The Pacific Coast Athletic Association will officially change its name to the Big West Conference on July 1, PCAA Commissioner James A. Haney announced Friday.

The name change was approved by the conference's council at its spring meeting in San Diego.According to the league, the new name is a simpler, more accurate description of the 12 member institutions - Cal State Fullerton, Fresno State, Long Beach State, New Mexico State, San Diego State, San Jose State, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, University of Hawaii, Nevada-Las Vegas, Pacific and Utah State.

The 12 schools aren't all members of the PCAA in all sports. For example, San Diego State and Hawaii are members of the Western Athletic Conference in football and basketball.

When the PCAA was first formed in 1969, the conference consisted of seven charter members, all of which were located in the state of California. In its 19 years of existence, however, the league has expanded to include universities from states which aren't on or near the Pacific Coast.

"Though the conference will have a new name, it does not intend to leave behind its 19 years of tradition and success," Haney said. "The past accomplishments and successes of the league's many administrators, coaches and student-athletes are history which will serve as a springboard for the Big West Conference as it begins its 20th year."