Pacific University’s football was eliminated back in 1992 and was brought back six years ago in 2010. Head coach Keith Buckley has finished his seventh season as the team’s head coach since the program’s reinstatement and can say he has been quite successful upon his hiring as head coach. After four years of being part of the UC Davis coaching staff, Pacific hired Buckley in July of 2009 and while his first season might not have been a success with most the team consisting of freshmen, the mind set has always stayed the same for Buckley through each year. “The approach has not changed in seven years,” Buckley said. “It really is with that mindset of championship level expectations.”
Buckley was aware that very first year they would not succeed the way he would like and most likely not win a single game, but even so, it still did not change the goals the program was striving for. “I would talk to the guys about championships and what we were doing to prepare to win championships,” Buckley said. “I didn’t want to shy away from that, I didn’t want to shy away from, ‘hey, these are the teams we are trying to chase and trying to catch’ so that has not changed at all and it can’t change.”
In 2011, Buckley led the Boxers to their first victory with a 44-25 win over Puget Sound University with a homecoming sellout crowd and it was the start to a successful run for the Boxers in years to come. The program won its first road victory in 2012 finishing with a 3-6 overall record which led to one of the Boxer’s best seasons in 2013 with a 7-3 record. Of those three losses, they were of a combined 11 points which gave Pacific sometime toward the end of the season being ranked in the Division III top 25.
The 2014 season was a more remarkable one with the team sharing its conference title with Linfield College, both having a 6-1 record in conference play. The Boxers finished 6-3 on the year and became one of the quickest teams in NCAA Division III history to hold a share of the conference title after the program’s first five seasons. The team finished 2015 with a 6-4 record, making three consecutive seasons of winning records which has not been done since the Boxers were named the Pacific Badgers. This last season the team took a hit with a 4-6 record and a 3-4 record in conference play. The team lost three games by nine points combined, which would have changed the outcome of the season if they would have won those games.