Portland Pilots

The Portland Pilots is the nickname for athletics at the University of Portland. The Pilots compete in the West Coast Conference (WCC) at the NCAA Division I level.

Portland Pilots
UniversityUniversity of Portland
ConferenceWest Coast Conference
NCAADivision I
Athletic directorScott Leykam
LocationPortland, Oregon
Varsity teams14
Basketball arenaChiles Center
Baseball stadiumJoe Etzel Field
Soccer stadiumMerlo Field
Other arenasLouisiana-Pacific Tennis Center
MascotWally the Pilot
Fight song"University of Portland Victory March 1984"
ColorsPurple and White[1]


The Pilots started to gain attention when Clive Charles began coaching the women's soccer team in 1989. He already had been the men's soccer coach since 1986, and he continued to coach both teams until his death in 2003. He was replaced by Bill Irwin. The women's soccer team won national championships in 2002 and 2005 and were led by numerous national-level players (see "notable alumni athletes" section). Additionally, the men's soccer team has been to the College Cup twice in its history: 1988 and 1995.

In addition to soccer, UP consistently has one of the top cross country programs in the nation. Their men's team, coached by Rob Conner, won their 34th overall West Coast Conference championship in October 2014. The men's team has gone to the NCAA Men's Division I Cross Country Championship a total of eighteen times, making their first appearance in 1993. The team has finished among the top 10 eight times in its history. The Pilots placed 7th in 2001, 2008, and 2013. The Pilots finished 3rd in 2014 and 2018 as well as 2nd in 2017, which was their highest ever finish.[2] In 2008, David Kinsella finished 4th overall, the highest any Pilot has ever placed individually at the national championships. The men's team has won the NCAA West Regional four times in their history: in 1993, 2017, 2018, and 2019. Through 2017, a total of eighteen Pilots have earned All-American honors in cross country, including Scott Fauble, Alfred Kipchumba, Trevor Dunbar, Pete Julian, Uli Steidl, Joe Driscoll, Reid Buchanan, and John Moore.[3][2] Rob Conner also heads the Pilots' Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field teams, and has coached 25 All-Americans in distance events ranging from the mile to the 10,000m run.[4] Several Pilots have competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials under coach Conner, including William "Woody" Kincaid in the 5,000m in 2016, and John Moore and Michael Kilburg in 10,000m in 2008.

Portland Pilots baseball has been a staple on campus ever since 1935. They have qualified for multiple NCAA regionals, as well as cultivating many players that went on to play in the Major Leagues. Joe Etzel Field, often known as "The house that Loomis built" is where the team plays their home games. Often there are crowds exceeding 1,000, making it one of the premier college baseball atmospheres in the nation. The Boys on the Bluff are notorious for their hardhat and lunchbox mentality, and when the opposing team sees the iconic purple pinstripes, they know it's going to be a rough night at the ballpark.

Cameron Richman, (Jr. RHP), is about to make history for the Pilots. Halfway through his career, he is already in the top 10 in Pilots history in the category of hit batsmen, and this has caused numerous brawls with other teams. The Pilots are currently being led by Sophomore Ryan Kim, who hit .375 during his summer stint with the Cowlitz Black Bears in the WCL. Rumor has it that he is being scouted extensively by the Korean Baseball League, as well as MLB clubs.

The Pilots have had success in other sports as well. The men's basketball team has gone to the NCAA tournament twice (1959 and 1996). Their women's basketball team has gone to the NCAA Tournament four times (1994-1997) and the WNIT twice (1998 and 2009). Their baseball team has also gone to the NCAA tournament five times (1957, 1958, 1979, 1989, and 1991). Their volleyball team also made the postseason for the first time in 2018 after qualifying for the National Invitational Volleyball Championship.[5]

UP has not fielded a football team since 1950.

Sports sponsored

Men's sports Women's sports
BasketballBeach volleyball
Cross countryCross country
Track and fieldTennis
Track and field
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor

Former teams

  • Football (discontinued after 1950)
  • Men's and women's golf (discontinued after 2011)

National championships

NCAA team championships

Other team championships

Conference championships

The Pilots compete in the West Coast Conference, which they joined in 1976. Below are a few of their conference titles:

  • Men's Basketball WCC Tournament Champions (1): 1996
  • Men's Baseball Pacific-10 Conference Northern Division Tournament (2): 1989, 1991
  • Men's Cross Country (34): 2014, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1986, 1985, 1984, 1983, 1982, 1981, 1980, 1979
  • Men's Golf (2): 1993, 1985
  • Men's Soccer (6): 2016, 2002, 1992, 1990, 1989, 1988
  • Men's Tennis Regular Season (1): 2017
  • Women's Basketball WCC Tournament Champions (1): 1994; Regular Season Champions (3): 1997, 1996, 1992
  • Women's Cross County (20): 2016, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1989, 1988, 1987
  • Women's Soccer (13): 2013, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004, 2000, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1992


The Portland Pilots play home soccer matches at Merlo Field, part of the Clive Charles Soccer Complex.[6] All volleyball and basketball games are held in the Chiles Center. The baseball team plays in Joe Etzel Field. The Louisiana-Pacific Tennis Center is home to the tennis teams.


Notable alumni athletes

See also


  1. University of Portland Brand Book (PDF). Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  2. "Pilots Hit Podium with Runner-Up Finish at NCAA Championships". University of Portland. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  3. "University of Portland - Men's NCAA XC Championship History" (PDF). www.portlandpilots.com. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  4. "University of Portland - All-Time Records and Awards 1.27.17". www.portlandpilots.com. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  5. https://portlandpilots.com/news/2018/11/25/volleyball-the-pilots-enter-postseason-for-first-time-play-northern-colorado-on-thursday.aspx
  6. NCAA Website "A very gracious man" September 29, 2003 by Beth Rosenburg
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