Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference logo
Established 1890
Association NAIA
Members 10
Sports fielded 19 (men's: 9; women's: 10)
Headquarters Wichita, Kansas
Commissioner Scott Crawford (since 2007)
Website http://www.kcacsports.com
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference locations

The Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) is an intercollegiate athletic conference affiliated with the NAIA. The KCAC is the oldest conference in the NAIA and the second oldest in the United States, tracing its history to 1890.


On February 15, 1890, the Kansas Intercollegiate Athletic Association was formed; it was the first successful attempt to organize Kansas colleges for the purposes of promoting and regulating amateur intercollegiate athletics. In addition to the private universities and colleges, the conference also included Kansas State Agriculture College (now Kansas State University), the University of Kansas, and Washburn University. In November of that year, the first college football game in Kansas was played between the Kansas Jayhawks and Baker University.[1]

About 1902 the association allied with the Kansas College Athletic Conference, the first group to adopt a definite set of rules and regulations. By the 1920s the conference had changed its name to Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference and had grown to include 17 regular members and 2 allied members (no longer including the University of Kansas or Kansas State). In 1923 seven colleges withdrew to form the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

On December 1, 1928, the Kansas Intercollegiate Athletic Conference was formally disbanded and replaced by a new Kansas College Athletic Conference which included 6 members and formed the present legal entity. It was commonly referred to as the "Little Six", in contrast to the Big Six Conference that eventually became the current Big 12. By 1968 the conference grew to include 12 members. It was organized into Northern and Southern divisions until 1970 when three colleges withdrew to join Missouri-based conferences. In the mid-1970s the name was changed to its current form.[2]

1905 night game[edit]

See 1905 Cooper vs. Fairmount football game

In the 1905 season, the Coleman Company set up temporary gas-powered lighting for a night game against Cooper College (now called the Sterling Warriors). It was the first night football game played west of the Mississippi River.[3] Fairmount won the game 24–0.[4]

1905 "experimental" game[edit]

See 1905 Washburn vs. Fairmount football game

On December 25, 1905, Wichita State (called "Fairmount College" at the time) played a game against the Washburn Ichabods using a set of experimental rules. The game was officiated by then Washburn head coach John H. Outland.

The experiment was considered a failure. Outland commented, "It seems to me that the distance required in three downs would almost eliminate touchdowns, except through fakes or flukes."[5] The Los Angeles Times reported that there was much kicking and that the game was considered much safer than regular play, but that the new rule was not "conducive to the sport."[6]

In his history of the sport of football, David M. Nelson concluded that "the first forward passes were thrown at the end of the 1905 season in a game between Fairmount and Washburn colleges in Kansas."[7] According to Nelson, Washburn completed three passes, and Fairmount completed two.

Membership timeline[edit]

University of Saint Mary Tabor College (Kansas) St. Mary's of the Plains College Kansas City University St. John's College (Kansas) Washburn University Southwestern College (Kansas) Sterling College (Kansas) St. Mary's College (Kansas) Benedictine College Ottawa University McPherson College Pittsburg State University Fort Hays State University Emporia State University Kansas Wesleyan University Friends University Wichita State University College of Emporia Bethel College (Kansas) Bethany College (Kansas) Baker University

Full members Full members (non-football) Assoc. members (football only) Assoc. member (list sports)

Member schools[edit]

The conference is currently composed of ten independent or private institutions of higher learning from within Kansas. The members (and year admitted):

Current members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined
Bethany College Lindsborg, Kansas 1881 Private 500 Swedes 1902
Bethel College North Newton, Kansas 1887 Private 500 Threshers 19021
Friends University Wichita, Kansas 1898 Private 3,000 Falcons 19022
Kansas Wesleyan University Salina, Kansas 1886 Private 1,000 Coyotes 1902
McPherson College McPherson, Kansas 1887 Private 600 Bulldogs 1902
Ottawa University Ottawa, Kansas 1865 Private 726 Braves 19023
University of Saint Mary Leavenworth, Kansas 1859 Private 750 Spires 1999
Southwestern College Winfield, Kansas 1885 Private 1,650 Moundbuilders 19024
Sterling College Sterling, Kansas 1887 Private 750 Warriors 19025
Tabor College Hillsboro, Kansas 1908 Private 600 Bluejays 1968
  1. Bethel withdrew from the KCAC after December 1928 of the 1928-29 season and re-joined back in the 1939-40 season.
  2. Friends withdrew from the KCAC after December 1928 of the 1928-29 season and re-joined back in the 1953-54 season.
  3. Ottawa withdrew from the KCAC after the 1969-70 season and re-joined back in the 1981-82 season.
  4. Southwestern withdrew from the KCAC after the 1922-23 season and re-joined back in the 1958-59 season.
  5. Sterling withdrew from the KCAC after December 1928 of the 1928-29 season and re-joined back in the 1958-59 season.

Future member[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joining
Oklahoma Wesleyan University Bartlesville, Oklahoma 1972 Private 1,103 Eagles 2015

Former members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Current Conference
Baker University Baldwin City, Kansas 1858 Private 900 Wildcats 1902 1970 HAAC
Benedictine College
(formerly known as St. Benedict's College)
Atchison, Kansas 1858 Private 1,422 Ravens 1902 1929 HAAC
College of Emporia Emporia, Kansas 1882 Private ? Fighting Presbies 1902,
closed in 1974
Emporia State University Emporia, Kansas 1863 Public 6,314 Hornets
Lady Hornets
1902 1923 Mid-America (MIAA)
(NCAA Division II)
Fort Hays State University Hays, Kansas 1902 Public 11,883 Tigers 1902 1923 Mid-America (MIAA)
(NCAA Division II)
Kansas City University Kansas City, Kansas 1896 Private ? ? 1902 1923 closed in 1933
Pittsburg State University Pittsburg, Kansas 1903 Public 7,277 Gorillas 1902 1923 Mid-America (MIAA)
(NCAA Division II)
St. John's College of Winfield Winfield, Kansas 1893 Private 9,000 ? 1902 1923 closed in 1986
St. Mary's College St. Marys, Kansas 1848 Private ? ? 1902 1931 discontinued athletics after 1930-31 season; closed in 1968
St. Mary of the Plains College Dodge City, Kansas 1913 Private ? Cavaliers (men's)
Saints (women's)
1968 1992 closed in 1992
Washburn University Topeka, Kansas 1865 Public 7,303 Ichabods 1902 1923 Mid-America (MIAA)
(NCAA Division II)
Wichita State University Wichita, Kansas 1895 Public 14,806 Shockers 1902 1923 Missouri Valley
(NCAA Division I)


The KCAC sponsors athletic competition in men’s baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s football, men's and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track and field, and women’s volleyball.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Evans, Harold (August 1940). "College Football in Kansas". Kansas Historical Quarterly. pp. 285–311. Retrieved September 11, 2012. 
  2. ^ National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics "Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference"
  3. ^ "FIRST LIGHT (1900 – 1929)". Coleman Company. Retrieved November 24, 2012. 
  4. ^ DeLassus, David. "Wichita State Yearly Results (1905)". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved April 4, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Ten Yard Rule a Failure". New York Times. December 26, 1905. 
  6. ^ "New Football Rules Tested". Los Angeles Times. December 26, 1905. 
  7. ^ Nelson, David M. (1994). The Anatomy of a Game: Football, the Rules, and the Men Who Made the Game. University of Delaware Press. ISBN 0-87413-455-2. , p. 128

External links[edit]