SAN BRUNO, Calif. – The West Coast Conference announced Thursday that the University of the Pacific has formally accepted an invitation to join the WCC on July 1, 2013, for the 2013-14 academic year. 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.
"We would like to welcome the University of Pacific back to the West Coast Conference. We look forward to rekindling that rivalry in so many of our sports," said Santa Clara Athletic Director Dan Coonan. "I also look forward to having Dr. Ted Leland in the WCC. I have a great deal of respect for who he is, what he presents and all he has done."
"Pacific is an outstanding University and more specifically an impressive baseball program coached by a great staff," said Bronco head baseball coach Dan O'Brien. "This is exciting news for the WCC, Santa Clara University and Bronco baseball!"
"It's an exciting time in the West Coast Conference," said Bronco head soccer coach Cam Rast. "The addition of the University of Pacific fits very well in the conference model. Knowing the importance of these decisions I am sure they have vetted out the selection. I am happy to see one of the charter members of the WCC members welcomed back into the conference."
"It is a great move to add Pacific to the WCC," said Bronco head men's tennis coach Derek Mills. "It will also add to the depth on the men's tennis side of the WCC which is becoming one of the top men's tennis conferences in the country."
"We play them every year in women's tennis. They are a good team and a tough program," said Bronco head women's tennis coach Ben Cabell. "They will fit very well in our league in women's tennis. We are one of the top tennis conferences in the country and we are happy to welcome them."
"We are pleased to welcome back the University of the Pacific as the 10th member of the West Coast Conference," Saint Mary's College President and WCC Presidents' Council Chair Brother Ronald Gallagher, F.S.C., Ph.D, said. "The University of the Pacific is an outstanding fit with our membership as an independent institution with a strong academic reputation and rich athletic history. It is a great opportunity to bring one of our founding members back into the Conference and once again extend our footprint into the rapidly growing markets of Sacramento, Stockton and the Central Valley."
"We are delighted to join the West Coast Conference," University of the Pacific President Dr. Pamela A. Eibeck, Ph.D., said. "This is a conference built on deeply held values that Pacific has in common with the other WCC institutions: developing the whole student intellectually, socially, physically, emotionally and spiritually."
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 in 1971, 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, including back-to-back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2004, '05 and' 06. 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.
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, men's and women's tennis and women's volleyball.
"I am excited to welcome the University of the Pacific back to the West Coast Conference," WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich said. "We have been engaged in ongoing conversations with Pacific and are very impressed by the leadership of Pamela Eibeck and Ted Leland. Pacific brings to the West Coast Conference a strong geographical rival with excellent on-campus facilities and a recent history of athletic success in sports that are priorities for the WCC."
"We feel that Pacific is coming home by joining the WCC, where we have such a rich history," said Ted Leland, Ph.D., Pacific Vice President for External Relations and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. "We look forward to competing with this amazing set of institutions."
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 nearly 7,000. For more information about University of the Pacific, visit www.Pacific.edu
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