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BYU Becomes Ninth Member of West Coast Conference

July 1, 2011

A New Dawn | WCC on Twitter

SAN BRUNO, Calif. - For the first time in over thirty years, the West Coast Conference has a new member. Brigham Young University formally joins the WCC on Friday and will field a team in 11 of the Conference's 13 sponsored sports. With the change in membership, the West Coast Conference has launched its new brand identity. The new logo is the WCC's first visual change since 1995.

"The West Coast Conference is excited to officially welcome Brigham Young University as our ninth member institution," University of Portland President and WCC Presidents' Council Chair Rev. E. William Beauchamp said. "In BYU, we have added a private, faith-based institution with a strong academic reputation and tradition of excellence in athletics. They are a good athletic fit with our programs that are annually challenging for post-season appearances and national championships. We are looking forward to a strong relationship with BYU organizationally and athletically."

"We are excited to officially join the West Coast Conference," said BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson. "Jamie Zaninovich and his staff have been excellent to work with as we have prepared to make this transition. We look forward to building a strong relationship with the conference and its membership. This is a wonderful opportunity for our athletic teams to prove themselves in a new conference and to gain more exposure for the university through our affiliations with BYUtv and ESPN."

Brigham Young University brings to the West Coast Conference a track record of success in academics and athletics. BYU has been consistently recognized as one of the top-rated academic institutions in the nation and is home to an athletic program that has enjoyed success at both the conference and national levels. An independent in FBS football, BYU will compete in 11 of the 13 West Coast Conference sports: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, women's soccer, men's and women's tennis and women's volleyball.

"This is an historic day for the West Coast Conference," WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich said. "The addition of Brigham Young University adds to our membership another private, faith-based institution, which shares the common bond of an aligned emphasis on combining excellence in academics with excellence in athletics. We are excited to have them on board and can't wait for competition to begin."

With the addition of BYU, the West Coast Conference has adjusted its brand for the first time in over 15 years. Designed by SME of New York, the new WCC logo features a bold, symmetrical W over an element that represents the conference's wide range of campus beauty. The strong, bold W symbolizes the continuity and stability of the conference's membership, as well as the WCC institutions' commitment to the student-athlete balance of academics and athletics through a holistic education. Below the W is an element that signifies the beauty found throughout the West Coast Conference. It evokes the coastal waves, rivers, hills, and mountains boasted by each campus. A five-point star sits atop the W, representing the conference's storied history, alignment and tradition - which began with five original members at its founding in 1952 - while also paying homage to the stars highlighting the geographic placement of the membership in the most recent WCC logo, in use since 1995. The new logo will roll out with the bold W accompanied by the words "West Coast Conference."

"This is the dawn of a new era for the West Coast Conference," Zaninovich explained. "We have not added a new member in thirty years, and to add a school the quality of BYU helps us expand upon who we are. This new mark helps us re-define where the West Coast Conference is going."

"Our firm's vision for the logo, held collectively with conference leadership, was to set the WCC apart from the competitive set by presenting a mark that was different from every other college conference," said Ed O'Hara, Senior Partner and Chief Creative Officer, SME. "We wanted to reinterpret the brand's essence in a unique and memorable way, while understanding that it had to work across many applications - web, apparel, print, on playing surfaces, and mobile devices. In doing so, we landed on this simple, bold, iconic W. Thanks to Commissioner Zaninovich's incredible vision, we were pushed to utilize the mark's symbolic elements and explore a revolutionary design - rather than merely evolving the previous logo - taking the key deliverable and reinterpreting it in a way unlike any other in the space."

The West Coast Conference traces its beginnings to 1952, where the California Basketball Association was created to provide a venue for five San Francisco Bay Area schools to compete in basketball - including Saint Mary's College, the University of San Francisco, and Santa Clara University. The conference expanded to include Loyola Marymount University and Pepperdine University in 1955, becoming the West Coast Athletic Conference. In 1977, the University of Portland joined the WCAC (shortened to WCC in 1989). Today, BYU becomes the first full member to join the West Coast Conference since Gonzaga University and the University of San Diego began competing in the WCAC in 1979.

About the West Coast Conference
The West Coast Conference was formed in 1952 and has evolved and grown to become a nationally recognized and competitive force in Division I intercollegiate athletics, with 13 conference-sponsored sports: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, women's rowing, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis and women's volleyball. The WCC is characterized by the stability of its membership and its unique emphasis on combining excellence in athletics with excellence in academics.

Saint Mary's 1952-Present
Santa Clara 1952-Present
San Francisco 1952-Present
Loyola Marymount 1955-Present
Pepperdine 1955-Present
Portland 1976-Present
Gonzaga 1979-Present
San Diego 1979-Present
BYU 2011-Present
Pacific 1952-71
San Jose State 1952-69
Nevada-Reno 1969-79
Seattle 1971-80
UNLV 1969-75
UC Santa Barbara 1964-69
Fresno State 1955-57