BOULDER, Colo. -- The Pacific-10 Conference announced today that the University of Colorado has accepted an invitation to join the Conference as its 11th member, the first new member since the University of Arizona and Arizona State University were admitted on July 1, 1978.

Colorado is an excellent fit for the Pac-10 Conference, both academically and athletically, as a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU). Classified as a Research University with very high research activity by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, CU shares a dedication to academic excellence and a passion for service with the existing Pac-10 member Universities.

Colorado is the number one NASA-funded public university in the world and brings an impressive portfolio of academic achievements to the Pac-10.  These achievements, coupled with those of existing members, including the University of California's 25 Nobel laureates and the University of Arizona's pioneering space mission to Mars, further distinguish the Pac-10.

Colorado is one of only three universities in the United States to receive a Presidential Award for General Community Service. The University of Washington and the CU rank first and second, respectively, in active Peace Corps members, while O-Heroes, a non-profit community organization program formed by the University of Oregon athletic department, was recently recognized by the United Way for exemplary volunteer service.

In addition to the shared academic excellence, the Colorado and the existing Pac-10 member institutions hold impressive athletic resumes, including Stanford's 15-consecutive Learfield Sports Directors' Cups and UCLA's 106 NCAA Championships. Pac-10 teams have combined to win 390 NCAA titles, by far the most of any other conference in the country, and the Buffaloes will add to that 21 NCAA titles, including 16 in skiing and five in men's and women's cross country.

The Pac-10 has an unmatched excellence at the Olympic Games. At the 2008 Summer Olympics alone, the Conference's Games' roster included 259 Olympians across the 10 member institutions. Colorado has produced 75 all-time Olympians.

With over 35,000 alumni residing in the current Pac-10 footprint, more than three times the number living within the Big 12 regions, the Buffalo faithful should feel right at home in the Pac-10.


Colorado has a long-standing tradition of playing Pac-10 teams in football. The Buffaloes have played 73 games against Pac-10 members, the second-most against any league CU has never  been a part of. The first Pac-10 team Colorado met in a sporting event was a 1904 football game against Stanford in Denver.

CU and Oregon became football rivals between 1984-2001, playing 15 times overall, the most against any Pac-10 squad. This Sept. 11, the Buffs renew their series with California, meeting for the first time in exactly 28 years.

Great matchups have occurred in other sports: Colorado and Stanford have dueled regularly for a time in the postseason in the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament; CU regularly played UCLA in the late John Wooden's early years as head coach of the Bruins, and Washington in the 1950s and 1960s; golf teams have long been participants in most Pac-10 institutions' hosted tournaments. Since 2000, CU has run neck-and-neck with Stanford, Oregon and Washington at the NCAA cross-country championships taking home three titles (two men, one women), while Stanford has won six (two men, four women), Oregon has won two men's titles and Washington captured a women's title in 2009.

Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott (left) joins CU President Bruce Benson, CU-Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano and CU Board of Regents on Friday.

The roots of the Pacific-10 Conference ("Pac-10") go back more than 80 years to December 15, 1915, when the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC) was founded at a meeting at the Oregon Hotel in Portland, Ore.  Original membership consisted of four schools: the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, and Oregon State College (now Oregon State University).  All still are charter members of the Conference.

Pacific Coast Conference play began in 1916.  One year later, Washington State College (now Washington State University) was accepted into the Conference, and Stanford University joined in 1918.  In 1922, the PCC expanded to eight teams with the admission of the University of Southern California and the University of Idaho. The University of Montana joined the Conference in 1924, and in 1928, the PCC grew to 10 members with the addition of UCLA.

The Pacific Coast Conference competed as a 10-team league until 1950, with the exception of 1943-45, when World War II curtailed intercollegiate athletic competition to a minimum.  In 1950, Montana resigned from the Conference and joined the Mountain States Conference.  The PCC continued as a nine-team Conference through 1958. In 1959, the PCC was dissolved and a new Conference was formed - the Athletic Association of Western Universities. Original AAWU membership consisted of California, Stanford, Southern California, UCLA, and Washington.  Washington State became a member in 1962, while Oregon and Oregon State joined in 1964.  In 1968, the name Pacific-8 Conference was adopted.  Ten years later, on July 1, 1978, the University of Arizona and Arizona State University were admitted and the Pacific-10 Conference became a reality.  In 1986-87, the league took on a new look, expanding to include 10 women's sports.

Currently, the Pac-10 sponsors 11 men's and 11 women's sports.  Edwin N. Atherton was named the Conference's first Commissioner in 1940.  He has been succeeded by Victor O. Schmidt (1944), Thomas J. Hamilton (1959), Wiles Hallock (1971), Thomas C. Hansen (1983) and current Commissioner Larry Scott (2009).  The Pacific-10 Conference offices are located 25 miles east of San Francisco in Walnut Creek, California.


The Pacific-10 Conference continues to uphold its tradition as the "Conference of Champions", as it relates to its members' world-class research capabilities, prestigious academic reputations, and athletic success.  Pac-10 members have claimed an incredible 169 NCAA team titles over the past 20 seasons, including 11 in 2008-09, for an average of more than eight championships per academic year.  Even more impressive is the breadth of the Pac-10's success, as those 169 team titles have come in 26 different men's and women's sports.  The Pac-10 has led the nation in NCAA Championships 43 of the last 49 years and finished second five times.  Spanning nearly a century of outstanding athletics achievement, the Pac-10 has captured 390 NCAA titles (267 men's, 123 women's), far outdistancing the runner-up Big Ten Conference's 201 titles.

Pac-10 members are able to attract world-class athletes.  The Conference's reputation is further proven in the annual National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Learfield Sports Directors' Cup, the prestigious award that honors the best overall collegiate athletics programs in the country.  Stanford continued its remarkable run in the 2008-09 season, winning its 15th-consecutive Directors' Cup.  In the 2008-09 competition, eight of the Top-25 Division I programs were Pac-10 members: No. 1 Stanford, No. 4 USC, No. 7 California, No. 11 Washington, No. 12 Arizona State, No. 16 UCLA, No. 22 Oregon and No. 24 Arizona.