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From The Commissioner's Desk: Year In Review

July 17, 2006

It has been my privilege to work with the West Coast Conference for 22 years. During that period, WCC teams have achieved great results, but no season can compare with the collective success achieved by our teams during the 2005-06 academic year.

As you read the highlights that summarize our success in athletics, please note especially that these accomplishments were achieved with a corresponding high level of academic performance.

In fact, published results of the first two years of the NCAA Academic Performance Rate (APR), a measurement of eligibility and retention of student-athletes, place the West Coast Conference with a ranking of #4 of all 31 Division 1 conferences. This is a significant accomplishment, and it demonstrates the commitment of our athletics departments to honor the missions and values of our institutions while striving for athletics success.

Here, then, are some highlights from the 2005-06 academic year:

  • Two WCC teams won NCAA national championships, making us one of only five Division 1 conferences to win multiple national titles this past year. Those two teams were the women's soccer team from the University of Portland, and the men's tennis team from Pepperdine University.

  • Two WCC coaches were named the national Coach of the Year in their respective sports. Those coaches were Jon Wallace of Santa Clara University (women's volleyball) and Adam Steinberg of Pepperdine University (men's tennis).

  • Two WCC student-athletes were named the national Player of the Year in their respective sports. Those student-athletes were Christine Sinclair of the University of Portland (women's soccer) and Adam Morrison of Gonzaga University (men's basketball).

  • Seven WCC teams advanced to at least the Sweet Sixteen of their respective sports' NCAA championships.

  • 23 different WCC teams earned national top-25 rankings in their respective sports during 2005-06.

  • 36 WCC teams advanced to postseason play, representing all eight WCC member institutions.

    I also would like to recognize the recipients of the WCC Postgraduate Scholarship awards, Kari Durgan of Gonzaga University, and Keith Jarbo of Pepperdine University, as well as the recipients of the WCC Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards, Christine Sinclair of the University of Portland, and Nicholas Kliebert of Pepperdine University. The WCC Executive Committee had an outstanding list of nominees from which to choose for these awards.

    I would also like to congratulate Christine Sinclair for earning the 30th annual Honda-Broderick Cup, designating her as the 2006 Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. This is a tremendous honor for Christine, who has represented the University of Portland and the West Coast Conference with the utmost class.

    Finally, I want to recognize Loyola Marymount University for capturing the WCC Commissioner's Cup, a result of the considerable broad-based success of the LMU athletics program this year.

    Thanks to all you readers for your interest in the WCC. For our part, we will continue to strive to establish ourselves as the premier non-BCS conference in the country in terms of broad-based athletics success, and we will continue to strive to achieve those athletic goals in the context of high academic performance by our student-athletes.

    My thanks and congratulations to all the administrators, coaches, and especially the student-athletes who made this such a wonderful year for us. Best wishes for a safe and productive summer.