Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference

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Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference logo
Established 1909
Association NCAA
Division Division II
Members 14
Sports fielded 22 (men's: 11; women's: 11)
Region Mountain States
Former names Colorado Faculty Athletic Conference (1909–1910)
Rocky Mountain Faculty Athletic Conference (1910–1967)
Headquarters Colorado Springs, Colorado
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference locations

The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) is a collegiate athletic conference which operates in the western United States, mostly in Colorado with some members in Nebraska and New Mexico. It participates in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)'s Division II level.


Founded in 1909, the RMAC is the fifth oldest college athletic conference in the United States (oldest in Division II), surpassed only by the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the Big Ten Conference, the Ohio Athletic Conference, and the Missouri Valley Conference. For its first thirty years, the RMAC was considered a major conference equivalent to today's Division I, before 7 larger members left and formed the Mountain States Conference (also called the Skyline Conference).[1]

The Colorado Faculty Athletic Conference changed its name to the Rocky Mountain Faculty Athletic Conference (RMFAC) on May 7, 1910. Continued until 1967 when the name of the conference changed to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The RMAC merged with the Colorado Athletic Conference in 1996.[1]

Membership evolution[1][edit]

  • 1909: The Colorado Faculty Athletic Conference was formed on March 6 with four charter members: University of Colorado, Colorado A&M (now Colorado State University), Colorado College and Colorado School of Mines.
  • 1910: The league changed its name to the Rocky Mountain Faculty Athletic Conference (RFMAC). The University of Denver and University of Utah join the league, but Colorado College drops out after a fallout with Colorado School of Mines. Membership is at five schools.
  • 1914: Colorado College rejoins the RFMAC. Utah State University also joins the league to bring membership up to seven.
  • 1917: Montana State University joins the conference.
  • 1918: Brigham Young University joins the league as the ninth member.
  • 1921: The University of Wyoming joins the conference.
  • 1924: Western State College and the University of Northern Colorado join the league, giving the RFMAC 12 members.
  • 1937: Colorado, Colorado State, Brigham Young, Utah, Utah State, Wyoming and Denver leave the conference to form the Skyline Conference. The five remaining members of the RFMAC were Colorado College, Colorado Mines, Montana State, Northern Colorado and Western State.
  • 1948: Idaho State University joins as the sixth member.
  • 1956: Adams State College joins the conference as the seventh member.
  • 1958: Idaho State leaves the conference.
  • 1959: Montana State leaves the conference, membership is back down to five.
  • 1967: The RFMAC changes its name to the current Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC). Eleven schools join the conference in 1967. They were: Emporia State University, Fort Hays State University, Fort Lewis College, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Pittsburg State University, the University of Southern Colorado (now Colorado State University-Pueblo), Southern Utah State University, Regis University, Washburn University, Western New Mexico University and Westminster College of Utah. Colorado College is not included in this new league. The new league divided into two divisions: Mountains and Plains.
  • 1968: New Mexico Highlands University joins the RMAC.
  • 1969: New Mexico Highlands leaves the RMAC due to financial aid restrictions.
  • 1972: For economic reasons, the two divisions were split into two separate conferences. The Mountain Division kept the RMAC name while the Plains Division became known as the Great Plains Athletic Conference. The two allied conferences worked under the name of the Mountain and Plains Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MPIAA). RMAC membership stood at eight with Adams State, Colorado Mines, Fort Lewis, Regis, Southern Utah State, Western New Mexico, Western State and Westminster. Northern Colorado ended up leaving the association to become an independent.
  • 1974: New Mexico Highlands rejoins the RMAC as the ninth member.
  • 1975: Mesa State College becomes the 10th member of the RMAC.
  • 1976: The MPIAA was dissolved for economic reasons and the two conferences went their separate ways. Colorado State University-Pueblo switched conferences and joined the RMAC as its 11th member.
  • 1978: The RMAC beings sponsoring women's championships.
  • 1979: Westminster drops athletics and as a result leaves the RMAC, leaving the league with 10 members.
  • 1983: Regis leaves the RMAC to become an independent, leaving the league with nine teams.
  • 1986: Southern Utah State left the league, dropping membership to eight.
  • 1988: New Mexico Highlands withdraws from the conference to shrink the membership to seven schools.
  • 1989: Chadron State College, Fort Hays State University, Kearney State College (now University of Nebraska at Kearney) and Wayne State College announce intentions to join.
  • 1990: Wayne State College and Kearney State College withdraw their interest in joining the league. Western New Mexico and Colorado State University-Pueblo announce that they are leaving the RMAC. Fort Lewis announces their intention to leave, however they stay on as an associate member of the conference. New Mexico Highlands rejoins the RMAC.
  • 1992: The RMAC becomes affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division II level.
  • 1994: Fort Lewis once again became a full member of the RMAC. Nebraska-Kearney also was voted into membership.
  • 1996: Colorado Christian University and Metropolitan State College join the RMAC. Regis and Colorado State University-Pueblo rejoin the league. All four are full members. Also, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and the University of Denver join the RMAC as affiliate and associate members, respectively. The RMAC, now comprising fourteen schools, splits into two seven-team divisions.
  • 1997: Denver leaves to move up to Division I. Colorado-Colorado Springs becomes a full member. San Francisco State joins the RMAC as an associate member in wrestling only.
  • 2006: Fort Hays State leaves the RMAC for the MIAA (FHSU does remain in the RMAC as an associate member in wrestling). Western New Mexico rejoins the conference, keeping membership at 14 schools.
  • 2007: Grand Canyon University joins the RMAC as an associate member only in wrestling. Montana State University-Billings joins the RMAC as an associate member for women's golf and men's and women's tennis.
  • 2008: Texas-Permian Basin and the University of the Incarnate Word join the RMAC as associate members for swimming only.
  • 2009: Northern State University and Minnesota State University-Moorhead join the RMAC as associate members in swimming.
  • 2012: Nebraska-Kearney will leave the RMAC to join the MIAA. Black Hills State University moves up from the NAIA to NCAA Division II and will join the RMAC to keep the number of full members at 14.
  • 2014: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology will join the RMAC.[2]

Member schools[edit]

Current members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined
Adams State University Alamosa, Colorado 1925 Public 2,486 Grizzlies 1956
Black Hills State University Spearfish, South Dakota 1883 Public 4,722 Yellow Jackets 2012
Chadron State College Chadron, Nebraska 1911 Public 3,000 Eagles 1989
Colorado Christian University * Lakewood, Colorado 1914 Private 1,500 Cougars 1996
Colorado Mesa University Grand Junction, Colorado 1925 Public 8,042 Mavericks 1975
Colorado School of Mines Golden, Colorado 1873 Public 3,338 Orediggers 1909
Colorado State University–Pueblo Pueblo, Colorado 1933 Public 5,246 ThunderWolves 19672
University of Colorado Colorado Springs * Colorado Springs, Colorado 1965 Public 7,400 Mountain Lions 19971
Fort Lewis College Durango, Colorado 1911 Public 4,000 Skyhawks 19673
Metropolitan State University of Denver * Denver, Colorado 1965 Public 24,000 Roadrunners 1996
New Mexico Highlands University Las Vegas, New Mexico 1893 Public 3,500 Cowboys
Regis University * Denver, Colorado 1877 Private 6,123 Rangers 19675
Western New Mexico University Silver City, New Mexico 1893 Public 2,500 Mustangs 19676
Western State Colorado University Gunnison, Colorado 1901 Public 2,400 Mountaineers 1924
  1. - Colorado–Colorado Springs joined the RMAC as an associate member in the 1996-97 season before attending full membership within the conference the following season.
  2. - Colorado State University–Pueblo left the RMAC following the 1971-72 season, re-joined in the 1976-77 season to re-depart following the 1989-90 season, and re-joined again in the 1996-97 season.
  3. - Fort Lewis left the RMAC following the 1989-90 season and re-joined in the 1994-95 season.
  4. - New Mexico Highlands left the RMAC following its debut season (1968–69), re-joined in the 1974-75 season to re-depart following the 1987-88 season, and re-joined again in the 1990-91 season.
  5. - Regis left the RMAC following the 1982-83 season and re-joined in the 1996-97 season.
  6. - Western New Mexico left the RMAC following the 1989-90 season and re-joined in the 2006-07 season.
  • * - Denotes a non-football member

Future members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joins
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Rapid City, South Dakota 1885 Public 2,354 Hardrockers 2014
Westminster College * Salt Lake City, Utah 1875 Private 2,168 Griffins 1967;
  1. - South Dakota Mines Volleyball and Men's and Women's Basketball will be delayed until 2015 while Football and Men's Soccer will join after the respective affiliation agreements with the Great Northwest Athletic Conference expire.[3]

Affiliate members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined Primary
California Baptist University Riverside, California 1950 Private 7,144 Lancers 2013-14 PacWest men's swimming;
women's swimming;
Lindenwood University St. Charles, Missouri 1827 Private 11,421 Lions 2013-14 MIAA women's lacrosse;
men's swimming;
women's swimming
Montana State University–Billings Billings, Montana 1927 Public 5,441 Yellowjackets 2007-08 GNAC men's tennis;
women's tennis
Rockhurst University Kansas City, Missouri 1910 Private 3,000 Hawks 2013-14 GLVC women's lacrosse
San Francisco State University San Francisco, California 1899 Public 28,290 Gators 1997-98 CCAA wrestling

Former members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined Left New Conference Current Conference
Brigham Young University Provo, Utah 1875 Private 34,130 Cougars 1918 1938 Mountain States (Skyline) WCC (West Coast)
(NCAA Division I)
University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado 1876 Public 29,894 Buffaloes 1909 1938 Mountain States (Skyline) Pac-12
(NCAA Division I)
Colorado College Colorado Springs, Colorado 1874 Private 2,011 Tigers 1909,
D-III Independent SCAC
(NCAA Division III)
Colorado State University Fort Collins, Colorado 1870 Public 28,417 Rams 1909 1938 Mountain States (Skyline) Mountain West
(NCAA Division I)
University of Denver Denver, Colorado 1864 Private 11,476 Pioneers 1910 1938[a 1] Mountain States (Skyline) Summit
(NCAA Division I)
Emporia State University Emporia, Kansas 1863 Public 6,262 Hornets 1967 1972 Great Plains (NCAA) Mid-America (MIAA)
Fort Hays State University Hays, Kansas 1902 Public 11,883 Tigers 1967,
Great Plains (NCAA) Mid-America (MIAA)
Idaho State University Pocatello, Idaho 1901 Public 15,553 Bengals 1948 1958 FCS Independent Big Sky
(NCAA Division I)
Montana State University Bozeman, Montana 1893 Public 14,153 Bobcats 1917 1959 FCS Independent Big Sky
(NCAA Division I)
University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, Nebraska 1905 Public 7,100 Lopers 1989,
D-II Independent Mid-America (MIAA)
University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, Nebraska 1908 Public 14,903 Mavericks 1967 1972 Great Plains (NCAA) Summit
(NCAA Division I)
University of Northern Colorado Greeley, Colorado 1889 Public 12,497 Bears 1924 1967 Big Sky
(NCAA Division I)
Pittsburg State University Pittsburg, Kansas 1903 Public 7,277 Gorillas 1967 1972 Great Plains (NCAA) Mid-America (MIAA)
Southern Utah University Cedar City, Utah 1897 Public 8,297 Thunderbirds 1967 1986 Big Sky
(NCAA Division I)
University of Utah Salt Lake City, Utah 1850 Public 32,388 Utah Utes 1910 1938 Mountain States (Skyline) Pac-12
(NCAA Division I)
Utah State University Logan, Utah 1888 Public 28,796 Aggies 1914 1938 Mountain States (Skyline) Mountain West
(NCAA Division I)
Washburn University Topeka, Kansas 1865 Private 7,303 Ichabods
Lady Blues
1967 1972 Great Plains (NCAA) Mid-America (MIAA)
Westminster College Sugar House, Utah 1875 Private 2,887 Griffins 1967 1979 Dropped athletics,
re-instated athletics
in the 1990s
University of Wyoming Laramie, Wyoming 1886 Public 13,992 Cowboys 1921 1938 Mountain States (Skyline) Mountain West
(NCAA Division I)
  1. ^ Denver re-joined the RMAC as an associate member during the 1996-97 season.

Former affiliate members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Primary
RMAC Sport
Grand Canyon University Phoenix, Arizona 1949 Private 40,000 Antelopes 2007-08 2012-13 WAC swimming;
University of the Incarnate Word San Antonio, Texas 1881 Private 8,455 Cardinals 2008-09 2012-13 Southland swimming
Minnesota State University Moorhead Moorhead, Minnesota 1887 Public 7,497 Dragons 2009-10 2011-12 NSIC swimming
Northern State University Aberdeen, South Dakota 1901 Public 3,500 Wolves 2009-10 2011-12 NSIC swimming
University of Texas of the Permian Basin Odessa, Texas 1973 Public 4,063 Falcons 2008-09 2012-13 Heartland swimming

Membership timeline[edit]

There have been 44 different schools associated with the RMAC either through full or associate membership. Of those schools only the Colorado School of Mines has been with the conference every year since it was founded in 1909.

 Full member (all sports)   Full member (non-football)   Associate member (football-only)   Associate member (sport) 

Football champions[edit]


External links[edit]