Western Athletic Conference

Last updated
Western Athletic Conference
WAC
Western Athletic Conference logo.svg
EstablishedJuly 27, 1962;58 years ago (1962-07-27)
Association NCAA
Division Division I
SubdivisionNon–football (FCS in 2021)
Members9 (13 in 2021)
Sports fielded
  • 19
    • men's: 9
    • women's: 10
Region Western United States
West South Central United States
Midwestern United States
Headquarters Englewood, Colorado
CommissionerJeff Hurd (since March 9, 2012)
Website www.wacsports.com
Locations
Map - Western Athletic Conference.svg

The Western Athletic Conference (WAC) is an NCAA Division I conference. The WAC covers a broad expanse of the western United States with member institutions located in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Utah and Washington along with the Midwest state of Illinois and the Southern state of Texas.

Contents

Due to most of the conference's football-playing members leaving the WAC for other affiliations, the conference discontinued football as a sponsored sport after the 2012–13 season and left the NCAA's Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A). The WAC thus became the first Division I conference to drop football since the Big West in 2000. The WAC then added men's soccer and became one of the NCAA's eleven Division I non-football conferences. [1] The WAC will undergo a major expansion in July 2021, with four schools joining. The conference will reinstate football at that time, competing in the Football Championship Subdivision. One year later, one non-football school (Chicago State) will leave, and another FCS football school (Southern Utah) will join. [2] [3] [4]

Members

Current members

The following institutions are the current full members of the Western Athletic Conference as of January 2021.

InstitutionLocationFoundedJoinedTypeEnrollmentNicknameColorsWAC
titles [5]
California Baptist University Riverside, California 19502018Private11,045 Lancers          8
Chicago State University Chicago, Illinois 18672013Public2,967 Cougars          0
Dixie State University St. George, Utah 19112020Public11,193 Trailblazers               0
Grand Canyon University Phoenix, Arizona 19492013Private25,000 Antelopes               42
New Mexico State University Las Cruces, New Mexico 18882005Public21,874 Aggies          77
Seattle University Seattle, Washington 18912012Private7,755 Redhawks          26
Tarleton State University Stephenville, Texas 18992020Public13,115 Texans          0
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Edinburg, Texas 19272013Public27,809 Vaqueros          5
Utah Valley University Orem, Utah 19412013Public41,728 Wolverines          20
Notes
  1. With the elimination of FBS football as a WAC-sponsored sport, New Mexico State's football program is currently an FBS Independent member.
  2. The founding date for UTRGV listed in this table reflects that of Edinburg College, the predecessor to the former University of Texas–Pan American. While UTRGV was created by the merger of UTPA with UT Brownsville, the UTRGV athletic program traces its history solely through UTPA.
  3. Chicago State will depart the WAC at the end of the 2021-22 fiscal year. [6]
  4. WAC title totals include regular season and tournament championships and are updated through Spring 2021.

Future members

The following institutions are announced future full members of the conference. [2] [3]

InstitutionLocationFoundedTypeEnrollmentNicknameColorsYear joiningCurrent conference
Abilene Christian University Abilene, Texas 1906Private5,200 [7] Wildcats          2021 Southland Conference
Lamar University Beaumont, Texas 1923Public17,488 [8] Cardinals & Lady Cardinals          2021 Southland Conference
Sam Houston State University Huntsville, Texas 1879Public21,025 [9] Bearkats          2021 Southland Conference
Stephen F. Austin State University Nacogdoches, Texas 1923Public13,144 [10] Lumberjacks & Ladyjacks          2021 Southland Conference
Southern Utah University Cedar City, Utah 1897Public11,224 [11] Thunderbirds          2022 Big Sky Conference

Affiliate members

The following 10 schools field programs in the WAC for sports not sponsored by their primary conferences. Three more schools will become affiliates in the relaunched WAC football league for at least the fall 2021 season.

Current

InstitutionLocationFoundedTypeEnrollmentNicknamePrimary conferenceWAC sport(s)JoinedWAC
titles [5]
Former
full
member
United States Air Force Academy
(Air Force)
Colorado Springs,
Colorado
1955Federal4,413 Falcons Mountain West men's soccer,
men's swimming
2013–14m.soc
2013–14m.sw
11Green check.svg
California State University, Sacramento
(Sacramento State)
Sacramento,
California
1947Public27,972 Hornets Big Sky baseball2005–067Red x.svg
Houston Baptist University Houston,
Texas
1960Private2,567 Huskies Southland men's soccer2013–140Red x.svg
University of Idaho Moscow,
Idaho
1889Public12,312 Vandals Big Sky women's swimming2014–1517Green check.svg
University of the Incarnate Word San Antonio,
Texas
1881Private8,455 Cardinals Southland men's soccer2014–150Red x.svg
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
(UNLV)
Paradise,
Nevada
1957Public29,069 Rebels Mountain West men's soccer,
men's swimming
2013–14m.soc
2013–14m.sw
7Green check.svg
Northern Arizona University Flagstaff,
Arizona
1899Public18,824 Lumberjacks Big Sky women's swimming2004–056Red x.svg
University of Northern Colorado Greeley,
Colorado
1889Public10,097 Bears Big Sky baseball,
women's swimming
2013–14bs.
2012–13w.sw
1Red x.svg
San Jose State University San Jose,
California
1857Public30,448 Spartans Mountain West men's soccer2013–1418Green check.svg
University of Wyoming Laramie,
Wyoming
1886Public12,496 Cowboys Mountain West men's swimming2013–1425Green check.svg
Notes
  1. Four schools became affiliate members in men's soccer in July 2013; the WAC announced on January 9, 2013 that it would reinstate the sport, which it had sponsored from 1996 to 1999. Because the conference dropped football, it was necessary to add a new men's team sport to maintain its Division I status. It chose men's soccer because three of the confirmed members for 2013–14 (CSU Bakersfield, Grand Canyon, and Seattle) already sponsored the sport, and filled out its soccer ranks by attracting four schools from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Three of these schools have past WAC connections—former full members Air Force, UNLV and San Jose State. [12] After the WAC announced it would add men's soccer, the conference gained an eighth soccer school for the 2013 season when UMKC, which already sponsored the sport, joined. In addition, Utah Valley added the sport for 2014, UT-Pan American (now known as UT Rio Grande Valley) added it for 2015, and Chicago State was slated to add it for 2016 but did not do so until 2020 (by which time UMKC returned to the Summit League under its current athletic identity of Kansas City).
  2. Four schools (three of which are former WAC full members: Air Force, UNLV and Wyoming; and North Dakota) became affiliate members in men's swimming and diving in July 2013; the WAC announced on May 16, 2013 that it would reinstate the sport, which it had sponsored from 1962 to 2000. [13]
  3. Northern Colorado joined the WAC for baseball for the 2014 season (2013–14 academic year). [14] Baseball will leave for the Summit League after the 2021 season; [15] the school will remain a WAC affiliate in women's swimming & diving.
  4. Sacramento State was formerly an associate member of the WAC in baseball from 1992–93 to 1995–96.
  5. Championships title totals are through Fall 2014.

Future affiliate members

The following institutions are announced as 2021 season only affiliates for football. [16]

InstitutionLocationFoundedTypeEnrollmentNicknamePrimary ConferenceWAC Sport(s)Joining
University of Central Arkansas Conway, Arkansas 1907Public10,869 Bears ASUN (from July 2021)Football2021–22
Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, Kentucky 1874Public16,959 Colonels ASUN (from July 2021)Football2021–22
Jacksonville State University Jacksonville, Alabama 1883Public9,238 Gamecocks ASUN (from July 2021)Football2021–22

Former full members

The WAC has 29 former full members.

InstitutionNicknameLocationFoundedTypeEnrollmentJoinedLeftWAC
Titles [5]
Current Primary
Conference
United States Air Force Academy
(Air Force)
Falcons Colorado Springs,
Colorado
1954Federal4,4131980199911 Mountain West
University of Arizona Wildcats Tucson,
Arizona
1885Public39,2361962197818 Pac-12
Arizona State University Sun Devils Tempe,
Arizona
1885Public59,7941962197829 Pac-12
Boise State University Broncos Boise,
Idaho
1932Public22,6782001201133 Mountain West
Brigham Young University
(BYU)
Cougars Provo,
Utah
1875Private34,13019621999193 WCC
Division I FBS Independent
California State University, Bakersfield Roadrunners Bakersfield, California 1965Public10,500201320207 Big West
California State University, Fresno
(Fresno State)
Bulldogs Fresno,
California
1911Public22,5651992201278 Mountain West
Colorado State University Rams Fort Collins,
Colorado
1870Public28,4171968199915 Mountain West
University of Denver Pioneers Denver,
Colorado
1864Private11,476201220137 Summit
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Rainbow Warriors
& Rainbow Wahine
Honolulu,
Hawaii
1907Public20,4351979201262 Big West
Mountain West (football only)
University of Idaho Vandals Moscow,
Idaho
1889Public12,3122005201417 Big Sky
University of Missouri–Kansas City
(Kansas City)
Roos Kansas City, Missouri 1933Public16,9442013202017 Summit League
Louisiana Tech University Bulldogs (men's)
Lady Techsters (women's)
Ruston,
Louisiana
1894Public11,5812001201330 C-USA
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
(UNLV)
Rebels Paradise,
Nevada
1957Public28,203199619997 Mountain West
University of Nevada, Reno Wolf Pack Reno,
Nevada
1874Public18,2272000201222 Mountain West
University of New Mexico Lobos Albuquerque,
New Mexico
1889Public35,2111962199946 Mountain West
Rice University Owls Houston,
Texas
1912Private6,0821996200529 C-USA
San Diego State University Aztecs San Diego,
California
1897Public28,7891978199920 Mountain West
San Jose State University Spartans San Jose,
California
1857Public30,4481996201318 Mountain West
Southern Methodist University
(SMU)
Mustangs University Park,
Texas
1911Private12,0001996200544 The American
Texas Christian University
(TCU)
Horned Frogs Fort Worth,
Texas
1873Private9,7251996200118 Big 12
University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks Arlington,
Texas
1895Public33,439201220132 Sun Belt
University of Texas at El Paso
(UTEP)
Miners El Paso,
Texas
1914Public21,0111968200558 C-USA
University of Texas at San Antonio
(UTSA)
Roadrunners San Antonio,
Texas
1969Public30,474201220132 C-USA
Texas State University Bobcats San Marcos,
Texas
1899Public34,229201220133 Sun Belt
University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane Tulsa,
Oklahoma
1894Private4,3521996200514 The American
University of Utah Utes Salt Lake City,
Utah
1850Public32,3881962199968 Pac-12
Utah State University Aggies Logan,
Utah
1888Public28,7962005201332 Mountain West
University of Wyoming Cowboys & Cowgirls Laramie,
Wyoming
1866Public12,4961962199925 Mountain West

Former affiliate members

InstitutionLocationFoundedTypeEnrollmentNicknamePrimary ConferenceWAC Sport(s)JoinedLeft
Boise State University Boise,
Idaho
1932Public22,678 Broncos Mountain West [fa 1] gymnastics1990–91,
2012–13
1992–93,
2012–13
California Polytechnic State University
(Cal Poly San Luis Obispo)
San Luis Obispo,
California
1901Public20,186 Mustangs Big West baseball1994–951995–96
California State University, Bakersfield
(Cal State Bakersfield)
Bakersfield,
California
1965Public8,720 Roadrunners Big West [fa 2] baseball,
women's
swimming
2012–13bs.
2012–13w.sm.
2012–13bs.
2012–13w.sm.
California State University, Fullerton
(Cal State Fullerton)
Fullerton,
California
1959Public38,128 Titans Big West [fa 3] gymnastics2005–062010–11
California State University, Northridge
(Cal State Northridge)
Northridge,
California
1958Public38,310 Matadors Big Sky baseball1992–931995–96
California State University, Sacramento
(Sacramento State)
Sacramento,
California
1947Public27,972 Hornets Big Sky [fa 4] gymnastics2005–062012–13
Dallas Baptist University Dallas,
Texas
1898Private5,422 Patriots Lone Star
(NCAA Division II) [fa 5]
baseball2012–132012–13
University of Denver Denver,
Colorado
1864Private11,476 Pioneers Summit [fa 6] gymnastics2011–122011–12
Drury University Springfield,
Missouri
1873Private5,474 Panthers Great Lakes Valley
(NCAA Division II)
men's soccer1999–20001999–2000
Grand Canyon University Phoenix,
Arizona
1949Private,
For-profit
17,650 Antelopes WACbaseball1994–951997–98
University of Hawaii at Hilo
(Hawaii–Hilo)
Hilo,
Hawaii
1901Public20,186 Vulcans Pacific West
(NCAA Division II)
baseball1999–20002000–01
University of North Dakota Grand Forks,
North Dakota
1883Public15,250 Fighting Hawks Summit [fa 7] baseball,
men's swimming,
women's swimming
2013–14bs.
2013–14m.sm.
2011–12w.sm.
2015–16bs.
2016–17m.sm.
2016–17w.sm.
University of San Diego San Diego,
California
1949Private8,105 Toreros West Coast [fa 8] women's
swimming
2004–052009–10
Southern Utah University Cedar City,
Utah
1897Public8,297 Thunderbirds Big Sky [fa 9] [fa 1] gymnastics1990–91,
2005–06
1992–93,
2012–13
  1. 1 2 Neither the Big Sky Conference nor the MW sponsors women's gymnastics. Boise State and Southern Utah house that sport in the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference.
  2. Cal State Bakersfield was a full WAC member from 2013 to 2020.
  3. Cal State Fullerton no longer sponsors women's gymnastics.
  4. The Big Sky Conference does not sponsor women's gymnastics. Sacramento State houses that sport in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
  5. The Dallas Baptist baseball team currently competes as a single-sport member of the Missouri Valley Conference.
  6. The Summit League does not sponsor women's gymnastics. Denver houses that sport in the Big 12 Conference.
  7. North Dakota no longer sponsors any of the sports it housed in the WAC.
  8. The WCC does not sponsor women's swimming and diving. San Diego houses that sport in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
  9. Southern Utah becomes a full WAC member in July 2022.

Membership timeline

Stephen F. Austin State UniversitySam Houston State UniversityLamar UniversityAbilene Christian UniversityTarleton State UniversityDixie State UniversityCalifornia Baptist UniversityHouston Baptist UniversityUtah Valley UniversitySummit LeagueUniversity of Missouri–Kansas CityUniversity of Texas Rio Grande ValleyChicago State UniversityUniversity of Northern ColoradoBig West ConferenceCalifornia State University, BakersfieldDallas Baptist UniversitySeattle UniversitySun Belt ConferenceUniversity of Texas at ArlingtonSun Belt ConferenceTexas State UniversityConference USAUniversity of Texas at San AntonioSummit LeagueUniversity of DenverUniversity of North DakotaCalifornia State University, FullertonNew Mexico StateBig Sky ConferenceUniversity of IdahoMountain West ConferenceUtah State UniversityUniversity of San DiegoNorthern Arizona UniversityConference USALouisiana Tech UniversityMountain West ConferenceUniversity of Nevada, RenoUniversity of Hawaii at HiloDrury UniversityMountain West ConferenceSan Jose State UniversityAmerican Athletic ConferenceConference USAUniversity of TulsaAmerican Athletic ConferenceConference USASouthern Methodist UniversityConference USARice UniversityBig 12 ConferenceMountain West ConferenceConference USATexas Christian UniversityMountain West ConferenceUniversity of Nevada, Las VegasGrand Canyon UniversityCalifornia Polytechnic State UniversityCalifornia State University, NorthridgeBig Sky ConferenceCalifornia State University, SacramentoMountain West ConferenceCalifornia State University, FresnoBig Sky ConferenceNCAA Division I FCS independent schoolsSouthern Utah UniversityMountain West ConferenceBoise State UniversityBig West ConferenceBoise State UniversityMountain West ConferenceUnited States Air Force AcademyBig West ConferenceUniversity of Hawaiʻi at MānoaMountain West ConferenceSan Diego State UniversityConference USAUniversity of Texas at El PasoMountain West ConferenceColorado State UniversityMountain West ConferenceUniversity of WyomingPac-12 ConferenceMountain West ConferenceUniversity of UtahMountain West ConferenceUniversity of New MexicoWest Coast ConferenceMountain West ConferenceBrigham Young UniversityPac-12 ConferencePac-12 ConferenceArizona State UniversityPac-12 ConferencePac-12 ConferenceUniversity of ArizonaWestern Athletic Conference

Full membersFull members (non-football)Other conferenceOther conferenceAssociate Member

History

Formation

Usa edcp relief location map.png
Blue pog.svg
Arizona
Blue pog.svg
Arizona State
Blue pog.svg
BYU
Blue pog.svg
New Mexico
Blue pog.svg
Utah
Blue pog.svg
Wyoming
Locations of WAC founding schools

The WAC formed out of a series of talks between Brigham Young University athletic director Eddie Kimball and other university administrators from 1958 to 1961 to form a new athletic conference that would better fit the needs and situations of certain universities which were at the time members of the Border, Skyline, and Pacific Coast Conferences. Potential member universities who were represented at the meetings included BYU, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Arizona State, and Wyoming. While the three Washington and Oregon schools elected to stay in a revamped Pac-8 Conference that replaced the scandal-plagued PCC, the remaining six schools formed the WAC. The Border and Skyline conferences, having each lost three of their stronger members, dissolved at the end of the 1961–62 season. The charter members of the WAC were Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. New Mexico State and Utah State applied for charter membership and were turned down; they would eventually become WAC members 43 years later.

Success and first expansion

The conference proved to be an almost perfect fit for the six schools from both a competitive and financial standpoint. Arizona and Arizona State, in particular, experienced success in baseball with Arizona garnering the 1963 College World Series (CWS) runner-up trophy and ASU winning the CWS in 1965, 1967, and 1969. Colorado State and Texas-El Paso (UTEP), at that time just renamed from Texas Western College, were accepted in September 1967 (joined in July 1968) to bring membership up to eight. [17] [18]

With massive growth in the state of Arizona, the balance of WAC play in the 1970s became increasingly skewed in favor of the Arizona schools, who won or tied for all but two WAC football titles from 1969 onward. In the summer of 1978, the two schools left the WAC for the Pac-8, which became the Pac-10, and were replaced in the WAC by San Diego State and, one year later, Hawaii. The WAC further expanded by adding Air Force in the summer of 1980. A college football national championship won by Brigham Young in 1984 added to the WAC's reputation as one of the best NCAA Division I conferences. This nine-team line-up of the WAC defined the conference for nearly 15 years.

Second wave of expansion

Fresno State expanded its athletic program in the early 1990s and was granted membership in 1992 as the nationwide trend against major college programs independent of conferences accelerated. The WAC merged with the High Country Athletic Conference, a parallel organization to the WAC for women's athletics, in 1990 to unify both men's and women's athletics under one administrative structure.

Usa edcp relief location map.png
Red pog.svg
⇙ Hawaii
Red pog.svg
Fresno State
Red pog.svg
San Diego State
Red pog.svg
San Jose State
Green pog.svg
UNLV
Green pog.svg
Air Force
Green pog.svg
Colorado State
Green pog.svg
Wyoming
Blue pog.svg
BYU
Blue pog.svg
New Mexico
Blue pog.svg
Utah
Blue pog.svg
UTEP
Yellow pog.svg
Tulsa
Yellow pog.svg
TCU
Yellow pog.svg
SMU
Yellow pog.svg
Rice
WAC member locations during the four-pod system (1996–1998)

In 1996, the WAC expanded again, adding six schools to its ranks for a total of sixteen. Rice, TCU, and SMU joined the league from the Southwest Conference, which had disbanded. Big West Conference members San Jose State and UNLV were also admitted, as well as Tulsa from the Missouri Valley Conference. [19] Also, two WAC members for men's sports at the time, Air Force and Hawaiʻi, brought their women's sports into the WAC. With the expansion, the WAC was divided into two divisions, the Mountain and the Pacific.

To help in organizing schedules and travel for the far-flung league, the members were divided into four quadrants of four teams each, as follows: [19]

Quadrant 1Quadrant 2Quadrant 3Quadrant 4
HawaiʻiUNLVBYUTulsa
Fresno StateAir ForceUtahTCU
San Diego StateColorado StateNew MexicoSMU
San Jose StateWyomingUTEPRice

Quadrant one was always part of the Pacific Division, and quadrant four was always part of the Mountain Division. Quadrant two was part of the Pacific Division for 1996 and 1997 before switching to the Mountain Division in 1998, while the reverse was true for quadrant three. The scheduled fourth year of the alignment was abandoned after eight schools left to form the Mountain West Conference.[ citation needed ]

The division champions in football met from 1996 to 1998 in the WAC Championship Game, held at Sam Boyd Stadium (also known as the Silver Bowl) in the Las Vegas Valley.

Turbulence at the turn of the millennium

Increasingly, most of the older, pre-1996 members —particularly Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, Utah, and Wyoming— felt chagrin at this new arrangement. Additional concerns centered around finances, as the expanded league stretched approximately 3,900 miles (6,300 km) from Hawaiʻi to Oklahoma and covered nine states and four time zones. With such a far-flung league, travel costs became a concern. The presidents of Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, Utah, and Wyoming met in 1998 at Denver International Airport and agreed to split off to form a new league. The breakaway group invited old-line WAC schools New Mexico and San Diego State and newcomer UNLV to join them in the new Mountain West Conference, which began competition in 1999. [19]

A USA Today article summed up the reasons behind the split. "With Hawaii and the Texas schools separated by about 3,900 miles and four time zones, travel costs were a tremendous burden for WAC teams. The costs, coupled with lagging revenue and a proposed realignment that would have separated rivals such as Colorado State and Air Force, created unrest among the eight defecting schools." [20] [21]

BYU and Utah would later leave the MWC for the West Coast Conference and Pac-12 Conference, respectively; BYU football is an FBS independent.

WAC in the 2000s

Usa edcp relief location map.png
Blue pog.svg
⇙ Hawaii
Blue pog.svg
Fresno State
Blue pog.svg
San Jose State
Blue pog.svg
Boise State
Blue pog.svg
Louisiana Tech
Blue pog.svg
Idaho
Blue pog.svg
New Mexico State
Blue pog.svg
Utah State
Blue pog.svg
Nevada
Locations of WAC full members from 2005 through 2011

In 2000, the University of Nevada, Reno (Nevada) of the Big West joined as part of its plan to upgrade its athletic program.

TCU left for Conference USA in 2001 (it would later leave C-USA to become the ninth member of the Mountain West in 2005, and joined the Big 12 in 2012).

The Big West announced that it would drop football after the 2000 season, but four of its football-playing members (Boise State, Idaho, New Mexico State, and Utah State) were unwilling to drop football. Boise State was invited to join the WAC and promptly departed the Big West, while New Mexico State and Idaho joined the Sun Belt Conference (NMSU as a full member, Idaho as a "football only" member) and Utah State operated as an independent D-IA program. At the same time, Louisiana Tech (LA Tech) ended its independent D-IA status and also accepted an invitation to join the WAC with Boise State.

In 2005, Conference USA sought new members to replenish its ranks after losing members to the Big East, which had lost members to the ACC. Four WAC schools, former SWC schools Rice and SMU, as well as Tulsa and UTEP, joined Conference USA. In response, the WAC added Idaho, New Mexico State, and Utah State – all former Big West schools which left the conference in 2000 along with Boise State when that conference dropped football. The three new schools were all land grant universities, bringing the conference total to five (Nevada and Hawaiʻi).

Membership changes and the elimination of football

The decade of the 2010s began with a series of conference realignment moves that would have trickle-down effects throughout Division I football, and profoundly change the membership of the WAC. Boise State decided to move to the Mountain West Conference (MWC) for the 2011–12 season, [22] and to replace departing BYU, the MWC also recruited WAC members Fresno State and Nevada for 2012–13. [23] [24] WAC commissioner Karl Benson courted several schools to replace those leaving, including the University of Montana, which declined, [25] [26] as well as the University of Denver, University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), and Texas State University-San Marcos, which all accepted effective 2012–13. [27]

But the resulting eastward shift of the conference's geographic center led Hawaiʻi to reduce travel expenses by becoming a football-only member of the MWC and joining the California-based Big West Conference for all other sports. [28] [29] Further invitations were then issued by the WAC to Seattle University [30] and the University of Texas at Arlington. [31] These changes meant that the conference would have 10 members for 2012–13, [32] seven of which sponsored football, and Benson announced that the WAC planned to add two additional football-playing members to begin competition in 2013. [33] A further boost came when Boise State decided to join the Big East in football, and return to the WAC in most other sports, as of the 2013–14 academic year. [34] So by the end of 2011, the WAC seemed to have weathered the latest round of conference changes, and once again reinvented itself for the future.

Usa edcp relief location map.png
Blue pog.svg
Chicago State
Blue pog.svg
Grand Canyon
Blue pog.svg
New Mexico State
Blue pog.svg
Seattle
Blue pog.svg
UTRGV
Blue pog.svg
Utah Valley
Blue pog.svg
California Baptist
Blue pog.svg
Dixie State
Blue pog.svg
Tarleton State
Locations of current WAC full members: Blue=current

But from this seemingly strong position, early 2012 brought forth a series of moves that shook the conference to its very core, beginning with Utah State and San Jose State accepting offers to join the MWC. [35] Four similar announcements followed with UTSA and Louisiana Tech jumping to Conference USA, plus Texas State and UT Arlington heading to the Sun Belt Conference, all as of 2013–14. [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] Boise State also canceled plans to rejoin the WAC, instead opting to place its non-football sports in the Big West Conference, before eventually deciding to simply remain in the MWC. [42] [43] These changes left the WAC's viability as a Division I football conference in grave doubt. The two remaining football-playing members, New Mexico State and Idaho, began making plans to compete in future seasons as FBS Independents; [44] [45] they ultimately spent only the 2013 season as independents, rejoining their one-time football home of the Sun Belt as football-only members in 2014. [46]

In order to rebuild, as well as forestall further defections, the conference was forced to add two schools—Utah Valley University and CSU Bakersfield—which were invited in October 2012 to join the WAC in 2013–14, [47] but this did not prevent two more members from leaving. Denver decided to take most of its athletic teams to The Summit League as of the 2013–14 season, [48] shortly after Idaho opted to return all of its non-football sports to the Big Sky Conference in 2014–15. [49] The conference responded over the next two months by adding Grand Canyon University, [50] Chicago State University, [51] and the University of Texas-Pan American. [52] [53] Then, in February 2013, the WAC announced the University of Missouri–Kansas City would join in the summer of 2013 as well. [54] These changes would put the conference's membership at eight members by 2014 with only one, New Mexico State, having been in the WAC just three years earlier. Due to losing the majority of its football-playing members, the WAC would stop sponsoring the sport after the 2012–13 season, thereby becoming a non-football conference. [1]

In 2013, the University of Texas System announced that Texas–Pan American would merge with the University of Texas at Brownsville; the new institution, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), began operation for the 2015–16 school year. UTRGV inherited UTPA's athletic program and WAC membership.

In January 2017, California Baptist University announced it would transition from NCAA Division II and join the WAC in 2018. [55]

In November 2017, Cal State Bakersfield announced it would accept an invitation to the Big West and join its new conference in 2020.

In January 2019, Dixie State University announced it would move its athletics to Division I and join the WAC in 2020.

In June 2019, the University of Missouri–Kansas City announced it would leave the WAC to join the Summit League in 2020; [56] this announcement came shortly before the rebranding of its athletic program as the Kansas City Roos. [57]

In September 2019, Tarleton State University of Division II announced that it would move to Division I and join the WAC in 2020. [58]

2021–2022 membership changes and planned reinstatement of football

Usa edcp relief location map.png
Blue pog.svg
Grand Canyon
Blue pog.svg
New Mexico State
Blue pog.svg
Seattle
Blue pog.svg
UTRGV
Blue pog.svg
Utah Valley
Blue pog.svg
California Baptist
Blue pog.svg
Dixie State
Blue pog.svg
Tarleton
Yellow pog.svg
Abilene Christian
Yellow pog.svg
Lamar
Yellow pog.svg
Sam Houston
Yellow pog.svg
Stephen F. Austin
Yellow pog.svg
Southern Utah
Locations of WAC full members beginning in 2022 (Blue: Current, Yellow: New)

On January 14, 2021, the Western Athletic Conference announced its intention to reinstate football as a conference-sponsored sport at the FCS level, as well as the addition of five new members to the conference in all sports, including football, at a press conference held at the NRG Center in Houston, Texas. [2] The new members announced included four Southland Conference members from Texas in Abilene Christian University, Lamar University, Sam Houston State University, and Stephen F. Austin State University, which would soon be dubbed the "Texas Four", [4] plus Southern Utah University from the Big Sky Conference. The conference also announced that it would most likely add another member that fielded a football team at a later date. While the WAC originally announced that all new members would join on July 1, 2022, commissioner Jeff Hurd later said that the arrival of the Texas Four "was expedited" to July 1, 2021. [3] The conference officially confirmed this on January 21, 2021, adding that the relaunch of football was moved forward to fall 2021. The conference also confirmed media reports that the Southland had expelled the Texas Four after they announced their departure. [59] [60] Southern Utah's entry remains on the 2022 schedule. [3]

During the aforementioned press conference, Hurd also announced that the WAC would split into two divisions for all sports except football and men's and women's basketball. One division will consist of the six Texas schools (the Texas Four plus existing members Tarleton and UTRGV). [2]

Also on January 14, 2021, news broke that UTRGV, a non-football playing member of the conference, had committed to create an FCS football program by 2024. [61] The program would most likely compete as part of the newly-reinstated WAC football conference.

The WAC's planned reestablishment of a football conference at the FCS level has also been accompanied by speculation that the conference intends to eventually move its football league back up to FBS in the future, possibly by 2030. [62] Later that same month, the WAC moved the start of their FCS sponsorship of football to Fall 2021, with media reports indicating that the University of Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky University, and Jacksonville State University would be added as football affiliates for 2021. These three schools are joining the ASUN Conference in July 2021; that league plans to add FCS football, but not until at least 2022. [63] [64] The entry of the three incoming ASUN members into the new football league was officially confirmed at a February 23, 2021 ASUN press conference. These schools will join the Texas Four in a round-robin schedule officially branded interchangeably as the "ASUN–WAC Challenge" and "WAC–ASUN Challenge"; the two conferences have proposed an amendment to NCAA bylaws that would allow their partnership (and presumably any others of its kind) to receive an immediate FCS playoff berth. Dixie State and Tarleton will be included in alliance members' schedules, but are not eligible for the FCS playoffs until completing their Division I transitions in 2024. [65] [66]

On the same day as the WAC's initial announcement, Chicago State University announced it would leave the WAC in June 2022. [67] Chicago State was originally added in 2013 along with the University of Missouri–Kansas City, originally with an intention for both institutions to serve as anchors for a midwestern-centered division for the conference. [68] No other universities in the region were added to the WAC, and UMKC (now known for athletic purposes as Kansas City) departed the conference in 2020 for its former home of the Summit League. Chicago State is currently the only WAC member east of Texas, and does not field a football team. Chicago State's departure would render Seattle University as the only WAC member institution not geographically located in the southwestern United States.

Commissioners

YearsCommissioners
1962–1968 Paul Brechler
1968–1971 Wiles Hallock
1971–1980 Stan Bates
1980–1994 Joseph Kearney
1994–2012 Karl Benson
2012–presentJeff Hurd

Sports

The Western Athletic Conference currently sponsors championship competition in nine men's and ten women's NCAA sanctioned sports, with football to be added in fall 2021, initially as the ASUN–WAC (or WAC–ASUN) Challenge. [69] Nine schools are currently associate members in four sports.

Teams in Western Athletic Conference competition
SportMen'sWomen's
Baseball
10
-
Basketball
9
9
Cross country
8
9
Football
[lower-alpha 1]
Golf
8
9
Soccer
12
9
Softball
-
7
Swimming & Diving
7
7
Tennis
6
6
Track and field (indoor)
7
8
Track and field (outdoor)
8
9
Volleyball
-
9
  1. Football to be reinstated in 2021–22 with 7 playoff-eligible schools. Two transitional members will be included in scheduling but are not eligible for the FCS playoffs.

Men's sponsored sports by school

Departing members in red.

SchoolBaseballBasketballCross
Country
GolfSoccerSwimming
& Diving
TennisTrack & Field
(Indoor)
Track & Field
(Outdoor)
Total
WAC Sports
California BaptistGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svg7
Chicago StateRed x.svg [70] Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg [lower-alpha 1] Red x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg7
Dixie StateGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgRed x.svg5
Grand CanyonGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg9
New Mexico StateGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgRed x.svg5
SeattleGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg9
Tarleton StateGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg5
UTRGVGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg8
Utah ValleyGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg7
Totals8+2 [lower-alpha 2] 9987+5 [lower-alpha 3] 3+3 [lower-alpha 4] 56762+10
Future members
Abilene ChristianGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg7
LamarGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg7
Sam Houston StateGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg6
Southern UtahRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg5
Stephen F. AustinGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg6
  1. Chicago State was expected to add men's soccer by 2014. The school budgeted the sport for the 2016–17 school year. However, the ongoing State of Illinois budgetary crisis and the school's own critical financial problems have set this back once more. With the school's current financial situation and the needs of the athletic program, in April 2016, the University Budget Committee recommended that the Athletic Department "... study the benefits of being Division I or another division." [6] CSU finally added men's soccer for the 2020–21 school year while also eliminating baseball. [70]
  2. Affiliates Northern Colorado and Sacramento State, with Northern Colorado leaving for the Summit League after the 2021 season.
  3. Affiliates Air Force, Houston Baptist, Incarnate Word, San Jose State, and UNLV.
  4. Affiliates Air Force, UNLV, and Wyoming.
Men's varsity sports not sponsored by the Western Athletic Conference which are played by WAC schools

Future members in gray.

SchoolFootballVolleyballWater PoloWrestling
Abilene Christian Southland [lower-alpha 1] NoNoNo
California BaptistNoNo WWPA Independent [lower-alpha 2]
Dixie State FCS independent [lower-alpha 3] NoNoNo
Grand CanyonNo MPSF NoNo
Lamar Southland [lower-alpha 1] NoNoNo
New Mexico State FBS independent NoNoNo
Sam Houston State Southland [lower-alpha 1] NoNoNo
Southern Utah Big Sky [lower-alpha 4] NoNoNo
Stephen F. Austin Southland [lower-alpha 1] NoNoNo
Tarleton State FCS independent [lower-alpha 3] NoNoNo
Utah ValleyNoNoNo Big 12
  1. 1 2 3 4 Will become part of the reinstated WAC football league in 2021.
  2. Scheduled to join the Big 12 Conference as a wrestling affiliate in 2022.
  3. 1 2 Will have guaranteed games against other WAC football members, but not initially included in the reinstated football league due to Division I transition.
  4. Joining the WAC in 2022.

Women's sponsored sports by school

Departing members in red.

SchoolBasketballCross
Country
GolfSoccerSoftballSwimming
& Diving
TennisTrack & Field
(Indoor)
Track & Field
(Outdoor)
VolleyballTotal
WAC Sports
California BaptistGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg8
Chicago StateGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg8
Dixie StateGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg9
Grand CanyonGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg10
New Mexico StateGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg10
SeattleGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg10
Tarleton StateGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svg [lower-alpha 1] Green check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg8
UTRGVGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg8
Utah ValleyGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg8
Totals999875+2 [lower-alpha 2] 779979+2
Future members
Abilene ChristianGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg9
LamarGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg10
Sam Houston StateGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg10
Southern UtahGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg9
Stephen F. AustinGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg10
  1. Tarleton will add women's soccer in 2022. [71]
  2. Affiliates Northern Arizona and Northern Colorado.
Women's varsity sports not sponsored by the Western Athletic Conference which are played by WAC schools

Future members in gray.

SchoolBeach VolleyballBowlingEquestrian [lower-alpha 1] GymnasticsRowingWater Polo
California BaptistNoNoNoNoNo GCC
Grand CanyonIndependentNoNoNoNoNo
New Mexico StateNoNoIndependentNoNoNo
Sam Houston StateNo SBL NoNoNoNo
SeattleNoNoNoNo WIRA No
Southern UtahNoNoNo MRGC NoNo
Stephen F. AustinTBA SBL NoNoNoNo

Football

The WAC sponsored football from its founding in 1962 through the 2012 season. However, the defection of all but two football-playing schools to other conferences caused the conference to drop sponsorship after fifty-one years. [72]

Reinstatement

On January 14, 2021, the WAC announced its intention to reinstate football as a conference-sponsored sport at the FCS level, as well as the addition of five new members to the conference in all sports, including football. [73] The new members announced include the "Texas Four" of Abilene Christian University, Lamar University, Sam Houston State University, and Stephen F. Austin State University, all currently of the Southland Conference, along with Southern Utah University, currently of the Big Sky Conference. Originally, all schools were planned to join in July 2022, but the entry of the Texas Four was moved to July 2021 after the Southland expelled its departing members. [59] The WAC also announced that it would most likely add another football-playing institution at a later date.

On the same day, news broke that the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, a non-football playing WAC member, had committed to create an FCS football program by 2024. [74] The program would most likely compete as part of the newly-reinstated WAC football conference.

The WAC would ultimately partner with the ASUN Conference to reestablish its football league, with the Texas Four being joined by three incoming ASUN members for at least the fall 2021 season in what it calls the ASUN–WAC (or WAC–ASUN) Challenge. [65] [66]

The WAC has been speculated to move back up to FBS in the future following the reestablishment of the football conference at the FCS level. [75]

Men's basketball

TeamFirst
Season
All-Time
Record
All-Time
Win %
NCAA Tournament
Appearances
NCAA Tournament
Record
ArenaHead Coach
New Mexico State 19051329–1018–2.5661810–20 Pan American Center Chris Jans
Seattle 1946978–874.5281110–13 Redhawk Center Jim Hayford
Grand Canyon 2013103-58.63910–1 GCU Arena Bryce Drew
Utah Valley 2004 [76] 234–194.54700–0 UCCU Center Mark Madsen
UTRGV 1968599-804.42700–0 UTRGV Fieldhouse Matt Figger

WAC tournament

Rivalries

Men's basketball rivalries involving WAC teams include:

TeamsMeetingsRecordSeries LeaderCurrent Streak
New Mexico State New Mexico 20895–113New MexicoNew Mexico State Won 2
New Mexico State UTEP 200102–98New Mexico StateNew Mexico State Won 6

Awards

Women's basketball

TeamFirst
Season
All-Time
Record
All-Time
Win %
NCAA Tournament
Appearances
NCAA Tournament
Record
ArenaHead Coach
New Mexico State 1973437–406.51840–4 Pan American Center Mark Trakh
Seattle 1978.10–1 Redhawk Center Suzy Barcomb

WAC tournament

Rivalries

Women's basketball rivalries involving WAC teams include:

TeamsMeetingsRecordSeries LeaderCurrent Streak

Baseball

The WAC has claimed seven NCAA baseball national championships. The most recent WAC national champion is the 2008 Fresno State Bulldogs baseball team.

WAC tournament

Championships

Current champions

Source: [77] [78]

SeasonSportMen's championWomen's champion
Fall 2019Cross countryUtah ValleyCalifornia Baptist
SoccerSeattle (RS & T)Seattle (RS & T)
VolleyballNew Mexico State (RS & T)
Winter 2019–20Indoor Track & FieldGrand CanyonNew Mexico State
Swimming & DivingAir ForceNorthern Arizona
BasketballNew Mexico State (RS & 2019 T)Kansas City (RS)
New Mexico State (2019 T)
Spring 2020GolfKansas City (2019)New Mexico State (2019)
TennisGrand Canyon (2019, both RS & T)Grand Canyon (2019 RS)
New Mexico State (2019 T)
SoftballSeattle (2019, both RS & T)
Outdoor Track & FieldUtah Valley (2019)Grand Canyon (2019)
BaseballCalifornia Baptist, New Mexico State, UTRGV (2019 RS)
Sacramento State (2019 T)

National championships

The following teams have won NCAA national championships while being a member of the WAC:

The WAC has also produced one AP national champion in football:

The following teams won AIAW (and forerunner DGWS) women's national championships while their universities were members of the WAC:

Facilities

Departing members highlighted in red; future members in gray.

SchoolFootball stadiumCapacityBasketball arenaCapacitySoccer stadiumCapacitySoftball parkCapacityBaseball parkCapacity
Abilene Christian Anthony Field at Wildcat Stadium 12,000 Moody Coliseum 4,600 Elmer Gray Stadium 1,000 Poly Wells Field 1,000 Crutcher Scott Field 4,500
California Baptist Non-football school CBU Events Center 5,050 [79] CBU Soccer Field N/A John C. Funk Stadium 500 [80] James W. Totman Stadium 800 [80]
Central Arkansas Estes Stadium 10,000Football-only member
Chicago State Non-football school Jones Convocation Center 7,000Kroc Stadium500Non-softball schoolNon-baseball school [70]
Dixie State Greater Zion Stadium 10,000 [81] Burns Arena 4,779 [82] Greater Zion Stadium10,000 Karl Brooks Field N/A Bruce Hurst Field 2,500 [83]
Eastern Kentucky Roy Kidd Stadium 20,000Football-only member
Grand Canyon Non-football school GCU Arena 7,000 [84] GCU Stadium 2,800 seats
6,000 cap.
GCU Softball Stadium 300 [85] Brazell Field at GCU Ballpark 1,500
Jacksonville State JSU Stadium 24,000Football-only member
Lamar Provost Umphrey Stadium 16,000 Montagne Center 10,080 Lamar Soccer Complex 500 Lamar Softball Complex 467 Vincent-Beck Stadium 3,500
New Mexico State Plays FBS football; see NCAA Division I FBS independent schools Pan American Center 12,482 [86] Aggie Soccer Field1,253NMSU Softball Complex1,050 Presley Askew Field 1,000
Sam Houston State Bowers Stadium 12,593 Bernard Johnson Coliseum 6,110 Pritchett Field 2,100 Bearkat Softball Complex 400 Don Sanders Stadium 1,163
Seattle Non-football school Redhawk Center 999Championship Field650Logan Field at Seattle University Park250 Bannerwood Park 700 [87]
Southern Utah Eccles Coliseum 8,500 America First Event Center 5,300 Thunderbird Soccer Field 600 Kathryn Berg Field N/ANon-baseball school
Stephen F. Austin Homer Bryce Stadium 14,575 William R. Johnson Coliseum 7,203 SFA Soccer Complex 400 SFA Softball Field 750 Jaycees Field 1,000
Tarleton State Memorial Stadium 10,000 Wisdom Gym 2,400 [88] To be announced; adding women's soccer in 2022 Tarleton Softball Complex 500 [89] Cecil Ballow Baseball Complex 750 [90]
UTRGV Non-football school; plans to add football no later than 2024 UTRGV Fieldhouse 2,500 [91] UTRGV Soccer and Track & Field Complex [92] 1,555Non-softball school UTRGV Baseball Stadium 4,000
Utah Valley Non-football school UCCU Center 8,500Clyde Field1,000Wolverine Field500 UCCU Ballpark 5,000
SchoolSoccer stadiumCapacityBaseball parkCapacity
Affiliate members
Air Force USAFA Soccer Stadium1,000Soccer-only member
Houston Baptist Sorrels Field500Soccer-only member
Incarnate Word Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium 6,000Soccer-only member
UNLV Peter Johann Memorial Field2,500Soccer-only member
Northern Colorado Baseball-only member Jackson Field 1,500
Sacramento State Baseball-only member John Smith Field*1,200
San Jose State Spartan Soccer Field 500 [93] Soccer-only member

Awards

Commissioner's Cup

The WAC awards its Commissioner's Cup to the school that performs the best in each of the conference's 19 men's and women's championships.

Joe Kearney Award

Named in honor of former WAC commissioner Dr. Joseph Kearney, the awards are given annually to the top male and female WAC athlete. The various WAC member institutions Athletics Directors select the male award winner, while the WAC member institutions Senior Women's Administrators choose the female honoree.

Stan Bates Award

The award is named in honor of former WAC Commissioner Stan Bates and honors the WAC's top male and female scholar-athletes, recognizing the recipients’ athletic and academic accomplishments. In addition, the awards carry a $3,000 postgraduate scholarship.

Media

WAC Digital Network

In 2014–15, the WAC initiated a new digital network to give fans high quality streaming internet access to many of its regular season games and postseason championships including volleyball, soccer, swimming and diving, basketball, softball and baseball. [94]

Related Research Articles

Mountain West Conference

The Mountain West Conference (MW) is one of the collegiate athletic conferences affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The MW officially began operations on January 4, 1999. Geographically, the MW covers a broad expanse of the Western United States, with member schools located in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Craig Thompson has served as Commissioner of the MW since October 15, 1998.

NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision independent schools are four-year institutions in the United States whose football programs are not part of a football conference. This means that FCS independents are not required to schedule each other for competition as conference schools do.

NCAA Division I Highest level of intercollegiate athletics sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association

NCAA Division I (D-I) is the highest level of intercollegiate athletics sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States, which accepts players globally. D-I schools include the major collegiate athletic powers, with larger budgets, more elaborate facilities and more athletic scholarships than Divisions II and III as well as many smaller schools committed to the highest level of intercollegiate competition.

ASUN Conference

The ASUN Conference, formerly the Atlantic Sun Conference, is a collegiate athletic conference operating mostly in the Southeastern United States. The league participates at the NCAA Division I level, and will begin sponsoring football in 2022. Originally established as the Trans America Athletic Conference (TAAC) in 1978, its headquarters are located in Atlanta.

In American college sports, NCAA Division I independent schools are four-year institutions that do not belong to a conference for a particular sport.

Western Athletic Conference football

The Western Athletic Conference (WAC) sponsored football and crowned a champion every year from 1962 to 2012. Once considered one of the best conferences in college football, steady attrition from 1999 to 2012 forced the WAC to drop football after fifty-one years.

This is a list of NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament bids by school. Schools whose names are listed in the last table are no longer in NCAA Division I Men's Basketball, and can no longer be included in the tournament.

This is a list of NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament bids by school, at the conclusion of the 2021 conference tournaments. Schools whose names are italicized are no longer in Division I and can no longer be included in the tournament.

Central Arkansas Bears football

The Central Arkansas Bears football program is the intercollegiate American football team for University of Central Arkansas (UCA) located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. The team competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and, for at least the 2021 season, will be a de facto associate member of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Central Arkansas's first football team was fielded in 1908. The team plays its home games at the 12,000-seat Estes Stadium in Conway, Arkansas. The Bears are coached by Nathan Brown, in his second year.

2010–2013 Western Athletic Conference realignment

The 2010–13 Western Athletic Conference realignment refers to the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) dealing with several proposed and actual conference expansion and reduction plans among various NCAA conferences and institutions from 2010 to 2013. Moves involving the WAC were a significant part of a much larger NCAA conference realignment in which it was one of the most impacted conferences. Of the nine members of the WAC in 2010, only two—the University of Idaho and New Mexico State University—remained in the conference beyond the 2012–13 school year, and Idaho departed for the Big Sky Conference after the 2013–14 school year. Five pre-2010 members are now all-sports members of the Mountain West Conference (MW), and another joined the MW for football only while placing most of its other sports in the Big West Conference. Another pre-2010 member joined Conference USA (C-USA) in July 2013.

Tarleton State Texans Athletic teams representing Tarleton State University

The Tarleton State Texans, also known as the Tarleton Texans, are the athletic teams that represent Tarleton State University of Stephenville, Texas in NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports. Before Tarleton State became a four-year institution in 1961, they were known as the "Plowboys". The Texans compete as members of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) for 13 of their 14 varsity sports. During the school's four-year transition to full D-I membership, set to end in July 2024, Tarleton has planned to add several sports, with women's soccer the first to be confirmed and the team's launch scheduled for 2022.

Texas–Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros

The Texas–Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros is a collegiate athletic program that represents the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). The Vaqueros inherited the NCAA Division I status of the Texas–Pan American Broncs and compete in the Western Athletic Conference.

2020–21 NCAA Division I FCS football season American college football season

The 2020–21 NCAA Division I FCS football season, part of college football in the United States, is organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level.

2021 NCAA Division I FCS football season American college football season

The Fall 2021 NCAA Division I FCS football season, part of college football in the United States, is organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level.

References

  1. 1 2 Irv Moss (August 20, 2012). "WAC to drop football after 2012 season, commissioner Hurd says". The Denver Post . Archived from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "WAC Announces Expansion, Plans to Reinstate Football" (Press release). Western Athletic Conference. January 14, 2021. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Martinez, Quinton (January 14, 2021). "Four Texas schools announce departure from Southland Conference for WAC". Corpus Christi Caller-Times . Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  4. 1 2 Dean, Richard (January 14, 2021). "Why the Texas four left for the Southland for the WAC". San Antonio Express-News . Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  5. 1 2 3 "WAC team champion". Western Athletic Conference. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  6. "Chicago State University Announces Plan to Leave Western Athletic Conference in June 2022". Chicago State University. January 14, 2021. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  7. "ACU freshman enrollment at 30-year high". ACU University Relations. September 9, 2016. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  8. "Texas State University System (POSTPONED from FEB. 18) Quarterly Board of Regents Meeting Monday, March 1, 2021 - 11:00 AM Virtual" (PDF). Texas State University System. March 1, 2021. p. 459. Retrieved March 7, 2021. Total enrollment numbers for Fall 2020, including all parts of terms, reached a total of 17,448 students, an 8% increase over Fall 2019.
  9. "SHSU Reaches Historic Enrollment". SHSU Office of Communications. September 28, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  10. "SFA Celebrate Enrollment Milestone". SFA Recent News 2018. September 13, 2018.
  11. Enrollment at Utah’s public colleges is up statewide, but down at the University of Utah and Utah State University October 2019
  12. "WAC Adds Men's Soccer". gorunners.com (Press release). January 9, 2013. Archived from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  13. "WAC Reinstates Men's Swimming & Diving – WACSports.com—Official Web Site of the Western Athletic Conference". gorunners.com. May 16, 2013. Archived from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  14. Mitch Wigness (February 11, 2013). "Baseball to join WAC as affiliate member". UN Media. Archived from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  15. "Northern Colorado to join The Summit League as a baseball affiliate" (Press release). The Summit League. July 14, 2020. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  16. "ASUN Conference will have football in the fall, joining Western Atlantic Conference schools".
  17. "WAC does it! Adds two". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). September 7, 1967. p. D1.
  18. "WAC adds two schools". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. September 8, 1967. p. 1, part 2.
  19. 1 2 3 Tom Deinhart (September 14, 2011). "WAC a cautionary tale for superconferences". Archived from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  20. WAC disbanding? – rec.sport.softball | Google Groups. Groups.google.com.
  21. "The Houston Roundball Review" (PDF). 4 (8). June 1998. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-03-03.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  22. "Boise State moves to Mountain West". ESPN. June 11, 2010. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  23. "Fresno State, Nevada to remain in WAC until 2012". ESPN. October 28, 2010. Archived from the original on September 13, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  24. Andrea Adelson. "Utah State turned down invite to MWC". ESPN. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  25. Derek Buerkle (September 29, 2010). "WAC Commissioner recognizes UM would be "perfect fit"". KPAX Sports. Archived from the original on December 19, 2014. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  26. "UM staying in Big Sky Conference". KPAX Sports. November 11, 2010. Archived from the original on December 19, 2014. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  27. Andy Katz (November 10, 2010). "Sources: Denver University, Texas-San Antonio and Texas State to join WAC". ESPN. Archived from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  28. Cheryl Ernst (November 19, 2010). "UH joins Mountain West, Big West conferences". Mālamalama, The Magazine of the University of Hawaiʻi. Archived from the original on April 7, 2016. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  29. Andy Katz (December 30, 2017). "Hawaii joins MWC, Big West for 2012". ESPN. Archived from the original on August 26, 2017. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  30. WAC Announces Addition of Seattle – WACSports.com—Official Web Site of the Western Athletic Conference Archived October 10, 2012, at the Wayback Machine . Wacsports.com (June 14, 2011).
  31. "The Mavericks Join the WAC". MyArlingtonTX.com. July 3, 2012. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  32. The Salt Lake Tribune Archived November 12, 2010, at the Wayback Machine . Sltrib.com.
  33. "WAC Standing Strong Amid Changing Landscape". WAC. Archived from the original on April 7, 2012. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  34. "Boise State Announces New Conference Affiliations". Bronco Sports. Boise State Sports Information. December 7, 2011. Archived from the original on January 8, 2012.
  35. Tony Jones (April 29, 2012). "Utah State is headed for Mountain West Conference". Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on November 1, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  36. Brett McMurphy (May 2, 2012). "Conference USA reloading by adding 6 schools". CBSSports. Archived from the original on May 10, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  37. "Texas State headed to Sun Belt Conference in July 2013 after only 1 WAC season". The Washington Post . Associated Press. May 2, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  38. "Texas State to Join Sun Belt Conference" (Press release). Sun Belt Conference. May 2, 2012. Archived from the original on May 12, 2012. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
  39. "Conference USA Adds Five New Members". UTEP Athletics. May 4, 2012. Archived from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  40. "San José State, Utah State to Join Mountain West" (Press release). Mountain West Conference. May 4, 2012. Archived from the original on September 30, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  41. "UT Arlington to join Sun Belt Conference in 2013–14". UT-Arlington Athletics. May 24, 2012. Archived from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  42. "Boise State to Remain as Football Only Member in Big East Conference". Boise State Sports Information. June 30, 2012. Archived from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  43. "Boise State To Join Big West Conference". Big West Conference. August 24, 2012. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  44. Andrea Adelson (June 25, 2012). "Boise State risks missing deadline". ESPN. Archived from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  45. Irv Moss (July 3, 2012). "Western Athletic Conference considers becoming a non-football league". The Denver Post . Archived from the original on August 16, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  46. "Idaho and New Mexico State to Join Sun Belt Conference As Football members in 2014". Sun Belt Conference. March 27, 2013. Archived from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  47. Troy Warzocha (October 9, 2012). "WAC adds Utah Valley, Cal State Bakersfield". The Lewiston Tribune. Archived from the original on August 24, 2013. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  48. "Denver Becomes The Summit League's Newest Member" (Press release). The Summit League. November 27, 2012. Archived from the original on October 31, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  49. John Kasper (October 19, 2012). "Idaho To Return in 2014". sidearmsports. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  50. "Grand Canyon University to Join WAC" (Press release). Western Athletic Conference. November 27, 2012. Archived from the original on November 30, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  51. Brett McMurphy (December 5, 2012). "Chicago State headed to WAC" (Press release). ESPN. Archived from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  52. Brett McMurphy (November 29, 2012). "UTPA says WAC invited it to join" (Press release). ESPN College Sports. Archived from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  53. "UTPA to go to board Dec. 18 for WAC invite". The Monitor. December 5, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  54. "UMKC Heading to the Western Athletic Conference". UMKC Athletics. Archived from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  55. "California Baptist University to Join WAC in 2018-19" (Press release). Western Athletic Conference. January 13, 2017. Archived from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  56. "Summit League welcomes back UMKC" (Press release). The Summit League. June 20, 2019. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  57. "UMKC Athletics Completes New Brand Identity" (Press release). Kansas City Athletics. July 1, 2019. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  58. "Tarleton receives NCAA Division I invitation" (Press release). Tarleton State Texans. September 30, 2019. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  59. 1 2 Blum, Sam (January 14, 2021). "As WAC announces addition of 5 schools, Frisco-based Southland Conference left in no man's land". The Dallas Morning News . Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  60. "WAC Announces Expedited Entrance for Four Texas Institutions" (Press release). Western Athletic Conference. January 21, 2021. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  61. Jeyarajah, Shehan. "UTRGV commits to add FCS football by 2024". Dave Campbell's Texas Football. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  62. Deaver, Colin. "Reports: WAC football to return in 2022, rise to FBS later in decade". KTSM.com. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  63. Thamel, Pete [@PeteThamel] (January 28, 2021). "Sources: The WAC is close to finalizing a plan to add 3 schools as associate members for football only in 2021 – Eastern Kentucky, Central Arkansas and Jacksonville. (They are headed to Atlantic Sun for 2022 and beyond, as that league is slated to begin football.)" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  64. Thamel, Pete [@PeteThamel] (January 28, 2021). "And obviously, Jacksonville State. We know Jacksonville doesn't have football anymore" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  65. 1 2 "ASUN, WAC Conferences Announce Football Partnership for 2021" (Press release). ASUN Conference. February 23, 2021. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  66. 1 2 "From the Commissioner's Desk: @ASUN_Football Update" (Press release). ASUN Conference. February 23, 2021. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  67. "Chicago State University Announces Plan to Leave Western Athletic Conference in June 2022". Chicago State University Athletics.
  68. "Chicago State University Announces Plan to Leave Western Athletic Conference in June 2022". Chicago State University Athletics.
  69. WACSports.com—Official Web Site of the Western Athletic Conference Archived July 16, 2015, at the Wayback Machine . Wacsports.com. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  70. 1 2 "Chicago State University Board of Trustees Announces Discontinuation of Baseball" (Press release). Chicago State Cougars. June 23, 2020. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
  71. "Tarleton to begin women's soccer program Fall 2022, search for head coach under way" (Press release). Tarleton State Texans. January 19, 2021. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  72. Irv Moss (July 3, 2012). "Western Athletic Conference considers becoming a non-football league". The Denver Post. Archived from the original on August 16, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  73. "WAC Announces Expansion, Plans to Reinstate Football". Western Athletic Conference.
  74. Jeyarajah, Shehan. "UTRGV commits to add FCS football by 2024". Dave Campbell's Texas Football. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  75. Deaver, Colin. "Reports: WAC football to return in 2022, rise to FBS later in decade". KTSM.com. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  76. "All-Time Winningest Teams" (PDF). 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 11, 2016. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  77. "2018-19 WAC Championships". Western Athletic Conference. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  78. "2019-20 WAC Championships". Western Athletic Conference. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  79. "CBU Events Center". California Baptist Lancers. Archived from the original on January 6, 2018. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  80. 1 2 "CBU Facilities General Information". California Baptist Lancers. Archived from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  81. "University Quick Facts" (PDF). 2018 Dixie State Men's Soccer Media Guide. Dixie State Trailblazers. p. 1. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  82. "Burns Arena". Dixie State Trailblazers. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  83. "Bruce Hurst Field". Dixie State Trailblazers. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  84. "About Us: Grand Canyon University Arena". Grand Canyon University. Archived from the original on November 8, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  85. "WAC 2014 Softball Media Guide" (PDF). wacsports.com. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  86. "Pan American Center". New Mexico State University Athletics. Archived from the original on June 25, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017. The arena, which currently has a seating capacity of 12,482, has hosted the NCAA Men's Basketball Midwest Regional, several NCAA first round games, state high school basketball tournaments and hundreds of concerts featuring some of the top entertainers in America including George Strait, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Pearl Jam and Notorious B.I.G.
  87. "Seattle 2013–14 Division I Baseball". National Collegiate Athletic Association. Archived from the original on January 5, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  88. "Wisdom Basketball Gym". Tarleton State Texans. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  89. "Tarleton Softball Complex". Tarleton State Texans. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  90. "Cecil Ballow Baseball Complex". Tarleton State Texans. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  91. "The Official Athletics Website of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley – UTRGV Fieldhouse". Goutrgv.com. October 25, 2010. Archived from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  92. Jonah Goldberg. "UTRGV Men's Soccer 2015 Informational Guide" (PDF). UTRGV Athletics Communications Office. p. 2. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  93. "2014 Men's Soccer". San Jose State University. p. 1. Archived from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  94. "History of the WAC". October 29, 2009. Archived from the original on November 13, 2009.