About UC San Diego Athletics
Compiled by UC San Diego Athletic Communications
Last updated 10/17/19
ABOUT UC SAN DIEGO ATHLETICS
- UC San Diego sponsors 23 intercollegiate sport programs that currently compete in the Big West Conference, California Collegiate Athletic Association, Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, Western Water Polo Association, Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association, and Western Fencing Conference.
- Most Triton athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division II level, with the exception of the men’s volleyball, men’s and women’s water polo, and men’s and women’s fencing programs, which compete at the NCAA Division I level. Men’s rowing is not sanctioned by the NCAA and competes as a member of the Intercollegiate Rowing Association.
- UC San Diego consistently ranks as one of the most successful athletic programs in NCAA Division II, ranking among the top 10 nationally in the Learfield Directors’ Cup in 20 of the last 24 years – five of which were Division III. The program claimed the Director's Cup title as a member of Division III in 1998 and has finished as runner-up three times while in Division II, including 2018-19.
- UC San Diego intercollegiate athletic programs have claimed 30 NCAA national championships in team sports, while 44 have finished as national runners-up and 49 achieved 3rd-place honors. Individually, 138 Triton scholar-athletes have earned national titles. All told, UC San Diego has won 276 national, regional, and conference championships.
- The most recent NCAA report indicates scholar-athletes at UC San Diego own a 4-class average graduation rate of 91 percent, a standard that is significantly higher than the national Division II average of 58 percent and, for the second straight year, is the highest among Division II institutions.
- Triton scholar-athletes have earned an impressive 1,389 All-America honors for athletics achievement over the years, while 82 have been named to Academic All-America teams and 37 have been awarded prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships.
- As a member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association, UC San Diego has claimed eight Robert J. Heigert Commissioner's Cup titles, including the 2018-19 season. The award is given to the CCAA member institution with the highest aggregate ranking in eight of the league's 13 championship sports.
HISTORY & GENERAL INFORMATION
- The origins of UC San Diego date back to the early 1900s with the creation of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The University was officially established in November 1960.
- UC San Diego competed as a member of NCAA Division III from the early 1960s until the 2000-2001 season. The program transitioned to NCAA Division II in fall 2000 and joined the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
- In 1998, UC San Diego claimed the Division III Sears Directors’ Cup (now called the Learfield Directors’ Cup). The Triton athletics program earned Division III runner-up honors in 1996 and 2000 and Division II runner-up honors in 2004, 2007, and 2019.
2018-19 TEAM HIGHLIGHTS
- The UC San Diego athletics program claimed runner-up honors for the Learfield IMG College Director's Cup, which honors the most successful competitive program in NCAA Division II competition.
- UC San Diego sport programs claimed eight conference regular season or tournament championships. Men's basketball, women's basketball and women's soccer won the CCAA regular season and tournament titles, while baseball and softball each claimed regular season CCAA championships. Men's and women's water polo each earned Western Water Polo Association championships, while men's rowing swept the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships.
- A total of 18 of UC San Diego's 23 intercollegiate sport programs were represented in NCAA postseason competition, while 13 competed at NCAA competed at NCAA National Championships. Men's rowing also participated in the national Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships.
DIVISION I TRANSITION
- UC San Diego announced on Nov 27, 2017 it accepted an invitation to join the Big West Conference and would begin the process to transition to NCAA Division I athletics.
- The student body voted in favor of a move to Division I athletics during a referendum in 2016. The move was also endorsed by the UC San Diego Academic Senate.
- The majority of the school’s intercollegiate athletic programs will continue to compete in NCAA Division II as a member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association for the 2019-20 season.
- The Big West Conference includes four other UC institutions: UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara. In addition, league members include Cal Poly, Long Beach State, Cal State Fullerton, CSUN and Hawai’i. Cal State Bakersfield will join the Big West in summer 2020.
- The UC San Diego men’s volleyball team began competition as a member of the Big West in 2017-18, while the women’s water polo team will begin conference play in 2019-20.
- Once it begins its NCAA Division I reclassification process, which includes playing a full Big West schedule, UC San Diego will undergo a NCAA-mandated 4-year reclassification period and will be eligible for postseason league and national championship competition beginning in Fall 2024.
- NCAA sports with a single combined division remain eligible for Big West and NCAA championship competition during the 4-year reclassification period. Triton sports in this category include men’s volleyball, men and women’s water polo and fencing.
RIMAC ARENA RENOVATION
- RIMAC Arena recently underwent its first significant renovation in nearly 24 years. The project began in Spring 2018 and was completed in mid-September.
- The project is designed to serve UC San Diego, its student community, student-athletes, alumni and supporters as a showcase facility, particularly as the athletic program transitions into Division I athletics.
- The project is consistent with other modern transformations at UC San Diego that focus heavily on student experience, supporting the institution’s goal of becoming one of the top primarily residential campuses in the University of California system.
- UC San Diego athletic events, Division I transition and other existing and future programming in RIMAC Arena will contribute toward the campus’ effort to strengthen its connection to the greater San Diego area.
- RIMAC (Recreation, Intramural and Athletic Complex) opened in January, 1995, concluding a then 2-year construction project. Designed by Parkin Architects, RIMAC was the nation’s largest Division III athletic complex upon its completion and was inaugurated by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s speech dedicating the newly-named Eleanor Roosevelt College.
- The RIMAC complex consists of RIMAC Arena, RIMAC Field, Triton Soccer Stadium, Triton Softball Field and RIMAC Annex.
- RIMAC Arena accommodates nearly 4,000 fans for Triton volleyball and basketball events and can be expanded to approximately 4,500 through the use of floor seats for concerts and speaking events. The facility serves as the practice and competition site for the UC San Diego men and women’s basketball and men and women’s volleyball teams.
- The arena is 44,000 sq ft in size and contains six dressing rooms. The floor space can be divided into five basketball courts, which have been used for preseason training camps for several National Basketball Association teams over the years. •
- The auxiliary gym contains two basketball/volleyball courts, three mirrored activity rooms, two squash courts, eight racquetball courts, a wellness center, two conference rooms, and two locker rooms. It also contains a 12,000 sq ft fitness center and office space for campus recreation, sports facilities and intercollegiate athletics.
- The renovation project architect was NBBJ with Richard Hall, II serving as the lead architect. Turner Construction Company served as the project contractor with former UC San Diego men’s basketball student-athlete Brett Stuckey serving as the project manager.
- The renovation project included improved fan experience items such as new retractable bleachers, a glass “see-through” railing system between the concourse and seating areas and the construction of a “skybox” that will accommodate approximately 100 guests.
- State-of-the-art fan amenities include a new 50’ w x 15’ h Daktronics video display and scoreboard; LED display scorer’s tables; and above-basket shot clocks.
- Video production will be controlled from a new 300 sq ft production studio that will accommodate a multi-camera, high definition live event broadcast - suitable for various distribution platforms, including Big West Conference television partner ESPN3/ESPN+.
- The competition court features new Spaulding basket standards with Daktronic shot clocks and LED game clock lighting system.