Knockout Season

Boxer student cheering on the team.
Pacific University Football goes from zero to champions in five years.

Fall was a great season to be a Boxer.

Just five years after football was reinstated at Pacific University, the Boxers brought home a share of the 2014 Northwest Conference title.

The record-breaking season was especially poignant after its rocky start. The Boxers graduated 38 seniors from the 2013 team — young men who helped launch the program — and were picked to finish fourth in the conference in the coaches’ preseason poll. Then, the team fell in back-to-back non-conference losses to the College of Idaho and Dubuque.

A game at the University of Chicago was canceled due to nationwide travel issues, but the week off proved to be a re-set for the team.

The Boxers dominated against Whitworth and Puget Sound, then ended a 17-game losing streak against Pacific Lutheran. They scored their first shutout in 42 years facing the new George Fox football team, and they went into overtime for the first time since 1990 in a come-from-behind win at Lewis & Clark.

The Boxers clinched claim of the conference title by beating nationally ranked Willamette before falling to perennial powerhouse Linfield, with whom Pacific shares the championship.

Throughout the season, members of the football squad brought home several personal victories, from 14 selections to all-NWC teams to a number of individual records. The team was the best in all of NCAA Division III in its completion percentage and had the sixth-fewest interceptions in the country.

According to experts at, the five-year path from program launch to conference championship is one of the best in football.

SUPPORT YOUR BOXERS through Boxer Club, the booster organization for Pacific University Athletics.

This story first appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of Pacific magazine. For more stories, visit

Friday, Feb. 27, 2015