Pac-12 becomes first conference to win 200 women’s NCAA championships, marking historic milestone with launch of “powHER of the Pac” Title IX 50th anniversary celebration
Conference to celebrate its women’s programs and the 50th anniversary of Title IX with celebration campaign throughout 2022-23
SAN FRANCISCO - Wednesday was another historic day for the Conference of Champions, as Stanford's victory at the 2022 NCAA Women's Golf Championships in Scottsdale, Arizona marked the 200th NCAA title for Pac-12 women’s programs all-time.
In helping the conference become the first to reach the championship milestone, Stanford claimed its 131st NCAA title overall and second women's golf crown by besting Oregon in an all-Pac-12 final, 3-2.
“We are extremely proud of the support that Pac-12 universities provide their women’s athletics programs and the unrivaled success it has helped achieve,” said Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff. “Two hundred NCAA titles is an incredible number and a testament to the collaborative work that goes on between our member institutions and the conference to champion athletic excellence. Congratulations to the Cardinal on its latest NCAA title and to all of our schools on this milestone, which comes at a very appropriate time as we approach the 50th anniversary of Title IX.”
The Pac-12’s success started almost immediately after the NCAA began conducting women’s championships 40 years ago, when USC women’s volleyball won its first of three NCAA titles on Dec. 20, 1981.
Over the past four decades, Pac-12 members have dominated the NCAA women’s sports landscape, winning 24 softball titles, 24 tennis crowns, 21 water polo titles, 20 in golf, 17 in swimming & diving, 17 in volleyball, 16 in gymnastics, 13 in cross country, 11 in indoor track & field, 10 in outdoor track & field, 10 in rowing, six in beach volleyball, six in soccer and five in basketball. The conference’s national-best 200 women’s NCAA championships easily outdistance the second-place SEC (111, based on current membership).
The conference leads the nation in NCAA titles in nine different women’s sports: beach volleyball, cross country, golf, rowing, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, volleyball, and water polo. The Pac-12 has never lost an NCAA championship in beach volleyball or women’s water polo.
Since 1981-82, women’s programs have accounted for 53 percent of the Pac-12’s 377 total NCAA crowns, which also include 156 men’s titles and 21 skiing championships (coed).
Spanning over a century of outstanding athletics achievements, Pac-12 members have now combined to win a record 544 overall NCAA championships (women’s, men’s, coed), more than 200 clear of the next closest conference (Big Ten - 322, based on current membership).
The academic season is not over and Pac-12 women’s teams are still vying for NCAA championships in rowing, softball and outdoor track & field.
powHER of the Pac: Celebrating 50 Years of Title IX
To celebrate the storied history and success of Pac-12 women’s sports and to commemorate the Title IX’s golden anniversary, the conference also unveiled plans on Wednesday for its “powHER of the Pac: Celebrating 50 Years of Title IX” campaign.
Enacted by Congress and signed into law on June 23, 1972, Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in any educational program or activity receiving any type of federal financial aid. In the 50 years since, the historic legislation has been essential in advancing opportunities for women in collegiate athletics and positively influenced the pursuit of gender equity in sport.
Throughout the 2022-23 academic year, the Pac-12’s multifaceted campaign will focus on highlighting the stories of the student-athletes, coaches and administrators who have left indelible marks on the conference and in collegiate athletics over the past half-century.
“This anniversary provides a tremendous opportunity to recognize the incredible impact of Title IX and highlight the rich stories of Pac-12 pioneers in women’s athletics, including past and present student-athletes, coaches and staff members,” said Pac-12 Deputy Commissioner Teresa Gould.
“Title IX was a game changer for women in all spectrums, not just sports or athletics. It has opened up access, created opportunity and increased awareness that women deserve to have the same support and resources as men. But that’s not over. There is still a lot that needs to be accomplished and the next 50 years are equally as important as the last 50.”
Activations, which have already begun with the recognition of Title IX trailblazers at Pac-12 championship events this spring, will continue throughout 2022-23 at conference championships and media days with in-venue public service announcements, signage, branding and merchandise giveaways. The celebration will also extend to the Pac-12’s social and digital platforms, and the conference will amplify the anniversary initiatives of its 12 member institutions throughout the year.
Video vignettes, written feature stories and additional commemorative content will supplement in-person events and program offerings to jointly celebrate the Pac-12’s unparalleled success in women’s sports and the 50th anniversary of Title IX.
Highlighting the year-long celebration will also be the induction of an all-female class into the Pac-12 Hall of Honor as part of the 2023 Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas.
The Pac-12 is also supporting a Title IX anniversary campaign with its Alliance partners, the ACC and Big Ten, entitled "Celebrating 50 Years of Title IX TogetHER,” which was announced in early February to coincide with National Girls and Women in Sports Day. That effort will also ramp up during the 2022-23 academic year, as the three conferences combine efforts to recognize and highlight student-athletes, coaches and administrators that have made a significant impact during the last 50 years.