THE MOUNTAIN PACIFIC SPORTS FEDERATION
Tomorrow's Olympians... Today!
Al Beaird, Commissioner
The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) was established during the 1992-1993 season to serve the competitive needs of member institutions from the Big West, Pacific-10 and Western Athletic Conferences, as well as other selected universities in the western United States; and to provide championships competition for Division I intercollegiate Olympic sports in a conference setting. The founding principles on which the MPSF was originally formed were to provide enhanced competition and championship opportunities for sports without conference affiliation; to contain the costs of competition; and to ensure the survival of sports impacted by Title IX and other fiscal pressures. The Federation has also served as an incubator for emerging women's sports and as a safe harbor for sports impacted by conference realignments. Since its inaugural season, the Federation has seen its primary conference membership grow by the addition of the Mountain West and West Coast Conferences and their respective member institutions, as well as the addition of women's water polo, women's gymnastics, women's lacrosse and men's and women's swimming. As a testament to its viability, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation continues to successfully navigate the ever-changing sea of college sports by fostering contraction and expansion of its sports portfolio to meet the dynamic needs of its members. As the MPSF begins its 25th season during the 2016-2017 academic year and continues its legacy of championship competition, it affirms the vision of its founders and the relevance of its three founding principles, particularly during today's tumultuous economic times.
In 2016-2017, the MPSF will sponsor competition in 10 intercollegiate Olympic sports, while serving 90 teams from 39 universities across 10 states. All MPSF teams compete at the NCAA Division I level in men's and women's water polo, men's and women's indoor track and field, men's and women's gymnastics, men's and women's swimming and diving, women's lacrosse, and men's volleyball. MPSF team champions are eligible to compete in the NCAA Championships with men's and women's water polo, men's volleyball, and women's lacrosse champions earning automatic qualification. Competing in an MPSF Championship this year for the first time is the men's water polo program from Penn State Behrend, as well as the men's and women's indoor track and field teams from UC Riverside.
During the 2015-2016 academic year, the MPSF matched its all-time high of five NCAA team championship titles, while extending the streak to 12 straight years with at least four. The federation also collected a high of five national championships during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 years. This past year, UCLA Men's Water Polo, USC Women's Water Polo, Oregon Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field, and Oklahoma Men's Gymnastics brought the MPSF's total to 85 NCAA titles since the first season of competition in 1992-93. With the Bruin men and Trojan women winning NCAA Water Polo titles, the MPSF has captured all 40 national championships in the sport since the inaugural year of the conference (24 men, 16 women). USC led the MPSF with three conference championships in 2015-16 (women's water polo, women's lacrosse, men's indoor track & field). The Oklahoma Men's Gymnastics team has brought home the last five MPSF Championships, the longest current streak amongst all federation sports, as well as an all-sports MPSF record 15 conference titles.
Al Beaird has been the Federation's only executive director, taking the reins after being selected by the MPSF Administrative Committee in December 1997 after a national search. Beaird's position was established as a result of the Federation's continued growth and emerging tradition of NCAA and national championship caliber play, including 63 NCAA team championships during his tenure. Beaird, who formerly served on the athletics staff at his alma mater, UC Davis, where the integration of student and athlete is a long-rooted philosophy, oversees the administration of all Federation sports, having worked closely with administrators and coaches from more than 50 different universities over the course of his administration. Beaird presided over the transition of the Federation from what was initially a scheduling alliance to what is now nationally recognized as the most successful NCAA Division I Olympic sports conference. Beaird directs all aspects of MPSF competition, including championships, officiating, rules compliance, scheduling, media relations, broadcasting, sponsorships and NCAA relations, while also shaping conference legislation, facilitating annual meetings and providing direction and communication for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Administrative and Executive Committees. In 2004, Beaird completed a four-year term, three years as chair, on the NCAA Men's Water Polo Championships Committee and one year as chair of the inaugural NCAA Men's and Women's Water Polo Rules Committee. Beaird feels privileged to work with coaches and student-athletes who compete at the highest levels, including those who compete on USA national teams as coaches or players in international and Olympic competition. With his in NCAA Olympic sports, Beaird has been called upon to serve as liaison to the national governing bodies for amateur athletics in the United States and the United States Olympic Committee. Beaird received his undergraduate degree in physical education from UC Davis before attaining his Masters of Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento. Beaird, who lives in Woodland, California, has two daughters.