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Mid-American Conference

U.S. college sports conference

Top 10 Mid-American Conference related articles

Mid-American Conference
DivisionDivision I
Sports fielded
  • 24
    • men's: 11
    • women's: 13
RegionGreat Lakes
HeadquartersCleveland, Ohio
CommissionerJon Steinbrecher (since 2009)

The Mid-American Conference (MAC) is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I collegiate athletic conference with a membership base in the Great Lakes region that stretches from Western New York to Illinois. Nine of the twelve full member schools are in Ohio and Michigan, with single members located in Illinois, Indiana, and New York. For football, the MAC participates in the NCAA's Football Bowl Subdivision.

The MAC is headquartered in the Public Square district in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, and has two members in the nearby Akron area. The MAC has been referred to as the "Conference of Quarterbacks" because of the accomplishments of numerous former players in the National Football League.[1][2] The conference also ranks highest among all ten NCAA Division I FBS conferences for graduation rates.[3]

Mid-American Conference Intro articles: 6


Locations of the full members of the Mid-American Conference.

The five charter members of the Mid-American Conference were Ohio University, Butler University, the University of Cincinnati, Wayne University (now Wayne State University), and Western Reserve University, one of the predecessors to today's Case Western Reserve University. Wayne University left after the first year. Miami University and Western Michigan University took the place of those charter members for the 1948 season. The MAC added the University of Toledo (1950), Kent State University (1951), and Bowling Green State University (1952). The University of Cincinnati resigned its membership February 18, 1953, with an effective date of June 1, 1953. Cincinnati's decision was based on a new requirement that at least 5 conference football games would have to be scheduled each season, University President Raymond Walters saying they "...regretfully resign...as the university could not continue under the present setup..." [4]

The membership was steady for the next two decades except for the addition of Marshall University in 1954 and the departure of Western Reserve in 1955.[5] Marshall was expelled from the conference in 1969 due to NCAA violations.[6] The first major expansion since the 1950s took place in the mid-1970s with the addition of Central Michigan University and Eastern Michigan University in 1972 and Ball State University and Northern Illinois University in 1973. NIU left after the 1985–86 season. The University of Akron joined the conference in 1992. The conference became the largest in Division I-A with the re-admittance of Marshall and NIU in 1997 and addition of the Bulls from the University at Buffalo in 1998. The University of Central Florida, a non-football all-sports member in the Atlantic Sun Conference at the time, joined for football only in 2002, becoming the first football-only member in conference history. Marshall and Central Florida left after the 2004–05 academic year, both joining Conference USA in all sports.

In May 2005, the Temple Owls in Philadelphia signed a six-year contract with the MAC as a football-only school and began play in the East Division in 2007.[7]

The Louisville Cardinals were a MAC affiliate for field hockey for a number of years when Louisville was a member of the Metro Conference and Conference USA, winning two MAC tourney titles in 2003 and 2004.[8]

The Missouri State Bears, Evansville Purple Aces, and Southern Illinois Salukis participate in the MAC for men's swimming and diving.[9] In 2012, the West Virginia Mountaineers joined the Florida Atlantic Owls and Hartwick College Hawks as men's soccer affiliates.[10] Florida Atlantic departed upon joining Conference USA in 2013. Hartwick's contract was not renewed by the MAC in 2015. Nine schools are wrestling affiliates; most became affiliates when the MAC absorbed the former Eastern Wrestling League in 2019. Appalachian State University and Longwood University are associates in field hockey; Missouri State had also been a member in that sport from 2005 until dropping field hockey after the 2016 season. Binghamton University is an affiliate in men's tennis. In June 2017, SIU Edwardsville (SIUE) was invited to become an affiliate member in both men's soccer and wrestling in 2018.[11] When Buffalo suddenly dropped four sports, including men's soccer, SIUE's move in that sport was made immediately.[12]

The UMass Minutemen joined the MAC as a football-only member in July 2012; the university announced that the team would leave the MAC at the end of the 2015 season due to contractual issues.[13][14] Meanwhile, Temple ended its affiliation with the MAC in football and joined the Big East for football in July 2012. Following the split of the Big East into football-sponsoring and non-football conferences in July 2013, Temple became a full member of the football-sponsoring portion, the American Athletic Conference, ending its membership in the Atlantic 10 at that time.[15][16] The Chicago State Cougars were an affiliate for men's tennis until joining the Western Athletic Conference, which sponsors that sport, in July 2013.

The conference unveiled the addition of women's lacrosse to its sport sponsorship in November 2019.[17] Lacrosse will begin competing under the MAC banner with six teams in the 2021 season with MAC members Akron, Central Michigan and Kent State joined by associate members Detroit Mercy, Robert Morris, and Youngstown State. Eastern Michigan will bring the league up to seven members once it adds women's lacrosse for the 2022 season.[18]

Mid-American Conference History articles: 44

Member schools

Current members

There are twelve public schools with full membership:

Institution Location Founded Joined[19] Enrollment Endowment
Nickname Colors
East Division
University of Akron Akron, Ohio 1870 1992 18,730[20] $236 Zips          
Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, Ohio 1910 1952 17,540[21] $175.2 Falcons          
University at Buffalo Buffalo, New York 1846 1998 31,923[22] $795 Bulls          
Kent State University Kent, Ohio 1910 1951 28,122[23] $145.8 Golden Flashes          
Miami University Oxford, Ohio 1809 1947 19,933 $554.8 RedHawks          
Ohio University Athens, Ohio 1804 1946 23,323 [24] $596.4 Bobcats          
West Division
Ball State University Muncie, Indiana 1918 1973 21,597[25] $212.8 Cardinals          
Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, Michigan 1892 1971 21,705 [26] $189.3 Chippewas          
Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, Michigan 1849 1971 18,838 $78.2 Eagles          
Northern Illinois University DeKalb, Illinois 1895 1975, 1997 17,169 $80 Huskies          
University of Toledo Toledo, Ohio 1872 1950 20,304[21] $454.1 Rockets          
Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, Michigan 1903 1947 22,562 $405.2 Broncos          

Current affiliate members

Nineteen schools have MAC affiliate membership status. On July 1, 2012, Temple joined the Big East Conference for football only (the school's other sports would join the Big East/American for 2013–14), and Massachusetts replaced Temple as a football-only member in the MAC East Division. On September 19, 2012, the MAC announced Missouri, Northern Iowa and Old Dominion would join as wrestling affiliates; as the Southeastern and Missouri Valley Conferences do not sponsor wrestling. Missouri and Northern Iowa participated only in the conference tournament in the 2012–13 school year, and began full conference play in 2013–14. Old Dominion did not begin MAC competition until 2013–14, when it left the Colonial Athletic Association (which had sponsored wrestling, but no longer does so) for Conference USA (which has never sponsored the sport).[27] [28]Old Dominion discontinued wrestling in April 2020.[29]

On July 1, 2013, Florida Atlantic's men's soccer program moved with the rest of its athletic program to Conference USA, and Chicago State's men's tennis team followed the rest of its sports to the Western Athletic Conference.

The 2014–15 school year saw one affiliate member leave for another conference and two new affiliates join. The Hartwick men's soccer team left the MAC for the Sun Belt Conference, which had announced in February 2014 that it would reinstate men's soccer, a sport that it last sponsored in 1995, for the 2014 season.[30] The new affiliates for 2014–15 were Binghamton in men's tennis and Longwood in field hockey.[31]

On July 1, 2017, one associate member left the MAC, another associate member dropped one of its two MAC sports, and two new schools became associate members. Northern Iowa wrestling moved from the MAC to the Big 12 Conference.[32] Missouri State dropped field hockey,[33] but remained a MAC member in men's swimming & diving. Appalachian State joined MAC field hockey,[34] and SIU Edwardsville (SIUE) joined in men's soccer.[35] SIUE was initially announced as joining in both men's soccer and wrestling in 2018, but less than a week after the initial announcement, the conference indicated that SIUE men's soccer would immediately join.[35] SIUE wrestling joined on its originally announced schedule.

On March 5, 2019 the conference announced that it would be adding the seven former members of the Eastern Wrestling League as affiliate members in wrestling, making the MAC the second largest wrestling conference for academic year 2019-2020.[36]

With the addition of women's lacrosse, the MAC added affiliate members Detroit Mercy, Robert Morris, and Youngstown State in the 2020–21 academic year. UDM and YSU, all-sports members of the Horizon League, were announced as incoming associates at the same time the MAC announced the addition of lacrosse.[18] RMU was announced as an incoming associate in late June 2020, shortly after the school announced it would join the Horizon League in July 2020.[37]

In June 2020, SIUE announced that it would leave the MAC men's soccer league in 2021 to rejoin its previous men's soccer home of the Missouri Valley Conference.[38] It will remain in MAC wrestling.

Bellarmine University's field hockey program will join the MAC as an affiliate member, commencing with the 2021–22 academic year.[39]

Institution Location Founded Joined Type Enrollment Nickname Colors Primary
MAC Sport(s)
Appalachian State University Boone, North Carolina 1899 2017 Public 19,089 Mountaineers           Sun Belt Field hockey
Binghamton University Vestal, New York 1946 2014 Public 16,098 Bearcats                America East Men's tennis
University of Evansville Evansville, Indiana 1854 2009 Private 3,050 Purple Aces                Missouri Valley Men's swimming
Longwood University Farmville, Virginia 1839 2014 Public 4,800 Lancers           Big South Field hockey
University of Missouri Columbia, Missouri 1839 2012 Public 34,255 Tigers           SEC Wrestling
Missouri State University Springfield, Missouri 1905 2009 Public 21,425 Bears           Missouri Valley Men's swimming
Southern Illinois University Carbondale Carbondale, Illinois 1869 2009 Public 17,964 Salukis           Missouri Valley Men's swimming
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville [40] Edwardsville, Illinois 1957 2017 (soccer)
2018 (wrestling)
Public 14,142 Cougars           Ohio Valley Men's soccer[41]
West Virginia University Morgantown, West Virginia 1867 2012 Public 29,616 Mountaineers           Big 12 Men's soccer
Rider University Lawrenceville, New Jersey 1865 2019 Private 5,400 Broncs                MAAC Wrestling
George Mason University Fairfax County, Virginia 1957 2019 Public 35,047 Patriots           Atlantic 10 Wrestling
Cleveland State University Cleveland, Ohio 1964 2019 Public 17,260 Vikings           Horizon League Wrestling
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania 1839 2019 Public 9,950 Huskies           PSAC
(Division II)
Clarion University of Pennsylvania Clarion, Pennsylvania 1867 2019 Public 5,225 Golden Eagles           PSAC
(Division II)
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania Edinboro, Pennsylvania 1857 2019 Public 4,834 Fighting Scots           PSAC
(Division II)
Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania Lock Haven, Pennsylvania 1870 2019 Public 4,607 Bald Eagles           PSAC
(Division II)
University of Detroit Mercy Detroit, Michigan 1877 2020 Private 5,700 Titans                Horizon League Women's lacrosse
Robert Morris University Moon Township, Pennsylvania 1921 2020 Private 4,895 Colonials                Horizon League Women's lacrosse
Youngstown State University Youngstown, Ohio 1908 2020 Public 15,058 Penguins           Horizon League Women's lacrosse

Former members

School names, nicknames, and colors listed here reflect those used during each school's MAC tenure. Wayne University became Wayne State University in 1956, with athletic teams changing from Tartars to Warriors in 1999. The University of Central Florida, known as the Golden Knights during their MAC tenure, dropped "Golden" from the athletic nickname in 2007 as part of their rebrand to the UCF Knights. Western Reserve University, whose teams were known as the Red Cats during their time in the MAC, merged with Case Institute of Technology in 1967 to form Case Western Reserve University, with the athletic programs merging in 1971. With the athletic merger, Case Western Reserve abandoned the nicknames of both former institutions and adopted Spartans. Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), known as the IPFW Mastodons during their affiliation with the MAC for men's soccer and men's tennis, rebranded their athletic program as the Fort Wayne Mastodons in 2016. Following IPFW's split into two separate institutions in July 2018, the Fort Wayne athletic program transferred to the larger of the two new institutions, Purdue University Fort Wayne, and the athletic program rebranded again as the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons. The school colors changed to the old gold and black used by the other members of the Purdue system, most notably the main campus.

Former full members

Institution Location Founded Joined Left Type Enrollment Nickname Colors Current
Butler University Indianapolis, Indiana 1855 1946 1949 Private 4,667 Bulldogs           Big East

Pioneer Football League (football only)

University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio 1819 1946 1953 Public 41,357 Bearcats           American
Marshall University Huntington, West Virginia 1837 1954, 1997 1969, 2005 Public 13,971 Thundering Herd           C-USA
Wayne University Detroit, Michigan 1868 1946 1947 Public 30,909 Tartars           GLIAC
(Division II)
Western Reserve University Cleveland, Ohio 1826 1946 1955 Private 10,331 Red Cats[42]     UAA
(Division III)

Former affiliate members

Institution Location Founded Joined Left Type Enrollment Nickname Colors Current Primary
Current Conference
in Former MAC Sport
MAC Sport
Hartwick College[a] Oneonta, New York 1797 2007 2014 Private 1,520 Hawks           Empire 8
(NCAA Division III)
men's soccer[43]
Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne, Indiana 1917 2002 (tennis)
2005 (men's soccer)
2007 (tennis)
2007 (men's soccer)
Public 14,326 Mastodons           Summit League men's soccer[43]
Men's tennis[44]
University of Kentucky Lexington, Kentucky 1865 1995 2005 Public 28,094 Wildcats           SEC C-USA men's soccer[43]
University of Louisville Louisville, Kentucky 1798 1994 2005 Public 22,293 Cardinals           ACC field hockey[45]
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Massachusetts 1863 2012 2016 Public 27,062 Minutemen           Atlantic 10 FBS independent football
Missouri State University[b] Springfield, Missouri 1905 2005 2017 Public 21,425 Lady Bears           Missouri Valley N/A (dropped field hockey) field hockey[45]
University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, Iowa 1876 2012 2017 Public 13,080 Panthers           Missouri Valley Big 12 wrestling
Old Dominion University Norfolk, Virginia 1930 2013 2020 Public 24,730 Monarchs                C-USA N/A (dropped wrestling)[29] wrestling
Temple University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1884 2007 2012 Public 37,696 Owls           American football
University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida 1963 2002 2005 Public 58,698 Golden Knights           American football
Chicago State University Chicago, Illinois 1867 2007[44] 2013 Public 7,131 Cougars           WAC men's tennis
Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, Florida 1961 2008[43] 2013 Public 26,245 Owls           C-USA men's soccer
  1. ^ In early 2014, the MAC made the decision "... to move forward without multi-divisional institutions." The conference then informed Hartwick College that their contract as an affiliate member would not be renewed.
  2. ^ Missouri State remains a MAC affiliate in men's swimming & diving.

Membership timeline

UMass Minutemen footballTemple Owls footballUCF Knights footballUniversity at BuffaloUniversity of AkronNorthern Illinois UniversityBall State UniversityEastern Michigan UniversityCentral Michigan UniversityMarshall UniversityBowling Green State UniversityKent State UniversityUniversity of ToledoWestern Michigan UniversityMiami UniversityOhio UniversityWestern Reserve UniversityUniversity of CincinnatiButler UniversityWayne State University

Full members Associate members (football only)

Mid-American Conference Member schools articles: 138


One of the current full member schools, the University at Buffalo, is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada.[46] All members are considered "high research activity," by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching except for the University at Buffalo which is considered "very high research activity," the highest classification given.[47] Member schools are also ranked nationally and globally by various groups, including U.S. News & World Report and Times Higher Education.

University Location Affiliation Carnegie[47] Endowment[48][49] USN Nat.[50] URAP Global[51]
University of Akron Akron, Ohio Public Research (High) $236,000,000 293-381 763
Ball State University Muncie, Indiana Public Research (High) $212,800,000 192 1437
Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, Ohio Public Research (High) $138,000,000 246 1443
University at Buffalo Buffalo, New York Public Research (Very High) $795,000,000 79 279
Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, Michigan Public Research (High) $156,400,000 240 1,335
Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, Michigan Public Research (High) $67,200,000 293-381 2,187
Kent State University Kent, Ohio Public Research (High) $138,000,000 211 801
Miami University Oxford, Ohio Public Research (High) $558,300,000 91 1,061
Northern Illinois University DeKalb, Illinois Public Research (High) $74,700,000 293-381 1,078
Ohio University Athens, Ohio Public Research (High) $596,400,000 176 701
University of Toledo Toledo, Ohio Public Research (High) $454,100,000 293-381 745
Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, Michigan Public Research (High) $405,200,000 246 1,292

Mid-American Conference Academics articles: 8