Mid-American Conference

U.S. college sports conference

The Mid-American Conference (MAC) is a college sports conference whose full members are located in the Great Lakes region of the United States. It sponsors 11 men's sports and 12 women's sports at the NCAA Division I level. In football, the MAC is one of 10 conferences that play in the top-level Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

The MAC was founded in 1946 by five schools in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio, but only one of the founding members, Ohio University, is still in the conference. All but two of its current full members are in those three states.

Sports sponsored

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Members

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Full members

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Currently, the MAC has 12 full members, all public schools, each of which competes in at least 15 MAC sports. Every member of the conference competes in football, baseball, men's and women's basketball, and the following women's sports: cross country, soccer, softball, indoor and outdoor track and field, and volleyball. For many years the conference was split into East and West Divisions in many sports, but the only sport now using divisions is women's tennis. The sport that most recently eliminated divisions is football, which starts using a single league table in 2024.

School Location Founded Type Nickname Joined
MAC
University of Akron Akron, Ohio 1870 Public Zips 1992
Ball State University Muncie, Indiana 1918 Public Cardinals 1973
Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, Ohio 1910 Public Falcons 1952
University at Buffalo Buffalo, New York 1846 Public Bulls 1998
Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, Michigan 1892 Public Chippewas 1971
Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, Michigan 1892 Public Eagles 1971
Kent State University Kent, Ohio 1910 Public Golden Flashes 1981
Miami University[a 1] Oxford, Ohio 1809 Public RedHawks 1977
Ohio University Athens, Ohio 1804 Public Bobcats 1948
Northern Illinois University DeKalb, Illinois 1895 Public Huskies 1975, 1997[a 2]
University of Toledo Toledo, Ohio 1872 Public Rockets 1950
Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, Michigan 1903 Public Broncos 1947
  1. This school is often called "Miami (Ohio)" to distinguish it from the University of Miami in Florida.
  2. Northern Illinois left the MAC in 1986 and returned in 1997.

Future full members

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The MAC will add UMass, which had been a football-only MAC member from 2012 to 2015, as a full member in 2025.[2]

School Location Founded Type Nickname Joining
MAC
University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) Amherst, Massachusetts 1863 Public Minutemen &
Minutewomen
2025

Associate members

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The MAC has 20 "associate members" that play one or two sports in the conference.

A major recent change in associate membership happened in 2019 when the MAC absorbed the Eastern Wrestling League, a single-sport conference that had existed since 1975. All seven of the EWL's final members thus became MAC associates.[3]

A more recent change to associate membership took place on July 1, 2020 when the MAC added three members in the new conference sport of women's lacrosse,[1][4] along with one former wrestling member dropping the sport.[5]

SIU Edwardsville (SIUE), in full Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, left the MAC men's soccer league in 2021 to return to its former soccer home of the Missouri Valley Conference. It remains a MAC member in wrestling.[6]

Another change in associate membership was announced in June 2020. Bellarmine University, which started a transition from NCAA Division II to Division I that July, joined the MAC field hockey league in July 2021.[7]

At the same time Bellarmine joined in field hockey and SIUE left in wrestling, Georgia Southern University and Georgia State University joined MAC men's soccer,[8] and Missouri wrestling left to become a single-sport member of its former all-sports home of the Big 12 Conference.[9]

The next changes in associate membership took place in July 2022. First, West Virginia University men's soccer left the MAC. WVU planned to move the sport to Conference USA,[10] but changed its plans amid the larger conference realignment of the early 2020s. WVU instead moved men's soccer to the Sun Belt Conference.[11] The MAC replaced WVU with Chicago State University, which was leaving the Western Athletic Conference at that time.[12] However, the MAC would shut down its men's soccer league after the 2023 season. Also in 2022, the MAC added the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) as a men's swimming & diving member.[13] In 2023, UIC added men's tennis to its MAC membership.[14]

The next changes to associate membership will come in July 2024. First, James Madison University joins the MAC for field hockey.[15] Second, the Missouri Valley Conference, which had been the main home to five of the MAC's seven men's swimming & diving schools, announced it would start sponsoring the sport. The MAC will merge its men's swimming & diving league into the new MVC league.[16]

Associate members

Departing members indicated in pink.

School Location Founded Joined Type Sport(s) Current main conference Nickname
Appalachian State University Boone, North Carolina 1899 2017 Public Field hockey Sun Belt Mountaineers
Bellarmine University Louisville, Kentucky 1950 2021 Private Field hockey ASUN Knights
Binghamton University Vestal, New York 1946 2014 Public Men's tennis America East Bearcats
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania 1839 2019 Public Wrestling PSAC
(NCAA Division II)
Huskies
Pennsylvania Western University Clarion (Clarion) Clarion, Pennsylvania 1867 2019 Public Wrestling PSAC
(NCAA Division II)
Golden Eagles
Cleveland State University Cleveland, Ohio 1964 2019 Public Wrestling Horizon League Vikings
University of Detroit Mercy Detroit, Michigan 1877 2020 Private Women's lacrosse Horizon League Titans
Pennsylvania Western University Edinboro (Edinboro) Edinboro, Pennsylvania 1857 2019 Public Wrestling PSAC
(NCAA Division II)
Fighting Scots
University of Evansville Evansville, Indiana 1854 2009 Private Men's swimming and diving Missouri Valley Purple Aces
George Mason University Fairfax County, Virginia 1957 2019 Public Wrestling Atlantic 10 Patriots
Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania Lock Haven, Pennsylvania 1870 2019 Public Wrestling PSAC
(NCAA Division II)
Bald Eagles
Longwood University Farmville, Virginia 1839 2014 Public Field hockey Big South Lancers
Missouri State University Springfield, Missouri 1905 2009 Public Men's swimming and diving Missouri Valley Bears
Rider University Lawrenceville, New Jersey 1865 2019 Private Wrestling MAAC Broncs
Robert Morris University Moon Township, Pennsylvania 1921 2020 Private Women's lacrosse Horizon League Colonials
Southern Illinois University Carbondale Carbondale, Illinois 1869 2009 Public Men's swimming and diving Missouri Valley Salukis
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Edwardsville, Illinois 1957 2018 Public Wrestling Ohio Valley Cougars
University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) Chicago, Illinois 1859 2022 Public Men's swimming & diving Missouri Valley Flames
2023 Men's tennis
Valparaiso University Valparaiso, Indiana 1859 2021 Private Men's swimming and diving Missouri Valley Beacons
Youngstown State University Youngstown, Ohio 1908 2020 Public Women's lacrosse Horizon League Penguins
Future
School Location Founded Joining Type Sport(s) Current main conference Nickname
James Madison University Harrisonburg, Virginia 1906 2024 Public Field hockey Sun Belt Conference Dukes

References

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  • "Mid-American Conference". getsomemaction.com. Retrieved 2020-01-16.
  1. 1.0 1.1 "Women's Lacrosse Coming in 2020-21; Detroit Mercy & Youngstown State As Affiliates" (Press release). Mid-American Conference. November 6, 2019. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
  2. "Mid-American Conference to Add University of Massacusetts as Full Member" (Press release). Mid-American Conference. February 29, 2024. Retrieved February 29, 2024.
  3. "MAC Announces Historic Wrestling Expansion" (Press release). Mid-American Conference. March 5, 2019. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  4. "Robert Morris to Join MAC as Affiliate Member in Women's Lacrosse" (Press release). Mid-American Conference. June 23, 2020. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  5. "ODU Discontinues Wrestling Program" (Press release). Old Dominion University Athletics. April 2, 2020. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  6. "MVC Adds SIUE as Men's Soccer Affiliate" (Press release). Missouri Valley Conference. June 12, 2020. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  7. "Bellarmine to Join MAC as Affiliate Member in Field Hockey" (Press release). Mid-American Conference. June 9, 2020. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  8. "Georgia Southern, Georgia State Added As Affiliate Members in Men's Soccer" (Press release). Mid-American Conference. May 21, 2021. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
  9. "Big 12 Adds Missouri as Affiliate Member in Wrestling" (Press release). Big 12 Conference. April 22, 2021. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  10. "MSOC: West Virginia Added as C-USA Soccer Member for 2022" (Press release). Conference USA. June 14, 2021. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  11. "Sun Belt Conference Announces Return of Men's Soccer This Fall" (Press release). Sun Belt Conference. April 6, 2022. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  12. "Chicago State Men's Soccer Joins Mid-American Conference as an Affiliate Member". gocsucougars.com. May 27, 2022. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  13. "UIC to Join MAC As Affiliate Member in Men's Swimming & Diving" (Press release). Mid-American Conference. August 30, 2022. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  14. "University of Illinois Chicago to Join MAC As Affiliate Member in Men's Tennis" (Press release). Mid-American Conference. June 5, 2023. Retrieved July 26, 2023.
  15. "James Madison To Join MAC As Affiliate Member in Field Hockey" (Press release). Mid-American Conference. April 26, 2023. Retrieved July 26, 2023.
  16. "MVC To Sponsor Men's Swimming & Diving in 2024-25" (Press release). Missouri Valley Conference. April 11, 2024. Retrieved April 19, 2024.