About Pac-12 Conference
PAC-12 CONFERENCE, THE CONFERENCE OF CHAMPIONS
Built on a firm foundation of academic excellence and superior athletic performance, the Conference ushered in a new era on July 1, 2011, officially becoming the Pac-12 Conference with the additions of the University of Colorado and University of Utah.
Just 27 days after the Conference officially changed its name, Commissioner Larry Scott announced the creation of the Pac-12 Networks on July 27, 2011, solidifying a landmark television deal and putting the Conference on the forefront of collegiate athletics. The Networks, including one national network, six regional networks, and a robust digital network marked the first-ever integrated media company owned by a college conference. In addition, the “TV Everywhere” rights allow fans to access Pac-12 Networks outside the home on any digital device, including smartphones and tablet computers.
The Pac-12 launched its China Initiative in 2011 as a way to proactively promote the Conference and member institutions through student-athlete exchanges and sport. In its first two years, Pac-12 student-athletes have enjoyed unique cultural and athletic experiences in China, and the Conference has gained significant brand exposure for the future and set a foundation for growth.
On the field, the Pac-12 rises above the rest, upholding its tradition as the “Conference of Champions ®,” claiming an incredible 127 NCAA team titles since 1999-2000, including eight in 2012-13. That is an average of over nine championships per academic year. Even more impressive has been the breadth of the Pac-12’s success, with championships coming in 28 different men’s and women’s sports. The Pac-12 has led or tied the nation in NCAA Championships in 47 of the last 53 years. The only exceptions being in 1980-81, 1988-89, 1990-91 and 1995-96 when the Conference finished second, and only twice finished third (1998-99 and 2004-05).
For the eighth-consecutive year, the Pac-12 had the most NCAA titles or tied for the most of any conference in the country, winning at least six every year since 2000-01. No other conference has won double-digit NCAA crowns in a single year, the Pac-12 doing so six times, including a record 14 in 1996-97.
Spanning nearly a century of outstanding athletics achievements, the Pac-12 was the first conference to reach 400 championships in 2010-11. With the inclusion of Colorado and Utah, the Conference surpassed another major milestone, with league teams capturing 450 titles, outdistancing the next conference by nearly 200. In all, Conference teams have won 459 NCAA Championships (309 men’s, 150 women’s).
The Conference’s reputation is further proven in the annual Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup competition, the prestigious award that honors the best overall collegiate athletics programs in the country. STANFORD continued its remarkable run and won its unprecedented 19th-consecutive Directors’ Cup in 2012-13. Seven Pac-12 member institutions ranked among the top-25 Division I programs: No. 1 STANFORD, No. 3 UCLA, No. 14 USC, No. 15 OREGON, No. 17 CALIFORNIA, No. 18 ARIZONA STATE and No. 23 ARIZONA. It marks the third-straight year at least six member schools are in the top 25.
The Conference’s eight national titles came in the form of five women’s and three men’s crowns. Five different league schools claimed NCAA titles and, of the six NCAA institutions to have won multiples titles, two were from the Pac-12. No other conference in the country had more than one team win multiple NCAA titles.
USC was the only institution in the country to win three NCAA titles in 2012-13, claiming both the men’s and women’s water polo titles, as well as women’s golf. It was the fifth-straight men’s water polo win, while the women’s golf team dominated the field, winning with a NCAA-record 19-under. OREGON won a pair of NCAA titles, capturing its first women’s cross country crown since 1987 then stood atop the podium at the women’s indoor track & field championships for the fourth-consecutive year. STANFORD reclaimed the women’s tennis national championship, its first since 2010, while COLORADO won the skiing championship for the second time in three years. UCLA claimed its first-ever baseball title, which was the program’s first in the sport and the institution’s nation-leading 109th NCAA title all-time.
In addition to the eight national championships, the Pac-12 also had runners-up in eight NCAA Championship events: women’s volleyball (Oregon), men’s water polo (UCLA), skiing (UTAH), men’s swimming (CALIFORNIA), women’s swimming (CALIFORNIA), women’s rowing (CALIFORNIA), men’s tennis (UCLA) and women’s water polo (STANFORD). Overall, the Conference had 33 teams finish in the top four at 25 NCAA Championship events.
Participation in the postseason was a common occurrence for the Pac-12 in 2012-13. Of the 22 sports sponsored by the Conference, 15 witnessed at least half its teams participating in NCAA or other postseason action. The men sent 59 of a possible 101 teams into the postseason (58.4 percent), while the women sent 70 of a possible 114 teams (61.4 percent).
The culmination of the 2012 Pac-12 football season included a pair of BCS bowl wins as Pac-12 champion STANFORD knocked off Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl and OREGON topped Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl in a postseason that saw the Pac-12 send a record eight teams into bowl games. It was the third consecutive year that the Pac-12 had two teams participate in BCS bowls. Stanford, which claimed its first Pac-12 crown since 1999, posted its first Rose Bowl Game victory since 1972. Joining the Cardinal and Ducks on the bowl circuit were OREGON STATE (Valero Alamo Bowl), UCLA (Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl), USC (Hyundai Sun Bowl), WASHINGTON (MAACO Las Vegas Bowl), ARIZONA STATE (Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl) and ARIZONA (Gildan New Mexico Bowl). Oregon and Stanford finished among the top-10 in the final Associated Press poll, finishing second and seventh, respectively, while Oregon State ranked 20th.
In one of the closest league races in years, UCLA captured its 31st regular-season men’s basketball title, and first since the 2008 season. The one-game separation between the top four teams was the closest since 1985. After 11 years in Los Angeles, the Pac-12 moved its postseason basketball tournament to Las Vegas and the MGM Grand Garden Arena where the OREGON Ducks won their third Pac-12 Tournament title, and first since 2007. The Ducks were the fifth different team over the last six years to capture the league’s postseason crown. Joining Oregon in the NCAA Tournament were ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, and UCLA. Arizona and Oregon advanced to the Sweet 16, marking the first time the league placed two teams in regional semifinals since 2008. Also representing the Pac-12 in the postseason were NIT participants ARIZONA STATE, STANFORD and WASHINGTON.
On the women’s side, Pac-12 teams saw tremendous success with four teams earning NCAA Tournament bids and two more playing in the WNIT. CALIFORNIA, who earned a share of the Pac-12 regular-season title, the program’s first, advanced to its first-ever NCAA Women’s Final Four. It was the sixth-straight year a Pac-12 team had advanced to the national semifinals. STANFORD shared the regular-season crown and went on to claim the Pac-12 Tournament title at KeyArena in Seattle. Joining Cal and Stanford in the NCAA Tournament were COLORADO, its first appearance in the Big Dance since 2004, and UCLA. In the WNIT, UTAH lost by just three points in the title game.
The Conference has dominated the volleyball field, winning a record 14 NCAA titles in the sport since 1982. This past year was no different with seven teams earning NCAA Tournament bids, the 13th-consecutive year the Conference has sent at least six teams to the postseason event. OREGON represented the Pac-12 in the national championship match, making it the third-straight year a Conference team has played for the NCAA title. STANFORD won its sixth Conference title in seven years.
UCLA won the Conference’s 28th all-time NCAA baseball championship. The Pac-12’s 28 titles in the sport are, by far, the most for any conference, with the SEC coming in second with 10. Four Pac-12 teams in total received NCAA Tournament bids, with OREGON and ARIZONA STATE joining the Bruins in the postseason, as did OREGON STATE, who advanced to Omaha, Neb., to play in the College World Series.
Without question, the Conference has dominated the softball field, winning 23 national championships in the sport since 1982, most recently capturing six in a row from 2006-11. Eight Pac-12 teams earned NCAA Tournament bids in 2013. It was the second year in a row for the Conference to have eight teams participate in the postseason. ARIZONA STATE and WASHINGTON both punched their tickets to the NCAA Women’s College World Series, the 27th consecutive year the Conference has sent two teams to the WCWS.
Pac-12 members have won 309 NCAA team championships on the men’s side, 88 more than the next closest conference. Men’s NCAA crowns have come at a phenomenal rate for the Pac-12 - 16 basketball titles by six schools (more than any other conference), 53 tennis titles, 45 outdoor track & field crowns, and 28 baseball titles. Pac-12 members have won 25 of 44 NCAA titles in volleyball, 39 of 43 in water polo, 28 in skiing, and 23 in swimming & diving national championships.
Individually, the Conference has produced an impressive number of NCAA individual champions. Over 2,000 (2,123) individual crowns have been won by Pac-12 student-athletes over the years with 1,459 by male student-athletes.
On the women’s side, the story is much the same. Since the NCAA began conducting women’s championships 32 years ago, Pac-12 members have claimed at least four national titles in a single season on 23 occasions, including 13-consecutive years from 2000-2013. Overall, the Pac-12 has captured 150 NCAA women’s titles, easily outdistancing the SEC, which is second, with 90. Pac-12 members have dominated a number of sports, winning 23 softball titles, 20 tennis crowns, 14 volleyball titles, 15 of the last 24 trophies in golf, and 13 in swimming & diving.
Pac-12 women student-athletes shine nationally on an individual basis, as well, having captured an unmatched 664 NCAA individual crowns, an average of nearly 21 championships per season.
PAC-12 CONFERENCE HISTORY
The roots of the Pac-12 Conference date back 98 years to December 2, 1915, when the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC) was founded at a meeting at the Oregon Hotel in Portland, Ore. The 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 and, one year later, Washington State College (now Washington State University) was accepted into the league, with Stanford University following in 1918.
In 1922, the PCC expanded to eight teams with the admission of the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of Idaho. In 1924, the University of Montana joined the league roster, and in 1928, the PCC grew to 10 members with the addition of UCLA.
The Pacific Coast Conference competed as a 10-member league until 1950, with the exception of 1943-45 when World War II curtailed intercollegiate athletic competition to a minimum. During that time, the league’s first commissioner was named. Edwin N. Atherton was Commissioner in 1940 and was succeeded by Victor O. Schmidt in 1944. In 1950, Montana resigned from the Conference and the PCC continued as a nine-team Conference through 1958.
In 1959, the PCC was dissolved and the Athletic Association of Western Universities (AAWU) was formed and Thomas J. Hamilton was appointed Commissioner of the new league. The original AAWU membership included California, Stanford, Southern California, UCLA and Washington. Washington State joined the membership in 1962, while Oregon and Oregon State joined in 1964. Under Hamilton’s watch, the name Pacific-8 Conference was adopted in 1968. In 1971, Wiles Hallock took over as Commissioner of the Pac-8.
Ten years later, on July 1, 1978, the University of Arizona and Arizona State University were admitted to the league 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. Since then, the Conference has been considered the premiere league in women’s athletics, securing the most NCAA titles in women’s sports of any conference nearly every year.
Thomas C. Hansen was named the Commissioner of the Pac-10 in 1983, a role he would hold for 26 years until 2009. Hansen was succeeded by current Commissioner Larry Scott, who took on the new role in July 2009.
During the 2010-11 academic year, the University of Colorado accepted its invitation to join the Pac-12 on June 11, 2010, and on June 17, 2010, the University of Utah agreed to join the Conference. The Buffaloes and Utes officially became the 11th and 12th members of the Conference on July 1, 2011, the first additions to the league since 1978. Since 1978, member schools have won 274 NCAA titles, including 139 women’s and 135 men’s.
It was during that 2010-11 academic year that Scott helped deliver monumental changes that transformed the Conference into a modern 12-team league. The Conference expanded to add two more teams, agreed to equal revenue sharing for the first time in Conference history, created two divisions - the North and the South, for football only, established a Football Championship Game for the first time ever, secured a landmark media rights deal that dramatically increased national exposure and revenue for each school, establishing the Pac-12 Networks and Pac-12 Digital Network that guaranteed enhanced exposure across all sports.
Currently, the Pac-12 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 three women’s sports.
The Pac-12 Conference offices are located 25 miles east of San Francisco in Walnut Creek, Calif.