Courtesy: Mountain Pacific Sports Federation
The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) has reached a unique conference milestone of winning its 100th all-time NCAA team title in just under three full decades of competition, following USC’s 2021 National Collegiate Women’s Water Polo Championship. It is believed that no other Non-Power 5 NCAA Division I conference has reached this landmark through the 2020-21 academic year. Entering this past year with 96 NCAA Titles, the MPSF proceeded to add a quartet of team trophies to its archives. UCLA Men’s Water Polo, Oregon Men’s Indoor Track & Field, Stanford Men’s Gymnastics, and USC Women’s Water Polo brought the MPSF to its achievement, with 69 MPSF teams winning NCAA Championships on the men’s side, to go with 31 for the MPSF Women. With the 100 titles through 29 years of competition, the conference is averaging more than three national titles per year across seven sports since its inaugural season of 1992-93. In the MPSF era, UCLA owns the most NCAA Championships, accounting for exactly one-quarter of the conference total with 25. The Bruins are followed by Stanford (20), USC (16-including the MPSF’s 100th), Oregon (12), Oklahoma (9), California (6), UC Irvine (4), BYU and Arizona State (3), and Pepperdine (2).
The MPSF’s 100th NCAA Championship comes at a particularly rewarding time, on the heels of a recent announcement of Executive Director Al Beaird retiring on June 30, 2021 after 24 years at the helm of the conference. As the MPSF’s only Executive Director, 10 different schools and 22 different programs have accounted for the conference’s national championship total under his leadership. “The century mark is a monumental accomplishment for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and attests to the success of the conference since its inception in 1992-93,” said Beaird. “One hundred NCAA team titles is truly a testament to the exceptionally high quality of competition across all sports, institutions, teams, student-athletes and coaches the MPSF has had the honor to serve over the past three decades. I trust this milestone will serve as an enduring legacy of success for MPSF Intercollegiate Olympic Sports partners well into the future.”
The first-ever NCAA Championship earned in the MPSF came in its first season in the fall of 1992, when the University of California Men’s Water Polo team took home the crown following an undefeated 31-0 campaign. Since that title, across both genders, not a season has gone by where the conference missed out on raising an NCAA Water Polo trophy. The MPSF men have captured all 29 national championships, while the women, which first competed on the NCAA level in 2001, own all 20. While water polo has accounted for nearly half of the MPSF’s national titles with 49, the conference also owns 17 out of the last 28 crowns in men’s gymnastics and 16 of the last 26 in men’s volleyball to lead the nation in both sports in the MPSF era. Further, MPSF Women’s Indoor Track & Field programs are responsible for 11 national championships, while the MPSF men have added six. In the MPSF era, both genders in indoor track & field rank second in the country in NCAA Titles behind the SEC. The remaining MPSF-NCAA Title came from 1997 UCLA Men’s Soccer, an MPSF sport from 1992-2012.
The MPSF turned in a high of five national championships during the 2007-08, 2008-09, and 2015-16 years, and has won at least four in 14 of the last 17 years. Additionally, while the MPSF currently has a streak of 29-straight years of winning at least one national title, multiple titles have been captured in all but one of those years.
Taking over as MPSF Executive Director on June 1, 2021 is Foti Mellis, who recently spent 17 years at the University of California as Senior Associate Athletic Director for Intercollegiate Services.