Pacific West Conference

The Pacific West Conference (also known as the PacWest) is a collegiate athletic conference affiliated with National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II level. Member institutions are located in California and Hawai'i.

Pacific West Conference
DivisionDivision II
Sports fielded
  • 15
    • men's: 7
    • women's: 8
RegionPacific States
HeadquartersNewport Beach, California
CommissionerBob Hogue (since 2007)

The conference sponsors the following sports: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis and track & field outdoor for both men and women; baseball for men only; softball and volleyball for women only. The newest PacWest sports are men's tennis and women's golf, both added in 2012–13.[1]



PacWest Conference (California)
Location of PacWest members: current
PacWest Conference (Hawaii)
Location of PacWest members: current

The PacWest was formed in 1992 when the Great Northwest Conference (a men's conference) merged with the Continental Divide Conference (a women's conference containing some of the same members), in response to the departures of several members and new NCAA legislation requiring conferences to have at least six members.[2] In addition, some Hawai'i-based colleges joined the new conference.

At one point the conference expanded to 16 members, but in 2001, member schools from Washington, Alaska, California, and Oregon left to form the new Great Northwest Athletic Conference.[2]

With the departure of the final two mainland members, Montana State University–Billings and Western New Mexico University, to join the Heartland Conference in 2005, the four Hawai'i universities played one season as “independents” after receiving a waiver from the NCAA to keep the conference in name, while searching for new members, because in order to be eligible for conference membership in the NCAA, a conference must consist of a minimum of six member institutions who sponsor at least ten sports, with two team sports for each gender.

New PacWest Conference

To comply with conference membership regulations, Hawai'i Pacific (HPU), Chaminade, BYU–Hawai'i and Hawai'i–Hilo added new sports to their programs. In July 2005, the Pacific West Conference voted to admit Notre Dame de Namur University as a provisional member, as it moved from the NAIA to the NCAA Division II. Grand Canyon University, formerly an NCAA D-II Independent, also joined the conference, returning the Pacific West Conference to full conference status with six members. Dixie State College of Utah joined the conference for the 2007–08 season.1 In 2008, it was announced that Academy of Art University would join the conference in the 2009–10 season as the conference's 8th member. In 2009 it was announced that Dominican University of California would join the conference in the 2009–10 season as the conference's 9th member.[3] That same year, the conference announced it would sponsor baseball as its 11th sport, with Hawai'i Pacific University, University of Hawai'i–Hilo, Dixie State College of Utah (now Dixie State University), and Grand Canyon University competing on a Division II level.[4]

Recent expansion

The conference began expansion in 2010 when the PacWest invited California Baptist University, from the NAIA's Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) to join the conference beginning with the 2011–12 school year.[5] On June 1, 2011, the conference announced the additions of Azusa Pacific University, Fresno Pacific University and Point Loma Nazarene University, all members of the GSAC,[1] which began Pacific West Conference play during the 2012–13 season. Holy Names University was also added to the PacWest in 2011, but did not begin the NCAA Division II membership process from the NAIA until July 13, 2012.[6] As part of the transition process from NAIA to NCAA Holy Names remained ineligible for NCAA postseason play through 2015–16.[1] On November 27, 2012, Grand Canyon announced it would leave the PacWest after the 2012–13 school year to accept an invitation to join the Division I Western Athletic Conference.[7] In July 2016, it was announced that Biola University would join the PacWest for the 2017-18 season. In October 2016, Dixie State announced that it would transition from the PacWest to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference after the 2017–18 school year. On January 13, 2017, California Baptist announced that it will leave the PacWest in favor of moving up to NCAA Division I. [8]


Current members

Institution Location Founded Enrollment Nickname Colors Joined
Academy of Art University San Francisco, California 1929 16,000 Urban Knights           2009
Azusa Pacific University Azusa, California 1899 8,539 Cougars           2012
Biola University La Mirada, California 1908 5,942 Eagles                2017
Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, Hawai'i 1955 2,836 Silverswords           1992
Concordia University–Irvine Irvine, California 1976 2,564 Eagles           2015
Dominican University of California San Rafael, California 1890 2,125 Penguins                2009
Fresno Pacific University Fresno, California 1944 3,700 Sunbirds           2012
Hawai'i Pacific University Honolulu, Hawai'i 1965 9,000 Sharks           1992
University of Hawai'i at Hilo Hilo, Hawai'i 1947 3,600 Vulcans           1992
Holy Names University Oakland, California 1868 1,331 Hawks           2012
Notre Dame de Namur University Belmont, California 1851 1,967 Argonauts           2005
Point Loma Nazarene University San Diego, California 1902 3,487 Sea Lions           2012

Affiliate members

Institution Location Founded Enrollment
(Fall 2018)[9]
Nickname Colors Joined Sport Primary
California State University, Los Angeles Los Angeles, California 1947 27,685 Golden Eagles           2014 tennis (W) California
California State University, Stanislaus Turlock, California 1957 10,214 Warriors                2014 tennis (W) California
Sonoma State University Rohnert Park, California 1960 9,201 Seawolves                2013 tennis (M);
tennis (W)

Former members

Institution Location Founded Nickname Joined Left Current
University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, Alaska 1917 Nanooks 1992 2001 Great Northwest
University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage, Alaska 1954 Seawolves 1992 2001 Great Northwest
Brigham Young University–Hawai'i Laie, Hawai'i 1955 Seasiders 1992 2017 Dropped sports
California Baptist University Riverside, California 1950 Lancers 2011 2018 Western Athletic
Central Washington University Ellensburg, Washington 1891 Wildcats 1998 2001 Great Northwest
Dixie State University St. George, Utah 1911 Trailblazers 2007 2018 Rocky Mountain
(WAC [NCAA D-I] in 2020)
Grand Canyon University Phoenix, Arizona 1949 Antelopes 2005 2013 Western Athletic
Humboldt State University Arcata, California 1913 Lumberjacks 1998 2001 California
Montana State University Billings Billings, Montana 1927 Yellowjackets 1992 2005 Great Northwest
Northwest Nazarene University Nampa, Idaho 1913 Crusaders 1999 2001 Great Northwest
Saint Martin's University Lacey, Washington 1895 Saints 1998 2001 Great Northwest
Seattle Pacific University Seattle, Washington 1891 Falcons 1992 2001 Great Northwest
Simon Fraser University Burnaby, British Columbia 1965 Clan 1998 1999 Great Northwest
Western New Mexico University Silver City, New Mexico 1893 Mustangs 1998 2005 Lone Star
Western Oregon University Monmouth, Oregon 1856 Wolves 1998 2001 Great Northwest
Western Washington University Bellingham, Washington 1893 Vikings 1998 2001 Great Northwest

Membership timeline

 Full member (all sports)   Full member (non-football)   Associate member (football-only)   Associate member (sport) 

National championships


  • Men's Tennis (2002, 2003)
  • Women's Tennis (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007)
  • Women's Volleyball (1999, 2002)

Grand Canyon

  • Men's Soccer (1996)
  • Men's Indoor Track & Field (2012)

Hawai'i Pacific

  • Women's Volleyball (1998, 2000)
  • Softball (2010)
  • Men's Tennis (2016)

Academy of Art

  • Women's Outdoor Track & Field (2013)


Conference sports
Cross CountryYY
Track & Field OutdoorYY

Men's sponsored sports by school

School Baseball Basketball Cross
Golf Soccer Tennis Track
& Field
Academy of Art Y Y Y Y Y Y 6
Azusa Pacific Y Y Y Y Y Y 6
Biola Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 7
Chaminade Y Y Y Y 4
Concordia–Irvine Y Y Y Y Y Y 6
Dominican Y Y Y Y 4
Fresno Pacific Y Y Y Y Y 5
Hawai'i Pacific Y Y Y Y Y Y 6
Hawai'i–Hilo Y Y Y Y Y 5
Holy Names Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 7
Notre Dame de Namur Y Y Y Y 4
Point Loma Nazarene Y Y Y Y 4
Totals 9 12 10 8 12 7 6 64
Affiliate Members
Sonoma State Y 1

Women's sponsored sports by school

School Basketball Cross
Golf Soccer Softball Tennis Track
& Field
Volleyball Total
Academy of Art Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 8
Azusa Pacific Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 7
Biola Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 8
Chaminade Y Y Y Y Y Y 6
Concordia–Irvine Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 7
Dominican Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 7
Fresno Pacific Y Y Y Y Y 5
Hawai'i Pacific Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 7
Hawai'i–Hilo Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 7
Holy Names Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 8
Notre Dame de Namur Y Y Y Y Y Y 6
Point Loma Nazarene Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 7
Totals 12 12 7 12 10 11 7 12 83
Affiliate Members
Cal State Los Angeles Y 1
Cal State Stanislaus Y 1
Sonoma State Y 1

Other sponsored sports by school

School Men Women
Football Lacrosse Swimming
& Diving
& Field
Volleyball ‡ Water
Polo ‡
Wrestling Beach
Volleyball ‡
& Diving
& Field
Polo ‡
Academy of Art IND IND
Notre Dame de Namur IND
  • ‡ — D-I sport

Conference facilities

Team Basketball Arena Capacity
Academy of Art Kezar Pavilion 4,000
Azusa Pacific Felix Events Center 3,500
Biola Richard Chase Gymnasium 2,400
Chaminade McCabe Gymnasium 2,800
Concordia–Irvine CU Arena 2,400
Dominican Conlan Center 1,285
Fresno Pacific Fresno Pacific University Special Events Center 1,500
Hawai'i Pacific Blaisdell Center
St. Andrew's Priory
Hawai'i–Hilo Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium 3,800
Holy Names Tobin Gymnasium 300
Notre Dame de Namur Walter Gleasen Gym 800
Point Loma Nazarene Golden Gym 1,600


  1. Staff (June 2, 2011). "PacWest conference expands to 14 schools". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  2. "About the GNAC". Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  3. "PacWest adds Dominican University of California as 9th conference program". Pacific West Conference. June 12, 2009. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  4. "PWC Adds Baseball". Pacific West Conference. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-05-30.
  5. Broughton, Bob (January 3, 2011). "Five Southern California schools headed for Division II". Courtesy Runner. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  6. "HNU enters NCAA II member process". July 13, 2012. Archived from the original on April 15, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
  7. "Grand Canyon University to Join WAC" (Press release). Western Athletic Conference. November 27, 2012. Archived from the original on November 30, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  8. "CBU Announces D1, WAC Move". California Baptist University. Retrieved 2017-03-27.
  9. As of July 06, 2019. "Term Enrollment summary".
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