Santa Clara University supports a broad intercollegiate athletics program and is a member of Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and a founding member of the West Coast Conference (WCC). With 20 intercollegiate sports, the Broncos field teams in baseball, basketball, beach volleyball, cross country, golf, rowing, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and water polo. Santa Clara has won 60 WCC titles across eight sports and has been to 95 NCAA tournaments with a total of 18 Final Four appearances.
Santa Clara’s men’s and women’s soccer teams are perennially among the nation’s elite, both having won national championships. As head coach for women’s soccer for 29 years, Jerry Smith led the Broncos to 25 NCAA tournaments, including 10 Final Fours and the program’s national title in 2001. Men’s soccer has been to 20 NCAA tournaments and took home its national title in 1989 when current head coach, Cameron Rast, was a star on the team.
Women’s volleyball also competes among the nation’s best having been to 16 NCAA tournaments, including 13 under current head coach Jon Wallace, who led the Broncos to the 2005 Final Four.
Men’s basketball has also achieved national success having been to 11 NCAA Tournaments, including the 1952 Final Four, and six other postseason appearances. NBA champion Kurt Rambis and two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash are among those to don the Bronco uniform. Santa Clara went to three NCAA tournaments during Nash’s four years on the Mission campus, including an upset of second-seeded Arizona in 1993. The women’s basketball program has experienced a recent resurgence. The Broncos made it to the 2016 Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT), the team’s first postseason appearance in 10 years. Previously they had made 12 postseason appearances, including capturing the 1991 WNIT title.
Both basketball teams are under new leadership with Herb Sendek coaching the men’s program and Bill Carr coaching the women’s program. Sendek, one of the three youngest college coaches with 400 or more career victories, has led three Division I schools to 18 postseason appearances and earned three conference coach of the year awards. Carr has more than 200 career wins as a college head coach and earned two conference coach of the year awards.
Not to be outdone, Bronco baseball has been to 11 NCAA tournaments, including a trip to the 1962 College World Series title game. The team featured eight future major league players, including three who went straight to the major leagues. Overall, there have been 158 Broncos selected in the MLB draft.
One of the most famous Santa Clara baseball players, Randy Winn, started as Nash’s backup as point guard on the basketball team before concentrating on baseball. Winn played in 13 MLB seasons, including five for the San Francisco Giants.
The Broncos are fortunate to play in some of the best facilities on the West Coast:
- Leavey Center, home to basketball and volleyball, was renovated in 2002. The center recently built new locker rooms and installed state-of-the-art flooring.
- Stevens Stadium-Buck Shaw Field, home to soccer, was refurbished in 2015. The adjoining Stevens Soccer Training Center is a stylish 7,000-square foot facility that features all the necessary amenities for both teams.
- Stephen Schott Stadium, home to baseball, is a state-of-the-art facility that opened in 2005. The venue contains an indoor hitting facility, 5,000-square-foot clubhouse, player’s lounge, and meeting rooms.
- Santa Clara Softball Stadium opened in 2016 and contains an indoor hitting facility.
- Other facilities include Sullivan Aquatic Center, home to water polo, and Degheri Tennis Center.