific Coast Athletic Association

The Big West Conference was formed on July 1, 1969, as the Pacific Coast Athletic Association. The charter all-sports members of the PCAA were Cal State Los Angeles, Fresno State, Long Beach State, San Diego State, San Jose State, and UC Santa Barbara. The University of the Pacific joined only for football, becoming an all-sports member two years later.[1]

Four of these charter members (Cal State Los Angeles, Fresno State, Long Beach State, and San Diego State) had previously been members of the nation's premier Division II conference, the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). After capturing multiple national championships, the members sought a higher level of play, which could be found within the university ranks. Charter football member Pacific and charter all-sports members San Jose State and UC Santa Barbara had also been CCAA members in the past, but had moved to the West Coast Athletic Conference (now West Coast Conference) before joining the PCAA.

The seven schools formally met in May 1969 and finalized the creation of the PCAA less than two months later.

Evolution

Since its inception as the Pacific Coast Athletic Association, the conference has seen many changes throughout the years. Utah State was the first institution outside of California to join the conference in 1978. This opened the floodgates for many other schools to affiliate with the PCAA; notable schools include UNLV, Nevada, Louisiana Tech, and Boise State, among others.

Big West Conference Sports
  • Baseball - men'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
  • Softball - women's
  • Tennis - men's and women's
  • Track & Field - men's and women's
  • Volleyball - women's
  • Water Polo - women's

In 1983, the PCAA became the first western conference to introduce women's athletic programs, giving the opportunity for all its members to have their women student-athletes compete at the same level as their male counterparts. This proved vital for Hawaiʻi as their only participation in the conference was for their women's sports.

However, turnover of universities started to take its toll. Many left to join conferences that were perceived as more well-known, such as the Western Athletic Conference or the Mountain West Conference, while others did not see the benefit of travel since historically many of the teams have been California-based. From the departures of Idaho and Utah State in 2005 until the arrival of Hawaiʻi in 2012, all members were based in California, reducing both the cost and travel time between the universities. When Hawaiʻi joined, it agreed to help defray a portion of travel costs to that state for the league's California members. Between full and associate members, there have been no fewer than 25 members in the conference's history, while only two of the original seven charter members remain (Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara).

The change to the Big West

To mark its 20th year as an athletic conference, in 1988 the Pacific Coast Athletic Association decided to change its name to the Big West Conference.[2] The move signaled the changing landscape within the conference. With such schools as Utah State, UNLV, Nevada, New Mexico State, and Hawaii now in the fold, the name change was more representative of the population. In addition, the conference had signed a contract with ESPN to have its men's basketball games telecast as the third game of a triple header known as "Big Monday" - the other conferences being featured were the Big East and the Big 12 so the name Big West fit the "big" theme. Despite the eventual departure of all non-California based teams, the widely known "Big West Conference" name has remained constant.

Member schools

Current members

Full members

Institution Nickname Location Founded Joined Type Enrollment NCAA Team
Championships
California Polytechnic State University
(Cal Poly San Luis Obispo)
1
Mustangs San Luis Obispo, California 1901 1996 Public (Cal State system) 19,777 1
California State University, Fullerton
(CSUF)
Titans Fullerton, California 1957 1974 Public (Cal State system) 38,996 4
California State University, Northridge
(Cal State Northridge)
Matadors Northridge, California 1958 2001 Public (Cal State system) 36,207 0
University of Hawaii at Manoa
(Hawaiʻi)
Rainbow Warriors
Rainbow Wahine
Honolulu, Hawaii 1907 2012 Public (U. of Hawaiʻi system) 20,435 3
California State University, Long Beach
(Long Beach State)
49ers Long Beach, California 1949 1969 Public (Cal State system) 37,890 4
University of California, Davis
(UC Davis)
Aggies Davis, California 1908 2007 Public (UC system) 31,426 1
University of California, Irvine
(UC Irvine)
Anteaters Irvine, California 1965 1977 Public (UC system) 27,631 7
University of California, Riverside
(UC Riverside)
Highlanders Riverside, California 1954 2001 Public (UC system) 21,669 0
University of California, Santa Barbara
(UC Santa Barbara)
Gauchos Santa Barbara, California 1905 1969,
1976[3]
Public (UC system) 20,559 2
Notes

* - Cal Poly competed in women's volleyball as an affiliate member from 1984-85 to 1989-90

Affiliate members

Institution Nickname Location
(California)
Founded Joined Type Enrollment Primary
Conference
Big West
Sport(s)
NCAA Team
Championships
California State University, Sacramento
(Sacramento State)
Hornets Sacramento 1947 2012 Public (Cal State system) 24,388 Big Sky men's soccer
beach volleyball
0
California State University, Bakersfield
(CSU Bakersfield)
Roadrunners Bakersfield 1965 2015 Public (Cal State system) 8,720 Western Athletic Conference beach volleyball 30
(29 NCAA DII, 1 AIAW)

Former members

Many of the former members of the Big West are now members of either the Western Athletic Conference or the Mountain West Conference. Of the nine schools that were in the WAC before the 2010–13 conference realignment, only Hawaii has not spent some time in the Big West as a football participant – it was a Big West member only in women's sports. Of all the former members, Cal State Los Angeles is the only team that reverted to Division II level.

School names and nicknames reflect those used by the institutions when they were Big West members. One school has changed its name (Southwestern Louisiana, now Louisiana–Lafayette) and one its nickname (Arkansas State, from Indians to Red Wolves).

Former full members

Institution Nickname Location Founded Joined Left Type Enrollment Current
Conference
Boise State University Broncos Boise, Idaho 1932 1996 2001 Public 22,678 Mountain West
California State University, Fresno
(Fresno State)
Bulldogs Fresno, California 1911 1969 1992 Public 22,565 Mountain West
California State University, Los Angeles
(Cal State L.A.)
Golden Eagles Los Angeles, California 1947 1969 1974 Public 20,619 CCAA
(NCAA Division II)
University of Idaho Vandals Moscow, Idaho 1889 1996 2005 Public 11,180 Big Sky
Sun Belt
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
(UNLV)
Rebels Las Vegas, Nevada 1957 1982 1996 Public 28,203 Mountain West
University of Nevada, Reno Wolf Pack Reno, Nevada 1874 1992 2000 Public 18,227 Mountain West
New Mexico State University Aggies Las Cruces, New Mexico 1888 1983 2000 Public 18,497 WAC
Sun Belt
University of North Texas Mean Green Denton, Texas 1890 1996 2000 Public 35,778 C-USA
San Diego State University Aztecs San Diego, California 1897 1969 (men's sports);
1984 (women's sports)
1978 (men's sports);
1990 (women's sports)
Public 28,789 Mountain West
San Jose State University Spartans San Jose, California 1857 1969 1996 Public 32,697 Mountain West
Utah State University Aggies Logan, Utah 1888 1978 2005 Public 28,796 Mountain West
University of the Pacific Tigers Stockton, California 1851 1969 (football-only);
1971 (all sports)
2013 Private 6,296 WCC

Former affiliate members

Institution Nickname Location
(California)
Founded Joined Left Type Enrollment Primary
Conference
Big West
Sport(s)
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
(Cal Poly Pomona)
Broncos Pomona 1938 1984 1990 Public 22,501 CCAA
(NCAA Division II)
softball
California State University, Sacramento
(Sacramento State)
Hornets Sacramento 1947 1996 2002 Public 24,388 Big Sky baseball
San Diego State University Aztecs San Diego 1897 2012 2013 Public 33,790 Mountain West women's water polo

Former football-only members

Institution Nickname Location Founded Joined Left Type Enrollment Primary
Conference
at the time
of joining
Big West
football
Current
Conference
Arkansas State University[4] Indians1 Jonesboro, Arkansas 1909 1993,
1999
1996,
2001
Public 13,438 Sun Belt
Louisiana Tech University Bulldogs Ruston, Louisiana 1894 1993 1996 Public 11,581 Sun Belt C-USA
Northern Illinois University Huskies DeKalb, Illinois 1895 1993 1996 Public 25,313 Summit MAC
University of Southwestern Louisiana2 Ragin' Cajuns Lafayette, Louisiana 1898 1993 1996 Public 16,885 Sun Belt
Note
  1. - Currently known as the Arkansas State Red Wolves
  2. - Currently known as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Membership timeline

Full members Full members (non-football) Assoc. members (football only) Assoc. member (list sports) Other Conference Other Conference

Notes

  • UC Santa Barbara was an independent from 1974–75 to 1975–76.
  • San Diego State played football as an independent for the 1976 and 1977 seasons prior to joining the WAC for all sports in 1978.
  • Cal State Fullerton played football as an independent for the 1992 season and dropped football entirely the following year.
  • Louisiana Tech, Northern Illinois, Southwestern Louisiana, and Arkansas State joined the Big West for a short-lived football consortium from 1993 to 1995.
  • Arkansas State played football as an independent from 1996–98 and then rejoined the Big West for football during the 1999 and 2000 seasons.

Sports

The Big West Conference sponsors championship competition in seven men's and ten women's NCAA sanctioned sports:[5]

The conference is strong in several sports. In baseball, Cal State Fullerton has won four College World Series titles with national championships in 1979, 1984, 1995, and 2004. In addition, Long Beach State and UC Irvine both have made multiple appearances in the College World Series. Fullerton also has a national championship in softball, winning in 1984. Long Beach State has won three NCAA women's volleyball titles, with national championships in 1989, 1993, and 1998. Misty May-Treanor led the 49ers to a 36-0 record en route to the program's most recent title. UC Santa Barbara was NCAA men's soccer runner-up in 2004, losing the national championship match to Indiana on penalty kicks. The Gauchos returned to the College Cup in 2006 and won the national championship.

Former Big West members UNLV and Pacific won national championships while they were part of the conference. The UNLV Runnin' Rebels men's basketball team won the 1990 NCAA tournament championship after routing Duke 103-73 in the national title game. UNLV was undefeated during the 1991 NCAA men's basketball season before falling to Duke in the final four. The Runnin' Rebels during this era are widely considered one of the best college basketball teams of all time. The Pacific Tigers women's volleyball team won back-to-back national championships in 1985 and 1986.

The Big West does not sponsor men's volleyball or men's water polo, but it is the primary conference affiliation of several schools that compete in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation for these sports, respectively. In NCAA men's volleyball, UC Irvine has established itself as one of the nation's most elite programs, winning four national championships in 2007, 2009, 2012, and 2013. Long Beach State also won a men's volleyball title in 1991. In NCAA men's water polo, UC Irvine won three national championships in 1970, 1982, and 1989. UC Santa Barbara also won a men's water polo title in 1979.

Big West Conference teams
Sport Men's Women's
Baseball
9
-
Basketball
9
9
Beach volleyball
-
6
Cross Country
8
9
Golf
9
8
Soccer
8
9
Softball
-
8
Tennis
6
9
Track and Field (Outdoor)
8
9
Volleyball
-
9
Water polo
-
6

Men's sponsored sports by school

School Baseball Basketball Cross
Country
Golf Soccer Tennis Track & Field
(Outdoor)
Total
Sports
Cal Poly
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
7
Cal State Fullerton
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Green tickY
6
Cal State Northridge
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Green tickY
6
Hawaiʻi
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Green tickY
Red XN
Green tickY
Red XN
4
Long Beach State
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Red XN
Green tickY
5
UC Davis
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
7
UC Irvine
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
7
UC Riverside
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
7
UC Santa Barbara
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
7
Totals
9
9
8
9
7 + 1 *
6
8
56 + 1
Men's varsity sports not sponsored by the Big West Conference which are played by Big West schools
School Football Swimming
& Diving
Track & Field
(Indoor)
Volleyball Water Polo Wrestling
Cal Poly Big Sky MPSF Independent No No Pac-12
Cal State Northridge No No MPSF MPSF No No
Hawai'i Mountain West MPSF No MPSF No No
Long Beach State No No MPSF MPSF MPSF No
UC Davis Big Sky No Independent No WWPA No
UC Irvine No No No MPSF MPSF No
UC Riverside No No Independent No No No
UC Santa Barbara No MPSF Independent MPSF MPSF No

Women's sponsored sports by school

School Basketball Beach Volleyball Cross
Country
Golf Soccer Softball Tennis Track & Field
(Outdoor)
Volleyball Water polo Total
Sports
Cal Poly
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
9
Cal State Fullerton
Green tickY
Red XN
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
8
Cal State Northridge
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
10
Hawaiʻi
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
10
Long Beach State
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
10
UC Davis
Green tickY
Red XN
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
9
UC Irvine
Green tickY
Red XN
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
8
UC Riverside
Green tickY
Red XN
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Red XN
8
UC Santa Barbara
Green tickY
Red XN
Green tickY
Red XN
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
8
Totals
9
4 + 2*
9
8
9
8
9
9
9
6
80 + 2
  • * = Beach volleyball was added as a Big West sport in June of 2015 with CSU Bakersfield and Sacramento State as Associate members.[6]
Women's varsity sports not sponsored by the Big West Conference which are played by Big West schools
School Field Hockey Gymnastics Lacrosse Sailing Swimming
& Diving
Track & Field
(Indoor)
No No No No MPSF Independent
Cal State Fullerton No No No No No MPSF
Cal State Northridge No No No No No MPSF
Hawai'i No No No PCCSC MPSF MPSF
Long Beach State No No No No No MPSF
UC Davis America East MPSF MPSF No MPSF Independent
UC Irvine No No No No No MPSF
UC Santa Barbara No No No No MPSF Independent

Facilities

School Basketball Arena Capacity Baseball Stadium Capacity Soccer Stadium Capacity
Cal Poly Mott Gym 3,032 Robin Baggett Stadium 1,734 Alex G. Spanos Stadium 11,075
Cal State Fullerton Titan Gym 4,000 Goodwin Field 3,500 Titan Stadium 10,000
Cal State Northridge Matadome 1,600 Matador Field 1,000 Matador Soccer Field 1,550
Hawaiʻi Stan Sheriff Center 10,300 Les Murakami Stadium 4,312 Waipio Soccer Stadium 4,500
Long Beach State Walter Pyramid 5,000[7] Blair Field 3,238 George Allen Field 1,000
Sacramento State Men's Soccer Member Only Hornet Field 1,500
UC Davis The Pavilion 7,600 Dobbins Baseball Complex 3,500 Aggie Field 1,000
UC Irvine Bren Events Center 4,984 Cicerone Field 2,900 Anteater Stadium 2,500
UC Riverside Student Recreation Center 3,168 Riverside Sports Complex 2,500 UCR Soccer Stadium 900
UC Santa Barbara The Thunderdome 5,600 Caesar Uyesaka Stadium 1,000 Harder Stadium 17,000

Champions

Baseball

Men's Basketball

The most recent winner of the Big West Conference Tournament is UC Irvine (2015), who won the tournament for the first time, as the number 3 seed.

Women's Basketball

Football

An asterisk denotes the participant in the bowls that invited the Big West champion:
Pasadena (1969–70), California (1981–91), Las Vegas (1992–96), and Humanitarian (1997–2000)[8]

Football Champions (1969–1984)
Year University
1969 San Diego State*
1970 Long Beach State* & San Diego State
1971 Long Beach State
1972 San Diego State
1973 San Diego State
1974 San Diego State
1975 San Jose State
1976 San Jose State
1977 Fresno State
1978 San Jose State and Utah State
1979 Utah State
1980 Long Beach State
1981 San Jose State*
1982 Fresno State*
1983 Cal State Fullerton*
1984 Cal State Fullerton (UNLV* forfeited)
Football Champions (1985–2000)
Year University
1985 Fresno State*
1986 San Jose State*
1987 San Jose State*
1988 Fresno State*
1989 Fresno State*
1990 San Jose State*
1991 Fresno State* & San Jose State
1992 Nevada*
1993 Utah State* & Southwestern La.
1994 UNLV*, Southwestern La., & Nevada
1995 Nevada*
1996 Nevada* & Utah State
1997 Utah State* & Nevada
1998 Idaho*
1999 Boise State*
2000 Boise State*

The Big West Conference discontinued football following the 2000 season.[9]

References

  1. ^
  2. ^ http://www.bigwest.org/history/
  3. ^ UC Santa Barbara joined the conference when it was founded in 1969, left to become an independent after the 1973–74 season, then re-joined in the 1976-77 season.
  4. ^ Arkansas State joined the conference for football in 1993, left to become an independent after the 1995–1996 season, then re-joined in 1999, only to leave again after the 2000–2001 season.
  5. ^ http://www.bigwest.org/
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Big West Football. Web.archive.org. Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
  9. ^ Big West Conference. Web.archive.org. Retrieved on 2013-07-17.

External links

  • Official website
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