Although athletic competition
between junior colleges existed in the 1930's, the first structured
league and championship events in men's sports first came
about when the Washington State Junior College Athletic
Conference was formed in 1946. The nine charter members
of the WSJCAC were Centralia, Clark, Everett, Grays Harbor,
Lower Columbia, Olympic, Skagit Valley (known then as Mt.
Vernon JC), Wenatchee Valley and Yakima Valley. Columbia Basin
became the tenth member in 1955.
The conference offered football,
basketball, baseball, tennis, track and golf. In 1963, wrestling
entered the picture followed by cross country in 1965 and
soccer in 1974. The first two years of the WSJCAC went without
any bylaws until the spring of 1948 when Executive Secretary
Jim Ennis of Everett JC along with Dave DuVall of Skagit Valley
and Maury Phipps of Grays Harbor wrote the original constitution
governing scholarship limits, grade eligibility requirements
and overall philosophy of the conference's athletic programs.
In 1961, the Washington State
Legislature cleared away a legal roadblock which had forbidden
the establishment of junior colleges in those counties that
had four-year colleges. That started a spurt of expansion
as the conference doubled in size. In 1964, the conference
was renamed the Washington Athletic Association
of Community Colleges.
It was about this time when
community college athletics came to life in the State of Oregon.
In the winter of 1963, five schools met to exchange ideas
on the possible formation of a league. The Oregon Community
College Athletic Association then began play in 1963-64
with Blue Mountain, Southwestern Oregon, Central Oregon, Clatsop
and Treasure Valley as charter members. The conference more
than doubled in size when Clackamas, Lane, Mt. Hood, Umpqua
and three others joined in 1968-69.
The WAACC was renamed the NWAACC
when Mt. Hood left the OCCAA to join their Washington neighbors
in 1970. It was during the seventies that women's sports started
to grow. Previously they were governed by the Northwest
College Women's Sports Association. Women's sports were
combined with the men's sports when the umbrella organization
of the NWAACC was formed for the 1978-79 season. The job of
handling both the men's and women's athletics was too much
for volunteer athletic directors who performed the task in
the past. After the 1978-79 season, a five-member committee
from the conference hired Frank Bosone as their first Executive
Director. Bosone retired in 1992 and was succeeded by Dick
Northwest community college
athletics was forever changed when seven schools from the
OCCAA joined the NWAACC for the 1983-84 season. The merger
between the Washington and Oregon colleges has helped the
NWAACC become a strong organization. Since 1984, nine other
colleges have added intercollegiate athletics and/or became
Today, the Northwest Athletic
Association of Community Colleges has 36 member schools,
making it the largest single community college conference
in the United States.