Athletics | Division 1 NCAA

We Are the Gaels

In the simplest terms, a Gael is an Irish person. Legend has it that in the 1920s a sportswriter named Saint Mary’s “the Gaels” because there were so many Irish guys on the football team. These days the Gaels’ continuing legacy in athletics includes 16 NCAA Division 1 teams. Saint Mary’s is a proud founding member of the West Coast Conference, which now includes BYU, Pacific, Gonzaga, Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount, Santa Clara, Portland, San Diego and San Francisco.

Our teams compete with the support of the Gael Force, the most powerful student cheering squad in the country that can send tremors through McKeon Pavilion. Joined by the spirit team, mascot and the SMC Sports Band, the Gael Force and Gael fans everywhere provide an unmatched electric atmosphere of support for our teams.

Our Highlights

Saint Mary’s annual competes for the West Coast Conference men and women’s all-sports awards and the Commissioner’s Cup, given to the top-performance athletics program among league institutions.

Men’s basketball, golf and soccer as well as women’s tennis, volleyball and basketball have all earned WCC championships and advanced to postseason championship play in the last few seasons

The Saint Mary’s men’s basketball team has the highest winning percentage among all NCAA Division 1 programs in the state of California over the last decade and has played in the postseason for the last nine seasons.

Former Saint Mary’s basketball student-athletes Matthew Dellavedova and Patrick Mills compete in the NBA and comprise the starting backcourt for the Australian Olympic Team.

SMC student-athletes graduate at the 3rd highest rate among all NCAA Division 1 institutions in the state of California and more than 150 Gaels student-athletes annual earn recognition.

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