Pepperdine Waves

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Pepperdine Waves
University Pepperdine University
Conference West Coast Conference
NCAA NCAA Division I
Athletic director Steve Potts
Location Malibu, California
Varsity teams 17
Basketball arena Firestone Fieldhouse
Baseball stadium Eddy D. Field Stadium
Mascot Willie the Wave
Nickname Waves
Fight song "Fight For Pepperdine"
Colors Blue, White, and Orange[1]

The Pepperdine Waves are the athletics teams of Pepperdine University, located outside the city of Malibu, California. They compete at the Division I level of the NCAA. The school is a member of the West Coast Conference for the majority of its programs. Pepperdine University was recently ranked by the Sears Cup as having the most successful athletic program for non-football Division I schools. (Stanford was ranked the most successful Division I athletic program with football.) Pepperdine University sponsors seventeen NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics teams. There are also several intercollegiate sports clubs such as men's soccer, men's and women's lacrosse, surf team, Ultimate Frisbee and men's rugby.

Pepperdine's chief athletic rival is the Loyola Marymount Lions, who are also in the WCC.

Nickname, colors and mascot

Since the school's founding, the school's nickname has been the Waves. It was selected by president Batsell Baxter, as the general consensus among faculty and students was that there were too many animal names in college athletics at the time. Though the school was located in South Los Angeles at the time, the name has stuck, becoming more appropriate after the school's move to Malibu.[2] Also since the founding, the school's colors have been blue and orange. They were chosen by President Baxter over the final choice of blue and gold as at the time, no other Pacific school used the colors, which represented the blue of the Pacific Ocean and the oranges grown by the state of California. (Cal State Fullerton has since adopted similar colors, though their shades are darker than Pepperdine's.)[3]

The school's first mascot was Roland the Wave (a nod to the popular cheer "Roll on you Waves!"). From 1945 to 1950 the school used a wave costume (less amorphous than the current mascot's) on the sidelines. In 1951, Joe the Pelican was introduced at a football game. The idea was quickly dropped, however, because of the expense of caring for a live pelican. In 1952, Willy the Wave made his debut. Willy has always had the head and "hair" of a wave, though he has gone through several costumes, including one with white hair representing the foam of a wave, and the early 1990s version which bore a strong resemblance to the Mac Tonight mascot of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese commercials at the time. In 1996, Willy was replaced with King Neptune as part of a re-branding effort. The nickname never took off, however, and was scrapped in 2003. It was not until 2006, however, that Willy made his final return to Pepperdine athletics, this time with a larger wave head and usually wearing boardshorts and an Aloha shirt.[4]

Sports sponsored

Men's sports Women's sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Beach volleyball
Cross country Cross country
Golf Golf
Tennis Soccer
Track and field Swimming and diving
Volleyball Tennis
Water polo Track and field
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor


Major league pitcher Jon Moscot pitched for the baseball team in 2011 and 12.[5][6][7]

Men's golf

The men's golf team has won 18 West Coast Conference championships (1987, 1989, 1991–92, 1994–97, 1999–05, 2007, 2010, 2015)[8] They won the NCAA Division I Championship in 1997.

Pepperdine golfers who have won at the professional level are Brent Geiberger (2 PGA Tour wins), Jason Gore (1 PGA Tour win, 7 Tour wins), Jeff Gove (3 Tour wins), Michael Putnam (3 Tour wins), and Byron Smith (4 Canadian Tour wins).

Former sports


Pepperdine played football from 1946 to 1961. At the end of the inaugural 1946 season the Waves defeated Nebraska Wesleyan University in the 1947 Will Rogers Bowl.[9]


  • Firestone Fieldhouse - basketball & volleyball
  • Eddy D. Field Stadium - baseball
  • Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool - women's swimming & diving and men's water polo
  • Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center - tennis
  • Tari Frahm Rokus Field - soccer
  • Stotsenberg Track - track & field
  • Athletics Performance Center - training facilities
  • Helen Stone Performance Center - athletics training & offices
  • Zuma Beach - sand volleyball home site


  1. ^ "Official Colors | Resources | Pepperdine Community". Retrieved April 5, 2016. 
  2. ^ We Are The Waves -
  3. ^ School Colors: Blue & Orange -
  4. ^ The Story of the Pepperdine Mascot -
  5. ^ Bill Vilona (June 7, 2014). "Moscot's rise shows draft's flaws". Pensacola News Journal. Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  6. ^ "2011 Men's All-America Baseball Team (Division I)". Jewish Sports Review. 
  7. ^ Dick Dornan (June 13, 2012). "Pepperdine baseball enjoys banner season". Malibu Times. 
  8. ^ "Pepperdine Golf – Records Book – 2012–13 Men's Golf" (PDF). Retrieved June 14, 2013. 
  9. ^ Grenley, Dave (June 3, 2010). "The History of Pepperdine Football". Pepperdine Waves. Retrieved January 2, 2016. 

External links

  • Official website
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