Pac-10 Upholds Distinction As 'Conference of Champions'Ã¯Â¿Â½
June 27, 2001
Entering the 2001-02 season, the Pacific-10 Conference continues to uphold its tradition as the 'Conference of Champions.'ï¿½ Pac-10 members have claimed an incredible 59 NCAA team titles over the past seven seasons, for an average of more than eight championships per academic year.
Even more impressive is the breadth of the Pac-10's success, as those 59 team titles over the past seven seasons have come in 21 different men's and women's sports. The Pac-10 has now led the nation in NCAA Championships 36 of the last 41 years and finished second four times.
Spanning nearly a century of outstanding athletics achievement, the Pac-10 has captured 311 NCAA titles (238 men's, 73 women's), far outdistancing the runner-up Big Ten Conference's 185 titles.
The Conference's reputation is further proven in the annual Sears Directors' Cup competition, the prestigious award that honors the best overall collegiate athletics programs in the country. STANFORD continued its remarkable run in the 2000-01 season, winning its seventh consecutive Sears Directors' Cup. In the 2000-01 final standings, five of the Top 10, and seven of the top 14 Division I programs, were Pac-10 members: No. 1 STANFORD, No. 2 UCLA, No. 4 ARIZONA, No. 8 USC, No. 9 ARIZONA STATE, No. 12 CALIFORNIA and No. 14 WASHINGTON.
The league led the nation in national championships once again with eight in 2000-01 and also laid claim to 39 individual titles. Five different Pac-10 members won at least one NCAA Championship, with UCLA leading the nation with four.
NCAA team champions from the Pac-10 in 2000-01 came from ARIZONA (softball), STANFORD(women's tennis), UCLA (women's gymnastics, women's indoor track and field, men's water polo, women's water polo), USC (women's outdoor track and field) and WASHINGTON (women's rowing). The Pac-10 also had runners-up in nine NCAA Championship events - ARIZONA in men's basketball, STANFORD in men's and women's swimming and diving, women's water polo and baseball, while UCLA finished second in women's outdoor track, women's soccer, softball and men's volleyball. Overall, the Conference had 25 teams finish in the top three at NCAA Championship events.
Participation in the postseason was a common occurrence for the Pac-10 in 2000-01. Of the 22 sports sponsored by the Pac-10, 17 witnessed at least half its teams participating in the postseason. The men sent 59 of a possible 92 teams into the postseason (67.4 percent), while the women sent 66 of a possible 98 teams into NCAA Tournament action (64.8 percent). The Conference continued to enjoy success in softball as seven teams made it to the NCAA Regional Tournament, marking the third consecutive season the Pac-10 has sent at least seven teams to regionals. ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, STANFORD and UCLA made it to the Women's College Series where the Wildcats and Bruins battled for the national title, the eighth time Conference teams have faced each other in the championship game, and the 18th time in 20 years the Pac-10 has sent at least one team to the title game. During the season, the Conference also added to its women's track and field history. In the indoor portion, UCLA took home its second consecutive NCAA title, while in the outdoor season, USC garnered its first ever outdoor track and field crown. The Trojans were followed by UCLA in second, and ARIZONA in third to round out a 1-2-3 finish.
In football, the Pac-10 had one of its best seasons in 2000-01, with five teams receiving bowl bids, including two New Year's Day games. WASHINGTON, OREGON STATE and OREGON all finished in the Top 10 in the final polls, the first time the Conference accomplished that feat since 1984. The Huskies and Beavers had resounding victories in the Rose Bowl Presented by AT&T and Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, respectively, while the Ducks ended their season on a high note as well, claiming victory in the Culligan Holiday Bowl. The Pac-10 also showed its worth on the basketball court, sending five teams to the NCAA Tournament. ARIZONA, STANFORD, UCLA and USC made it to the `Sweet Sixteen' with the Wildcats getting all the way to the national championship game.
For its outstanding efforts in football and men's basketball in 2000-01, the Pac-10 became just the second conference in history to have three teams ranked in the Top 10 in the final Associated Press Football Poll and three teams reach the `Elite Eight' of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in the same season. The Southeastern Conference accomplished the same feat in 1986.
On the men's side, Pac-10 members have won 238 NCAA Team Championships, far ahead of the 177 claimed by the runner-up Big Ten. Men's NCAA crowns have come at a phenomenal rate for the Pac-10 - 15 basketball titles by five schools (more than any other conference), 47 tennis titles, 45 outdoor track and field crowns, and 24 baseball titles. Pac-10 members have won 23 of the last 32 NCAA titles in volleyball, 27 of the last 42 in water polo, and 20 total swimming and diving national championships.
Individually, the Conference has produced an impressive number of NCAA men's individual champions as well, claiming 1041 NCAA individual crowns. In fact, three of the top five schools nationally in producing men's NCAA individual titlists are from the Pac-10 - No. 1 USC (280), No. 3 STANFORD (217) and No. 5 UCLA (160).
On the women's side, the story is much the same. Since the NCAA began conducting women's championships 20 years ago, Pac-10 members have claimed at least four national titles in a single season on 12 occasions. Overall, the Pac-10 has captured 73 NCAA women's crowns, easily outdistancing the Southeastern Conference, which is second with 50. Pac-10 members have dominated a number of sports, winning 14 softball titles, 13 tennis crowns, six of the last 11 volleyball titles and nine of the last 12 trophies in golf and eight of the last 13 in swimming and diving.
Pac-10 women athletes shine nationally on an individual basis as well, capturing an unmatched 367 NCAA individual titles, an average of nearly 19 champions per season. The Pac-10 is home to three of the top seven schools in the country in terms of women's NCAA individual titlists - No. 1 STANFORD (143), No. 5 UCLA (62) and No. 7 ARIZONA (49).
The roots of the Pacific-10 Conference go back nearly 86 years to December 15, 1915, when the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC) was founded at a meeting at the Oregon Hotel in Portland, Ore. Original membership consisted of four schools - the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, and Oregon State College (now Oregon State University). All still are charter members of the Conference.
Pacific Coast Conference play began in 1916. One year later, Washington State College(now Washington State University), was accepted into the Conference, and Stanford University joined in 1918.
In 1922, the PCC expanded to eight teams with the admission of the University of Southern California and the University of Idaho. Montana joined the Conference in 1924, and in 1928, the PCC grew to 10 members with the addition of UCLA.
The Pacific Coast Conference competed as a 10-team league until 1950, with the exception of 1943-45, when World War II curtailed intercollegiate athletic competition to a minimum. In 1950, Montana resigned from the Conference and joined the Mountain States Conference. The PCC continued as a nine-team Conference through 1958.
In 1959, the PCC was dissolved and a new Conference was formed - the Athletic Association of Western Universities. Original AAWU membership consisted of California, Stanford, Southern California, UCLA, and Washington. Washington State became a member in 1962, while Oregon and Oregon State joined in 1964. In 1968, the name Pacific-8 Conference was adopted.
Ten years later, on July 1, 1978, the University of Arizona and Arizona State University were admitted and the Pacific-10 Conference became a reality. In 1986-87, the league took on a new look, expanding to include 10 women's sports.
Currently, the Pac-10 sponsors 11 men's sports and 11 women's sports. Additionally, the Conference is a member of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) in four other men's sports and two other women's sports.
Edwin N. Atherton was named the Conference's first Commissioner in 1940. He has been succeeded by Victor O. Schmidt (1944), Thomas J. Hamilton (1959), Wiles Hallock (1971), and current Commissioner Thomas C. Hansen in 1983.
The Pacific-10 Conference offices are located 25 miles east of San Francisco in Walnut Creek, Calif.
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