Pepperdine Athletic Traditions

Quick Facts Athletic Success
Nickname: the Waves
Mascot: Willie the Wave
School Colors: Blue & Orange
Fight Song & Alma Mater
Jr. Waves Club
National Championships
Conference Championships
Hall of Fame
Athletic Department Award Winners
Pepperdine Football (1946-61)
Wells Fargo PCH Cup
Hosting NCAA Championships

Since making the move to Malibu in 1972, Pepperdine University's intercollegiate athletics program has carved out a unique niche that is perhaps unmatched by its NCAA Division I counterparts.

No school with an undergraduate enrollment the size of Pepperdine's has achieved such across-the-board athletics success during the past 30-plus years.

Here are some key pieces of information to know about Pepperdine Athletics:

  • Pepperdine has won NCAA Division I team championships in five different men's sports -- one of just 17 schools to accomplish this feat -- and nine overall.

  • Of that elite group, Pepperdine is the only school not affiliated with a "major" conference and is by far the smallest in terms of enrollment.

  • Pepperdine has won a total of 25 team or individual national championships.

  • Pepperdine is classified as an NCAA Division I-AAA school (Division I schools that do not sponsor football), and the Waves are one of the very best of their kind. Since the I-AAA Athletic Director's Association All-Sports Trophy was established, ranking the various schools on their postseason success, Pepperdine has finished first three times (2004-05, 2005-06 and 2011-12), second once (2007-08) and third twice (2006-07 and 2014-15).

  • In the annual NACDA Director's Cup standings, which measures overall postseason success, Pepperdine recently finished first among all of its West Coast Conference rivals for 13 straight years (1997-2009).

  • 52 alums have either competed or coached at the Olympics, and athletes have won a total of seven gold medals, eight silver medals and four bronze medals.

  • Entering the 2016-17 school year, Pepperdine has won 194 regular-season or tournament conference titles and has had 297 student-athletes earn All-American honors.

  • In the final edition of the NCSA Collegiate Power Rankings released in 2013, which took into account postseason success, academic rankings and student-athlete graduation rates, the Waves ranked second among Division I schools on the West Coast, 25th among all Division I schools and 42nd on the overall list that also includes Division II and III schools.

  • In the most recent NCAA Graduation Success Rate report (released November 2015), Pepperdine's overall mark of 90 percent was better than the national average of 86 percent.

  • In that GSR report, 10 of the Waves' 14 programs had averages better than the national rate for their sports. Six teams earned perfect scores of 100 percent.

  • As a result of the continued success by Pepperdine Athletics, a number of former stars have gone on to enjoy outstanding and successful professional or amateur careers in many sports, including baseball (Dan Haren, Mike Scott), men's basketball (Doug Christie, Dennis Johnson), women's basketball (Jennifer Lacy, Miranda Ayim), men's golf (Michael Putnam, Jason Gore), women's golf (Katherine Hull, Lindsey Wright), women's soccer (Lynn Williams, Roxanne Barker), men's tennis (Brad Gilbert), men's volleyball (Bob Ctvrtlik, Sean Rooney) and men's water polo (Merrill Moses, Terry Schroeder), to name just a few.

Pepperdine Waves
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