Goal Eight

Goal 8: Strengthen the durability and competitiveness of all Division I intercollegiate programs to differentiate Gonzaga as a nationally-recognized athletic institution. In particular, the University will support its successful men’s and women’s basketball programs in an effort to maintain and improve the competitive position these create for the University. (Target: 2022)

Volkar Center Exterior


The Volkar Center for Athletic Achievement opened in November 2017. This 51,240-square-foot facility connecting to Martin Centre on the south and McCarthey Athletic Center on the east, helps student-athletes succeed in competition, in the classroom and in the community. The building houses student-athlete support services, a weight room, nutrition center, basketball practice court, Gonzaga Athletics Hall of Honor, and multiple meeting areas. Combined with spaces in Martin and McCarthey, the building provides Gonzaga student-athletes with some of the finest facilities and support services in the nation. The Volkar Center was made possible, in part, by a lead gift from Pat and Sandy Volkar.

Progress in our Division I intercollegiate programs in 2019-2020 is as follows:

  • Gonzaga student-athletes continue to excel in the classroom posting a 3.32 departmental average GPA for the fall 2019 semester, the eighth consecutive term above a 3.30. Overall, 151 student-athletes earned University honors (President’s List 3.85+, Dean’s List 3.5-3.84), 22 of them posting perfect 4.0 GPAs. GU was tied with schools like Notre Dame, Holy Cross and Princeton for the seventh-best NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) in the nation. Gonzaga’s 98 percent GSR led all ten WCC schools.
  • Prior to spring break, Gonzaga student-athletes were active in the community, logging over 3,000 hours of community outreach.
  • Gonzaga men's basketball won the regular season title for the eighth straight season to earn a 22nd consecutive NCAA tournament bid before all NCAA winter and spring championships were canceled due to COVID-19. Sophomore Filip Petrusev was named WCC Player of the Year.
  • Women’s basketball finished the season ranked 13th in the national polls after winning the WCC regular season and tournament titles.  Junior Jill Townsend was named WCC Player of the Year.
  • There were a record number of sold-out women’s basketball games this season, and home attendance increased over last year with an average 5,692 fans per game in the McCarthey Athletic Center.
  • Gonzaga women’s soccer matched a program record for most wins in a season, tying the 2005 and 2008 teams with 12 wins. Senior Madeline Gotta was named to the 2019 United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I Women’s Scholar All-America third team, the first Zag ever to receive the honor.
  • The men’s cross country team had its best-ever finish at the NCAA West Regional Championships, with sophomore James Mwaura placing third, also a program record. With his finish, Mwaura became just the second GU men’s runner to ever qualify for NCAA Nationals.
  • Annual and Major Gift support to key initiatives have directly served our student-athletes and community.  Nutrition, Learning Technology, Community Service and Mental Health initiatives have been significantly enhanced due to commitments on behalf of benefactors.
  • The Johnson Family Boathouse was dedicated on October 12, 2019. Located on Silver Lake west of campus, the boathouse became the new home for Gonzaga men’s and women’s rowing.
  • Prior to COVID-19, there was continued gifting and pledges toward both the Baseball Performance Center and the Soccer Stadium completion.

The full 2019-20 Gonzaga Athletic Annual Report is available here.