Frontier Conference

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Frontier Conference
Frontier Conference logo
Established 1952
Association NAIA
Members 11
Sports fielded 16 (men's: 8; women's: 8)
Region Western United States
Region I of the NAIA
Headquarters Whitefish, Montana
Commissioner Kent Paulson
Frontier Conference locations

The Frontier Conference is a college athletic conference, founded in 1952 and affiliated with the NAIA. Member institutions are located in the northwestern United States, in the states of Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, and Utah.


The Montana Collegiate Conference was established in 1920 by the four smaller schools (Billings Poly, Carroll, Montana School of Mines, Western Montana) in the state, with Eastern Montana and Northern Montana joining once they had established athletics. The conference reestablished itself under its current moniker in 1952, containing the same six schools until 1974. Great Falls joined that year, however would only stay for a decade. Eastern Montana (now MSU-Billings) left for the first incarnation of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in 1988, leaving the Frontier at five members for another decade. The conference opened up outside of Montana for the first time in 1998, with schools from Idaho (Lewis-Clark State) and Utah (Westminster) joining. Great Falls rejoined in 1999.

Member schools[edit]

The Frontier Conference has 6 full members with football, 3 full members without football teams, and 2 football-only affiliate members. Lewis–Clark State College, the University of Great Falls, and Westminster College do not play football. Eastern Oregon University and Southern Oregon University are the football-only affiliate members, giving the Frontier a total of 8 football-playing members. The College of Idaho announced in the summer of 2012 that it had re-instated its football program and would be joining the Frontier Conference as a football-only member in 2014.[1] Dickinson State joined from the defunct Dakota Athletic Conference in 2012, but announced it will leave for the North Star Athletic Association in 2014.[2]

Full members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Nickname Football?
Carroll College Helena, Montana 1909 Private (Catholic) 1,502 1920 Fighting Saints Yes
Dickinson State University Dickinson, North Dakota 1918 Public 2,572 2012 Blue Hawks Yes
Lewis–Clark State College Lewiston, Idaho 1893 Public 4,500 1998 Warriors (men's)
Lady Warriors (women's)
Montana State University–Northern2[3] Havre, Montana 1929 Public 1,207 1939 Lights (men's)
Skylights (women's)
Montana Tech of The University of Montana2 Butte, Montana 1889 Public 2,694 1920 Orediggers Yes
Rocky Mountain College2 Billings, Montana 1878 Private 894 1920 Battlin' Bears Yes
University of Great Falls Great Falls, Montana 1932 Private (Catholic) 800 1974,
Argonauts No
University of Montana Western2 Dillon, Montana 1893 Public 1,336 1920 Bulldogs Yes
Westminster College Salt Lake City, Utah 1875 Private 2,168 1998 Griffins No
  • 1 - Also a member from 1974-1984
  • 2 - MSU-Northern was Northern Montana until 1994; Montana Tech-UM was Montana School of Mines until 1965, then Montana Tech until 1994; Rocky Mountain was Billings Poly until 1947; UM-Western was Western Montana until 1999.

Affiliate members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Nickname Primary Conference Frontier Sport
The College of Idaho Caldwell, Idaho 1891 Private 1,010 2014 Coyotes CCC football
Eastern Oregon University La Grande, Oregon 1929 Public 3,743 2005 Mountaineers CCC football
Southern Oregon University Ashland, Oregon 1872 Public 5,696 2012 Raiders CCC football

Former Members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Current Conference
Eastern Montana College Billings, Montana 1927 Public 5,081 Yellow Jackets 1937 1988 Great Northwest

Membership timeline[edit]

College of Idaho Southern Oregon University Dickinson State University Eastern Oregon University Westminster College (Utah) Lewis–Clark State College University of Great Falls University of Montana Western Rocky Mountain College Montana Tech of the University of Montana Montana State University–Northern Montana State University Billings Carroll College (Montana)


The Frontier Conference sponsors athletic competition in men's and women's basketball, men's football, golf, and women's volleyball. Dickinson State University, Montana State University-Northern and University of Great Falls are participants in wrestling (all are national powers). University of Great Falls, College of Idaho, Southern Oregon University, and Westminster College are participants in men's lacrosse.

National Championships[edit]

Baseball (The Frontier Conference does not sponsor baseball, but conference member Lewis-Clark State has an outstanding record in the sport)

Lewis-Clark State has won the national title 16 times: 1984-85, 1987-1992 (six straight), 1996, 1999-2000, 2002-03, 2006-08.

They were runners-up in 1976, 1982-83, 1986, 2001 and 2013.


Rocky Mountain won the national title in men's basketball, NAIA Division I, in 2009.

Montana State-Northern won the national title in women's basketball, NAIA Division II, in 1993.

Carroll reached the semi-finals in men's basketball in 2005, as did Lewis-Clark State in women's basketball in 2001.


Carroll has won the NAIA national championship six times: four straight, from 2002-05, also in 2007 and 2010, and has been runner-up twice.

Montana Tech was the national runner-up in 1996.


Montana State-Northern has won six wrestling titles: 1991, 1992, 1998-2000, 2004, and was runner-up in 1990,1993, and 2002.

Montana-Western was co-champion in 1994.


See also[edit]


External links[edit]