Pacific Union College (PUC) athletics are still going strong after nearly 13 years. While PUC is in the process of selecting a new coach for the women’s basketball team, the department’s varsity program and college-sponsored academy tournaments will continue as usual.
“PUC is committed to its athletic program, from the administration on down,” says Chuck Evans, chair of the exercise science, health, and nutrition department.
The school has been part of California Pacific Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) since 1996. The NAIA’s strict academic eligibility requirement is one of the reasons why PUC chose to join. “It allows us to stay focused on education,” Evans says, referring to the grade point average (GPA) and minimum load unit requirement for PUC athletes. Student athletes must also sign a personal contract before joining the team.
The varsity program at PUC currently includes men’s and women’s cross country teams, as well as women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball.
The selection of sports is based on school demographics and reflects the student population. PUC’s varsity teams include a cross section of athletes, representing many departments on campus—not just exercise science majors.
Evans says he is pleased with how well students respond to varsity sports at PUC. The philosophy of the athletic program is clear: “to promote Christian education and development in sport in a distinctive Seventh-day Adventist environment. Coaches and student athletes, although varied and diverse, share a common commitment to high Christian standards and principles as expressed in athletic endeavors.” As role models and contributing members of Christian society, student athletes at PUC work hard for the Christian values and athletic excellence in which they believe.