Fresno State has a great Women’s basketball team. Representing Fresno State, the Bulldogs play in NCAA’s Division 1, as members of the Mountain West Conference. This most recent season, they posted an impressive 17 wins for 11 losses, and with the start of the next season just around the corner in November, we’re excited to see another season of greatness, starting November 5th! But when did Fresno State’s women’s basketball team get their start? Here is some history of Fresno State’s women’s basketball.
While Fresno State’s men’s basketball has been active since the 1920’s, records of the women’s team’s scare records, date back to the 1971-’72 season, when Donna Pickle—a pivotal force for Fresno’s women’s athletics programs—coached. While Pickel is better known for her prowess as a softball coach, The Bulldogs’ women’s basketball pulled off an impressive 8-2 conference record for that season and the next under her leadership!
While The Bulldogs now play as members of the Mountain West Conference, during the 1970’s, Fresno State was a member of the West Coast Conference, which they had joined in 1955. Fresno State remained in the conference until their departure in 1957, but they remained members of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) from 1939 through 1969. In 1968, Fresno became one of the founding members of the Pacific Coast Athletic Association, (now known as the Big West Conference) where they remained until 1992. In 1992, Fresno State joined the Western Athletic Conference, or WCA, where they remained members until their departure in 2012, for the Mountain West Conference who they play with today.
Fresno State’s women’s basketball has made it to the NCAA tournaments seven times. Fresno State’s women’s basketball has made it to the national NCAA tournaments in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. That’s no small feat, considering there are dozens of conferences competing. While they’ve remained in the first round, Fresno State’s women’s basketball has repeatedly proved its place among the best in the country.
It’s no surprise that Fresno State’s women’s basketball has done so well in recent years, considering they’ve remained a strong team for decades! With the 2021-2022 season starting soon, it’s a great time to reflect on decades of great sports coming out of a great community. While sports have changed a lot over the years, one thing hasn’t changed: Fresno State has some great teams!