The university offers 30 teams of sports clubs, including badminton, baseball, cycling, dance, ice hockey, lacrosse, rugby, sailing, football, snow skiing, tennis, volleyball, ultimate, water polo and water skiing.  The UC San Diego surf team has won the national championship six times and is considered one of the best surfing programs in the United States.  UC San Diego does not have a football team. However, during the 1968 season, the university participated for a year in intercollegiate football. The newly recruited newts have lost all seven games they have played.  Under the leadership of Richard C. Atkinson as Chancellor from 1980 to 1995, the university strengthened its relationship with the City of San Diego by promoting technology transfer with developing companies and making San Diego a world leader in technology-based industries. He oversaw a rapid expansion of the engineering school, later renamed after Qualcomm founder Irwin M. Jacobs, with the construction of the San Diego Supercomputer Center and the establishment of the computer, electrical and bioengineering departments.  Private donations have increased from $15 million to nearly $50 million per year, the faculty has increased by nearly 50% and enrolment has doubled during his tenure to approximately 18,000 students. At the end of its chancery, the quality of UC San Diego graduation programs was selected by the National Research Council at the nation`s 10th place.  On November 27, 2017, the university announced that its sports programs had begun a six-year transition process between NCAA Division II and Division I, where it will be a member of the Big West Conference.  Starting in 2017, most of UC San Diego`s 23 intercollegiate varsity athletics teams will still participate in Division II, the 12-person California Collegiate Athletic Association, and some will participate independently.
The men`s water polo, fencing and volleyball teams competed in Division I.  before entering Division II in 2000, the school participated in Level III.  Teams compete at the University`s RIMAC plant, Triton Ballpark and RIMAC Arena. The University of California, San Diego has been #1 among all NCAA D2 schools in the country and #40 total (for all divisions), according to the Next College Athlete 2018 NCSA Power Rankings.  NcSA Power Rankings pay tribute to the best colleges and universities in the United States.