West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
|West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
|Sports fielded||16 (men's: 8; women's: 8)|
|Headquarters||Princeton, West Virginia|
|Commissioner||Barry Blizzard (since 1987)|
The West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) was a collegiate athletic conference which historically operated exclusively in the state of West Virginia, but expanded into Pennsylvania in its final years. It participated in the NCAA's Division II, but held its final athletic competitions in spring 2013, and officially disbanded on September 1 of that year. Its football-playing members announced in June 2012 that they planned to withdraw to form a new Division II conference effective at the end of the 2012-13 season; this led to a chain of conference moves that saw all but one of the WVIAC's members find new conference homes.
The conference was rated as one of the oldest in intercollegiate athletics, dating back to its founding in 1924 by the West Virginia Department of Education.
In its final school year of 2012–13, the WVIAC offered championships in 16 sports and was headquartered in Princeton, West Virginia. Men's championships were offered in football, basketball, baseball, track, cross country, soccer, tennis, and golf. Women's titles were contested in volleyball, softball, basketball, cross country, soccer, track, tennis, and golf.
The WVIAC moved into the NCAA Division II in 1994 after its long affiliation with the NAIA.
Its post-season basketball tournament, which was first conducted in 1936, was at the time of the conference's demise one of the oldest college post-season tournaments in continuous existence—only the Southern Conference Men's Basketball Tournament, established in 1922, was older.
On June 18, 2012, nine football-playing members of the WVIAC announced they would withdraw from the league to form a new regional all-sports conference.
The WVIAC officially ceased to exist on September 1, 2013. Eight of the nine football-playing members (Concord, Charleston, Fairmont State, Glenville State, Shepherd, West Liberty, West Virginia State, and West Virginia Wesleyan) and one non-football playing member (Wheeling Jesuit) of the conference joined a provisional D-II member from Virginia (UVA-Wise) and two associate Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference members from Ohio (Notre Dame and Urbana) to form a new all-sports conference, the Mountain East Conference. Seton Hill and Pitt-Johnstown joined the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. Three of the remaining non-football members (Alderson–Broaddus, Davis & Elkins, and Ohio Valley) accepted invitations to join the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. By the end of August 2012, the only WVIAC member without a conference home for 2013–14 was Bluefield State.
Member schools leaving before 2013
- - Mountain State's main campus (Beckley) became the University of Charleston–Beckley on January 1, 2013.
- - Marshall stopped competition in the conference when it joined the Buckeye Conference in 1932, but was required by state regulations to remain a member on a technical basis until 1949.
Member schools at breakup
- - All colleges are listed by their names as of 2013; most have had name changes over the years. See articles on individual schools for details.
- - West Virginia Wesleyan left the WVIAC after the 1985-86 season, and later returned in the 1988-89 season.
- * - Denotes a non-football member
- "A Break Up For WVIAC - WV Metro News". http://www.wvmetronews.com. 2012-06-18. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
- "NCAA ADDS MOUNTAIN EAST CONFERENCE AS NEWEST DIVISION II LEAGUE" (Press release). Mountain East Conference. February 15, 2013.
- "A New Conference Called Mountain East". Retrieved 2012-08-20.
- "G-MAC News: Conference Adds Three New Members" (Press release). Great Midwest Athletic Conference. August 21, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2012.