A for Athlete

Big West Drops Swimming in 2010[]

In July 2010, after half of its swimming membership disappeared, the Big West Conference stopped the hosting of a championship in men's and women's swimming. UC-Irvine, UC-Davis and Cal State Northridge all eliminated swimming leaving just Cal Poly, UC-Santa Barbara and the University of the Pacific.

Those three programs, along with Cal State Bakersfield, Loyola Marymount, Northern Colorado, University of San Diego, and Seattle University joined the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF). The MPSF specializes in Olympic sports that have been orphaned by other conferences and hosts championships in men's and women's water polo, indoor track, gymnastics, men's volleyball and soccer and women's lacrosse.

Loyola Marymount and Seattle come from come from the Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference. Bakersfield and Northern Colorado formerly competed in Conference-USA, while the University of San Diego has been a member of the Western Athletic Conference since the 2004-05 season.

The initial MPSF Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship Meet will be held Feb. 23-26, 2011 at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, Calif.

“I think this is a very exciting opportunity for everyone joining,” said head coach Gregg Wilson. “This could prove to be a very competitive conference and this step is a real boost for all of the programs involved.”

No announcement has been made about a men's conference for Pacific, UCSB and Cal Poly. The decision, along with any associated travel costs could play a big role in the viability of other teams. Likely candidates would include Conference USA. C-USA which does have affiliate members in other sports. C-USA does not yet offer a true conference championship, instead offering an invitational. The addition of Pacific, Cal Poly and UCSD would give the conference eight teams and make for a strong conference. Another possibility would be the Mountain West Conference. The MWC currently has six men's programs and would be strengthened as well.

The conference affiliation for the Gaucho men’s swimming team during the 2010-11 season will be finalized and announced in August.