GNAC MapAbout the GNAC

GNAC Staff Directory I 6901 SE Lake Rd., Ste 1, Portland, OR 97267 I 503-305-8756

Located in five states and the province of Canada and with a strong presence in or near the largest city of each, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference has established itself as one of the top NCAA Division II athletic conferences in the nation during its 15-year history.

Founded in July, 2001, GNAC teams have had a remarkable 89 NCAA Division II Top 10 national team finishes in 15 of the 16 sports that it sponsors. 

Only women's golf, which has been a sponsored sport for just six seasons, has failed to earn a Top 10 national finish.

In 2015-16, the GNAC had a conference-best four teams reach the national semifinals and a total of seven register top 10 national finishes -- UAA in women's basketball (2nd), UAA in men's cross country (3rd), Western Washington in women's soccer (T-3rd), Western Washington in volleyball (T-3rd), Western Oregon in men's basketball (T-3rd), Western Washington in women's cross country (6th), and UAA in women's cross country (8th).

Western Washington’s 2012 men’s basketball national title was the third by a GNAC team.

Former GNAC member Seattle University won the 2004 NCAA Division II national men’s soccer title before moving up to the Division I level.

Seattle Pacific was the 2008 national champion in women’s soccer.  The Falcons also were the 2005 women’s soccer national runner-ups.

Also earning second-place national finishes have been Seattle Pacific in women’s soccer (2005), women’s basketball (2005) and women’s cross country (2007), and Western Washington in volleyball (2007).


GNAC athletes have also been successful academically winning 67 GNAC CoSIDA Academic All-American awards.  Eight of those came during the 2013-14 academic year.

Earning first team honors this past season was Seattle Pacific basketball standout David Downs.  He was the 14th athlete in GNAC history to earn first team CoSIDA honors that are based on both academic and athletic achievement. 

Thirty-two student athletes have earned second team All-America honors and 21 have been third team All-Americans.


The GNAC’s 11 full-time members are located in one of the most picturesque areas of North America, covering five U.S. states and one Canadian province.

Representing the Evergreen state in the conference are Central Washington University, Saint Martin’s University, Seattle Pacific University and Western Washington University.  All four schools are within 110 miles of Seattle, the state’s largest city.

Alaska is the home to GNAC members University of Alaska Anchorage and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The only Canadian member in the NCAA is Simon Fraser University, which is located in Burnaby, B.C., a suburb of Vancouver.

Other conference members include Western Oregon University, which is a short drive from both the capital of Oregon (Salem) and the state’s largest city (Portland); Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, which is located near Idaho’s largest city  and capital (Boise), and Montana State University Billings which is situated in the largest city in the “Treasure” state. The newest conference member is Concordia (Ore.), which is located in Portland, and was admitted into the NCAA membership process in July, 2014.  The Cavaliers begin competing in the GNAC and Division II in the fall of 2015.

The GNAC also has a presence in California, as both Humboldt State and Azusa Pacific are affiliate members in the sport of football.

Humboldt State and Seattle University were charter members of the conference.  Humboldt left the GNAC following the  2005-06 season to join the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), but remains in the conference as a football-playing member, while Seattle University departed following the 2007-08 season to compete in NCAA Division I.