Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (December 2013)|
|Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference
|Sports fielded||22 (men's: 11; women's: 11)|
|Former names||Colorado Faculty Athletic Conference (1909–1910)
Rocky Mountain Faculty Athletic Conference (1910–1967)
|Headquarters||Colorado Springs, Colorado|
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).
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.
- 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.
- - 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.
- - 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.
- - Fort Lewis left the RMAC following the 1989-90 season and re-joined in the 1994-95 season.
- - 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.
- - Regis left the RMAC following the 1982-83 season and re-joined in the 1996-97 season.
- - Western New Mexico left the RMAC following the 1989-90 season and re-joined in the 2006-07 season.
- * - Denotes a non-football member
|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;
- - 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.
|California Baptist University||Riverside, California||1950||Private||7,144||Lancers||2013-14||PacWest||men's swimming
|Lindenwood University||St. Charles, Missouri||1827||Private||11,421||Lions||2013-14||MIAA||women's lacrosse
|Montana State University–Billings||Billings, Montana||1927||Public||5,441||Yellowjackets||2007-08||GNAC||men'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|
- Denver re-joined the RMAC as an associate member during the 1996-97 season.
Former affiliate members
|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|
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.