The Northern Pacific Conference was a name for two collegiate athletic conferences in the western United States. The first was for college baseball (1975-1981) and the second was a women's collegiate athletic conference made up of teams in Northern California, Oregon, and Washington. That league was formed in 1982, at the same time that the NCAA became the sole sponsor of major-college women's sports. Members had previously competed in the NorCal Conference and the northwest region of the AIAW. The Northern Pacific Conference met its demise in 1986-87, when the Pac-10 Conference began sponsoring women's sports.
The Northern Pacific Conference (Nor-Pac) was formed for baseball for the 1975 season and comprised the NCAA programs in the Northwest not in the Pacific-8 Conference. The Big Sky Conference had dropped sponsorship of the sport after the 1974 season, and its three remaining baseball programs (Gonzaga, Idaho, Boise State) joined Portland State, Portland, Seattle U., and An eighth team, Eastern Washington, was added after the
Idaho and Boise State dropped varsity baseball after the 1980 season, as did Seattle U., and the five-team Nor-Pac played a seventh and final season Puget Sound dropped its program and the remaining four (GU, EWU, PSU, UP) joined the Northern division of the Pac-10 (as associate members for baseball only) in 1982;Oregon also discontinued baseball after which had left just three teams (Washington, Washington State, and Oregon State).
Baseball returned at Oregon in 2009, and at Seattle U. in 2010; Boise State's program is scheduled to return in 2020.
The Northern Pacific Conference began competition in all women's sports for the 1982-83 season. Members included former NorCal Conference members California, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Pacific, Fresno State, and San Jose State, as well as northwestern division schools Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, and Washington State. The move for a new women's athletic conference was necessitated by the movement of NorCal member Stanford to the women's only Western Collegiate Athletic Association (WCAA), as well as the lack of sponsorship for women's sports by the Pac-10, PCAA, and WCAC conferences.
After their second season in the league, Pacific moved its women's sports to the new women's version of the PCAA. The next year Santa Clara and San Francisco followed Pacific out the door, as they joined the WCAC's new women's sports division. This left the league with just seven schools for what would was its final season. With the WCAA also hit by defections, the Pac-10 began sponsoring women's championships for the 1986-87 season. The departure of the five Pac-10 schools left only San Jose State and Fresno State in the league; both moved their women's sports to the PCAA, aligning themselves with the schools' men's teams.