The history of the Big 8

With the addition of Modesto Junior College, the Big 7 Conference officially became the Big 8 Conference on July 1, 2007. Originally formed in July of 2005, the Big 7 Conference came into existence as a result of a split of the Bay Valley Conference. At that time, the Bay Valley had 17 member colleges. Ten of the seven were smaller institutions with a limited number of athletic programs while seven schools offered "full" programs.

The Bay Valley was spread out from the Bay Area to Santa Rosa to Rocklin. Increasing dissatisfaction on the part of the small colleges regarding their lack of achievement in conference championships, rising travel costs, and to some extent, in core values, led to a discussion of partitioning off the larger schools. From those discussions the seven large schools affiliated with each other, drafted a constitution and bylaws, and applied to the COA (Now the CCCAA) to become a separate conference.

That permission was granted in 2004. Shortly after, Bruce Werner was hired as commissioner and the new conference began to develop sports guides (supplements), schedules, awards, etc.

Interestingly enough, the Big 7, which offered all sports except football and badminton, soon was asked to "host" college teams from other conferences. These outside conferences did not have enough teams in some sports to fully operate. In the Big 7’s initial year, it hosted 34 teams from colleges outside of the conference.

In two years, Big 7 colleges established themselves as powerful players at the regional and state levels. The conference’s goals were to play local athletes, promote ethical and sporting conduct among all participants, and to acknowledge and publicize high academic achievement among our members.

Mike Liddell was hired as the Big 8 commissioner in 2009 replacing Bruce Werner.  

In 2016 the Big 8 added a new member in Folsom Lake to bring the total amount of teams to nine.

Now in our eleventh overall year, we have worked out many of the glitches that occur in starting up such a complex organization. Our members are progressive, creative, and competitive. The conference feels as if it has been functioning for a long time, though it is only in its eleventh year.