Westmont Athletics Advances to Year Two in NCAA DII Process

Warriors Begin New Era of Competition in PacWest Conference

Santa Barbara, CA, July 14, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As of today, July 14, Westmont launches into a new era of athletic competition to play in the NCAA Division II PacWest Conference this fall. The NCAA formally notified the college that it is approved to move on to the second year of provisional status, which allows them to compete in the PacWest Conference beginning this coming year. 
“The move to the NCAA marks a monumental moment for our athletic programs and the Westmont College community,” said Robert Ruiz, Westmont athletic director. “We look forward to the new partnership in the PacWest and the opportunity to challenge ourselves in a new landscape.”
Westmont will battle PacWest foes during the regular season and compete for regular season conference championships during the next two seasons. The Warriors, who won’t be eligible to participate in DII national postseason competition through 2024-25, anticipate competing in postseason play in the National Christian College Athletic Association.
This past season, the Warriors competed in the NAIA’s Golden State Athletic Conference, their home since 1986. Five current members of the PacWest formerly participated in the GSAC: Azusa Pacific, Fresno Pacific, Point Loma, Concordia and Biola. By the start of the 2024-25 academic year, the PacWest will likely include 14 members.
“NCAA Division II will undoubtedly challenge us to compete at our highest capabilities night in and night out,” said Kirsten Moore, head coach of Westmont women’s basketball since 2005, who has led the team to two National Championships (2013 and 2021). “The PacWest is extremely deep from top to bottom and will require more from us to be successful throughout the duration of the season. We look forward to rekindling some of Westmont’s great traditional rivalries.”
In addition to the former GSAC rivals, other current PacWest members include Academy of Art (San Francisco), Chaminade University (Honolulu), Dominican (San Rafael), Hawaii-Hilo (Hilo) and Hawaii Pacific (Honolulu).
Westmont’s impact at the national level of the NAIA has been significant. The men’s basketball team was the first Westmont representative on the national stage when the Warrior squad competed in the 1957 NAIA National Tournament. The women’s soccer team claimed its first NAIA title in 1985, setting the stage for the greatest string of success in Warrior history more than a decade later. A national title in 1999 and then three straight championships in 2001, 2002 and 2003 propelled the women’s soccer program to new heights. 
Westmont concluded its final NAIA game in June with the baseball team securing the college’s 10th National Championship, and capping off a string of six straight decades with at least one NAIA National Title for the Warriors. In its 66 years of athletic history, Westmont also earned 33 NAIA top-four national finishes and celebrated 637 NAIA All-American performers. The Warriors wrapped up 37 years as a member of the GSAC by winning 10 straight All-GSAC Sports Awards for achieving the highest average finish in the conference standings of all its athletic teams. 
Anyone associated with Westmont athletics can look back at the last 80 years and see the history of success. If the past—as they say—is a way to judge the future, Westmont and its NCAA athletics programs will rise to the challenge.
The men’s soccer team kicks off PacWest competition, hosting Saint Martin’s (Wash.) on Thursday, Aug. 31, at 3 p.m. on Thorrington Field. Women’s soccer will begin 90 minutes later at Cal Poly Pomona, while volleyball participates in a tournament the following day, Sept. 1, at Cal State Monterey Bay.

Read the full story on Westmont’s journey to begin its new NCAA era. 
Watch the video announcement of Westmont's acceptance into DII.


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