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The Big West Conference (known as the Big West) is a conference participating in the NCAA's Division I, with all member institutions in California and Hawaii. The California schools are evenly divided between the state's two public university systems, with five each in the University of California and California State University systems.

The conference grew out of discussions in 1968 that involved five schools—four members of the California Collegiate Athletic Association that decided to move up to the highest level of college sports, plus San Jose State, then in the league now known as the West Coast Conference. By the time the Big West began play in 1969 as the Pacific Coast Athletic Association, two other schools had joined—Cal State Los Angeles for all sports, and Pacific in football only; the latter would join for all sports two years later.

The conference changed its name to the Big West in 1989, and dropped football after the 2000 season (2000–01 school year).

Current members (year joined)

Institution Location Type Nickname Joined
California Polytechnic State University
(Cal Poly)
San Luis Obispo, California Public (CSU) Mustangs 1996
California State University, Bakersfield
(Cal State Bakersfield)
Bakersfield, California Public (CSU) Roadrunners 2020
California State University, Fullerton
(Cal State Fullerton)
Fullerton, California Public (CSU) Titans 1974
California State University, Northridge
(Cal State Northridge)
Northridge, California Public (CSU) Matadors 2001
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Honolulu, Hawaii Public Rainbow Warriors and Rainbow Wāhine 2012
California State University, Long Beach
(Long Beach State)
Long Beach, California Public (CSU) The Beach 1969
University of California, Davis
(UC Davis)
Davis, California Public (UC) Aggies 2007
University of California, Irvine
(UC Irvine)
Irvine, California Public (UC) Anteaters 1977
University of California, Riverside
(UC Riverside)
Riverside, California Public (UC) Highlanders 2001
University of California, San Diego
(UC San Diego)
La Jolla, California Public (UC) Tritons 2020
University of California, Santa Barbara
(UC Santa Barbara)
Santa Barbara, California Public (UC) Gauchos 1969, 1976
  • UC Santa Barbara left in 1974 and rejoined in 1976.

Former members

Institution Location Type Nickname Joined Left Current primary conference
Boise State University Boise, Idaho Public Broncos 1996 2001 Mountain West
California State University, Los Angeles
(Cal State Los Angeles)
Los Angeles, California Public (CSU) Golden Eagles 1969 1974 CCAA
California State University, Fresno
(Fresno State)
Fresno, California Public (CSU) Bulldogs 1969 1992 Mountain West
University of Idaho Moscow, Idaho Public Vandals 1996 2005 Big Sky
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, Nevada Public Wolf Pack 1992 2000 Mountain West
New Mexico State University Las Cruces, New Mexico Public Aggies 1983 2000 WAC
University of North Texas Denton, Texas Public Mean Green 1996 2000 C-USA
University of the Pacific Stockton, California Private Tigers 1969 (football only)
1971 (all sports)
2013 WCC
San Diego State University San Diego, California Public (CSU) Aztecs 1969 (men's sports)
1984 (women's sports)
1978 (men)
1990 (women)
Mountain West
San Jose State University San Jose, California Public (CSU) Spartans 1969 1996 Mountain West
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Paradise, Nevada Public Rebels 1982 1996 Mountain West
Utah State University Logan, Utah Public Aggies 1978 2005 Mountain West
  • UNLV uses three different but related nicknames—Runnin' Rebels for men's basketball, Lady Rebels for women's basketball, and Rebels for all other teams regardless of sex.

External links