|Commissioner||Jon Steinbrecher (since 2009)|
The Mid-American Conference (MAC) is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I collegiate athletic conference with a membership base in the Great Lakes region that stretches from Western New York to Illinois. Nine of the twelve full member schools are in Ohio and Michigan, with single members located in Illinois, Indiana, and New York. For football, the MAC participates in the NCAA's Football Bowl Subdivision.
The MAC is headquartered in the Public Square district in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, and has two members in the nearby Akron area. The MAC has been referred to as the "Conference of Quarterbacks" because of the accomplishments of numerous former players in the National Football League. The conference also ranks highest among all ten NCAA Division I FBS conferences for graduation rates.
The five charter members of the Mid-American Conference were Ohio University, Butler University, the University of Cincinnati, Wayne University (now Wayne State University), and Western Reserve University, one of the predecessors to today's Case Western Reserve University. Wayne University left after the first year. Miami University and Western Michigan University took the place of those charter members for the 1948 season. The MAC added the University of Toledo (1950), Kent State University (1951), and Bowling Green State University (1952). The University of Cincinnati resigned its membership February 18, 1953, with an effective date of June 1, 1953. Cincinnati's decision was based on a new requirement that at least 5 conference football games would have to be scheduled each season, University President Raymond Walters saying they "...regretfully resign...as the university could not continue under the present setup..." 
The membership was steady for the next two decades except for the addition of Marshall University in 1954 and the departure of Western Reserve in 1955. Marshall was expelled from the conference in 1969 due to NCAA violations. The first major expansion since the 1950s took place in the mid-1970s with the addition of Central Michigan University and Eastern Michigan University in 1972 and Ball State University and Northern Illinois University in 1973. NIU left after the 1985–86 season. The University of Akron joined the conference in 1992. The conference became the largest in Division I-A with the re-admittance of Marshall and NIU in 1997 and addition of the Bulls from the University at Buffalo in 1998. The University of Central Florida, a non-football all-sports member in the Atlantic Sun Conference at the time, joined for football only in 2002, becoming the first football-only member in conference history. Marshall and Central Florida left after the 2004–05 academic year, both joining Conference USA in all sports.
The Louisville Cardinals were a MAC affiliate for field hockey for a number of years when Louisville was a member of the Metro Conference and Conference USA, winning two MAC tourney titles in 2003 and 2004.
The Missouri State Bears, Evansville Purple Aces, and Southern Illinois Salukis participate in the MAC for men's swimming and diving. In 2012, the West Virginia Mountaineers joined the Florida Atlantic Owls and Hartwick College Hawks as men's soccer affiliates. Florida Atlantic departed upon joining Conference USA in 2013. Hartwick's contract was not renewed by the MAC in 2015. Missouri, Northern Iowa, and Old Dominion are wrestling affiliates. Appalachian State University and Longwood University are associates in field hockey; Missouri State had also been a member in that sport from 2005 until dropping field hockey after the 2016 season. Binghamton University is an affiliate in men's tennis. In June 2017, SIU Edwardsville (SIUE) was invited to become an affiliate member in both men's soccer and wrestling in 2018. When Buffalo suddenly dropped four sports, including men's soccer, SIUE's move in that sport was made immediately.
The UMass Minutemen joined the MAC as a football-only member in July 2012; the university announced that the team would leave the MAC at the end of the 2015 season due to contractual issues. Meanwhile, Temple ended its affiliation with the MAC in football and joined the Big East for football in July 2012. Following the split of the Big East into football-sponsoring and non-football conferences in July 2013, Temple became a full member of the football-sponsoring portion, the American Athletic Conference, ending its membership in the Atlantic 10 at that time. The Chicago State Cougars were an affiliate for men's tennis until joining the Western Athletic Conference, which sponsors that sport, in July 2013.
The conference unveiled the addition of women's lacrosse to its sport sponsorship in November 2019. Lacrosse will begin competing under the MAC banner with five teams in the 2021 season with MAC members Akron, Central Michigan and Kent State joined by associate members Detroit Mercy and Youngstown State. Eastern Michigan will bring the league up to six members once it adds women's lacrosse for the 2022 season.
There are twelve public schools with full membership:
Current affiliate members
Seventeen schools have MAC affiliate membership status. On July 1, 2012, Temple joined the Big East Conference for football only (the school's other sports would join the Big East/American for 2013–14), and Massachusetts replaced Temple as a football-only member in the MAC East Division. On September 19, 2012, the MAC announced Missouri, Northern Iowa and Old Dominion would join as wrestling affiliates; as the Southeastern and Missouri Valley Conferences do not sponsor wrestling. Missouri and Northern Iowa participated only in the conference tournament in the 2012–13 school year, and began full conference play in 2013–14. Old Dominion did not begin MAC competition until 2013–14, when it left the Colonial Athletic Association (which had sponsored wrestling, but no longer does so) for Conference USA (which has never sponsored the sport). Old Dominion discontinued wrestling in April 2020.
On July 1, 2013, Florida Atlantic's men's soccer program moved with the rest of its athletic program to Conference USA, and Chicago State's men's tennis team followed the rest of its sports to the Western Athletic Conference.
The 2014–15 school year saw one affiliate member leave for another conference and two new affiliates join. The Hartwick men's soccer team left the MAC for the Sun Belt Conference, which had announced in February 2014 that it would reinstate men's soccer, a sport that it last sponsored in 1995, for the 2014 season. The new affiliates for 2014–15 were Binghamton in men's tennis and Longwood in field hockey.
On July 1, 2017, one associate member left the MAC, another associate member dropped one of its two MAC sports, and two new schools became associate members. Northern Iowa wrestling moved from the MAC to the Big 12 Conference. Missouri State dropped field hockey, but remained a MAC member in men's swimming & diving. Appalachian State joined MAC field hockey, and SIU Edwardsville (SIUE) joined in men's soccer. SIUE was initially announced as joining in both men's soccer and wrestling in 2018, but less than a week after the initial announcement, the conference indicated that SIUE men's soccer would immediately join. SIUE wrestling joined on its originally announced schedule.
On March 5, 2019 the conference announced that it would be adding the seven former members of the Eastern Wrestling League as affiliate members in wrestling, making the MAC the second largest wrestling conference for academic year 2019-2020.
With the addition of women's lacrosse, the MAC will add affiliate members Detroit Mercy and Youngstown State in the 2020–21 academic year; both UDM and YSU are all-sports members of the Horizon League.
Future affiliate members
|University of Detroit Mercy||Detroit, Michigan||1877||2020||Private||5,700||Titans||Horizon League||Women's lacrosse|
|Youngstown State University||Youngstown, Ohio||1908||2020||Public||15,058||Penguins||Horizon League||Women's lacrosse|
School names, nicknames, and colors listed here reflect those used during each school's MAC tenure. Wayne University became Wayne State University in 1956, with athletic teams changing from Tartars to Warriors in 1999. The University of Central Florida, known as the Golden Knights during their MAC tenure, dropped "Golden" from the athletic nickname in 2007 as part of their rebrand to the UCF Knights. Western Reserve University, whose teams were known as the Red Cats during their time in the MAC, merged with Case Institute of Technology in 1967 to form Case Western Reserve University, with the athletic programs merging in 1971. With the athletic merger, Case Western abandoned the nicknames of both former institutions and adopted Spartans. Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), known as the IPFW Mastodons during their affiliation with the MAC for men's soccer and men's tennis, rebranded their athletic program as the Fort Wayne Mastodons in 2016. Following IPFW's split into two separate institutions in July 2018, the Fort Wayne athletic program transferred to the larger of the two new institutions, Purdue University Fort Wayne, and the athletic program rebranded again as the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons. The school colors changed to the old gold and black used by the other members of the Purdue system, most notably the main campus.
Former full members
|Butler University||Indianapolis, Indiana||1855||1946||1949||Private||4,667||Bulldogs||Big East
Pioneer Football League (Football Only)
|University of Cincinnati||Cincinnati, Ohio||1819||1946||1953||Public||41,357||Bearcats||American|
|Marshall University||Huntington, West Virginia||1837||1954,
|Wayne University||Detroit, Michigan||1868||1946||1947||Public||30,909||Tartars||citation needed][||GLIAC|
|Western Reserve University||Cleveland, Ohio||1826||1946||1955||Private||10,331||Red Cats||UAA|
Former affiliate members
- In early 2014, the MAC made the decision "... to move forward without multi-divisional institutions." The conference then informed Hartwick College that their contract as an affiliate member would not be renewed.
- Missouri State remains a MAC affiliate in men's swimming & diving.
Full members Associate members (football only)
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- Dave Reese, 1946–1964
- Bob James, 1964–1971
- Fred Jacoby, 1971–1982
- Jim Lessig, 1982–1990
- Karl Benson, 1990–1994
- Jerry Ippoliti, 1994–1999
- Rick Chryst, 1999–2009
- Jon Steinbrecher, 2009–present
The Mid-American Conference sponsors championship competition in 11 men's and 12 women's NCAA sanctioned sports, with lacrosse becoming the 13th women's sport in 2020–21. As of the 2019–20 school year, 17 schools are associate members for five sports; one of these schools dropped its only MAC sport at the end of that school year, while two more schools will become associate members in the new MAC sport of women's lacrosse on July 1, 2020.
As the MAC is an FBS conference, its full members are subject to the NCAA requirement that FBS members field teams in at least 16 NCAA-recognized sports. However, the MAC itself requires sponsorship of only four sports: football, men's and women's basketball, and women's volleyball.
|Swimming and diving||7||8|
|Track and field (indoor)||4||12|
|Track and field (outdoor)||5||12|
- Numbers of teams are as of the 2020–21 school year.
- Starting play in 2020–21 with 5 teams; a sixth will be added in 2021–22.
Men's sponsored sports by school
|School||Baseball||Basketball||Cross country||Football||Golf||Soccer||Swimming||Tennis||Track and field
|Track and field
|Wrestling||Total MAC sports|
- Akron dropped men's cross country and men's golf at the end of the 2019–20 school year.
- Bowling Green dropped baseball at the end of the 2019–20 school year.
- Affiliate members SIU Edwardsville and West Virginia.
- Affiliate members Evansville, Missouri State, and Southern Illinois.
- Affiliate member Binghamton.
- Affiliates Bloomsburg, Clarion, Cleveland State, Edinboro, George Mason, Lock Haven, Missouri, Rider, and SIUE.
Men's varsity sports not sponsored by the MAC
- Rifle is technically a men's sport, but men's, women's, and coed teams all compete against each other. Akron fields a coed team.
- Bowling Green is one of seven WCHA men's members (out of 10) that have announced they will leave the men's side of the conference after the 2020–21 season and form a revived Central Collegiate Hockey Association.
Women's sponsored sports by school
|School||Basketball||Cross country||Field hockey||Golf||Gymnastics||Lacrosse[a]||Soccer||Softball||Swimming||Tennis||Track and field
|Track and field
|Volleyball||Total MAC sports|
- MAC play begins in the 2021 season (2020–21 school year).
- Akron dropped women's tennis at the end of the 2019–20 school year.
- Eastern Michigan begins women's lacrosse play in the 2021–22 school year.
- Affiliate members Appalachian State and Longwood.
- Affiliate members Detroit Mercy and Youngstown State.
Women's varsity sports not sponsored by the MAC
- Becomes a MAC sport in the 2020–21 school year.
- Rifle is technically a men's sport, but men's, women's, and coed teams all compete against each other. Akron fields a coed team.
- Synchronized skating is sanctioned by U.S. Figure Skating, not by the NCAA. Most synchronized skating teams are clubs not affiliated with any college or university; Miami is one of about 15 schools that sponsor varsity or club teams.
- This school will become a charter member of the MAC women's lacrosse league in 2020–21.
- Eastern Michigan will add women's lacrosse in 2021–22.
- For the most recent season, see 2019 Mid-American Conference football season.
This section needs to be updated.June 2017)(
|Team||First season||All-time record||All-time win %||Bowl appearances||Bowl record||MAC titles||Other conference titles||Stadium||Head coach|
|Akron||1891||518–545–36||.488||2||1–1||1||0||InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field||Tom Arth|
|Bowling Green||1919||533–364–52||.589||13||5–8||12||5||Doyt Perry Stadium||Scot Loeffler|
|Buffalo||1894||385–514–28||.430||2||0–2||1||1||University at Buffalo Stadium||Lance Leipold|
|Kent State||1920||335–535–28||.389||3||1-2||1||0||Dix Stadium||Sean Lewis|
|Miami (OH)||1888||674–446–44||.598||10||7–3||15||7||Yager Stadium||Chuck Martin|
|Ohio||1894||579–566–47||.505||13||5–8||5||6||Peden Stadium||Frank Solich|
|Ball State||1924||439–402–32||.521||7||0–7||5||5||Scheumann Stadium||Mike Neu|
|Central Michigan||1896||603–400–37||.598||9||3–6||7||9||Kelly/Shorts Stadium||Jim McElwain|
|Eastern Michigan||1891||443–576–47||.438||4||1–3||1||9||Rynearson Stadium||Chris Creighton|
|Northern Illinois||1899||566–475–51||.542||11||4–7||5||8||Huskie Stadium||Thomas Hammock|
|Toledo||1917||517–416���24||.553||15||10–5||10||3||Glass Bowl||Jason Candle|
|Western Michigan||1905||556–439–24||.557||7||1–6||3||1||Waldo Stadium||Tim Lester|
In 2017, the MAC is contracted to provide a team for each of the four college football bowl games: the Bahamas Bowl, LendingTree Bowl, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, and Camellia Bowl. The MAC also has secondary agreements with the Quick Lane Bowl and with several ESPN owned bowls.
|Bahamas Bowl||Nassau, Bahamas||C-USA|
|LendingTree Bowl||Mobile, Alabama||Sun Belt|
|Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||Boise, Idaho||Mountain West|
|Camellia Bowl||Montgomery, Alabama||Sun Belt|
- The MAC Champion (if not invited to the College Football Playoff or its associated bowls) is not contractually obligated to any specific bowl. The conference and the universities select which teams will play in which of the league's affiliated bowls.
College Football Playoff
The MAC champion receives an automatic berth in one of the so-called "New Year's Six" bowl games associated with the College Football Playoff under either of the following circumstances::
- Selected as one of the top four teams overall by the CFP selection committee, in which case the team will play in a CFP national semifinal.
- Ranked by the committee as the top champion among the five conferences (American, C-USA, MAC, MW, Sun Belt) given access to one of the CFP bowls, in which case the team will play in the so-called "Access Bowl" as an at-large selection.
The first "Access Bowl" berth in 2014 went to Boise State (MW); the 2015 berth went to Houston (American). The MAC got its first berth in 2016 with Western Michigan.
During the era of the now-defunct Bowl Championship Series (BCS), one MAC team appeared in a BCS bowl game. In 2012, NIU qualified by being ranked in the top 16 (15th) in the season's final BCS standings, and also higher than at least one champion of a conference that received an automatic berth in a BCS game. In the 2012 season, two such conference champions were ranked below NIU: Big East champion Louisville, who was ranked 22nd, and Big Ten champion Wisconsin, who was unranked. NIU lost to Florida State in the Orange Bowl.
Football rivalries involving MAC teams include:
|Teams||Rivalry name||Trophy||Meetings||Record||Series leader||Current streak|
|Akron||Kent State||–||Wagon Wheel||61||35–24–2||Akron||Akron won 4|
|Akron||Youngstown State||–||Steel Tire||35||19–14–2||Youngstown State||Youngstown State won 3|
|Bowling Green||Kent State||Battle for the Anniversary Award||Anniversary Award||83||60–21–5||Bowling Green||Kent State won 1|
|Bowling Green||Toledo||Battle of I-75||Battle of I-75 Trophy||84||40–40–4||Tied||Bowling Green won 1|
|Miami||Cincinnati||Battle for the Bell||Victory Bell||120||59–57–7||Miami||Cincinnati won 13|
|Miami||Ohio||Battle of the Bricks||–||94||54-40-2||Miami||Miami won 3|
|Ohio||Marshall||Battle for the Bell||The Bell||60||33–21–6||Marshall||Marshall won 2|
|Ball State||Northern Illinois||–||Bronze Stalk Trophy||44||24–21–2||Northern Illinois||Ball State won 1|
|Central Michigan||Western Michigan||CMU–WMU Rivalry||Victory Cannon||90||50-38–2||Western Michigan||Western Michigan won 2|
In addition, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and Western Michigan compete for the Michigan MAC Trophy, which is awarded to the team with the best head-to-head record each year. Since the inception of the trophy in 2005, Western Michigan has won 6 times, Central Michigan has won 5 times, and Eastern Michigan has won the trophy 4 times. Western Michigan has won the trophy the past two years (2018 and 2019) as well as 5 of the past 6 years (2014, 2015, 2016, 2018,and 2019).
In August 2010, Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher and the Cleveland Cavaliers announced that the Mid-American Conference Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments would remain in Cleveland at the venue then known as Quicken Loans Arena and now as Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse through 2017. Both tournaments have flourished since moving to Cleveland in 2000, with the men's semi-finals and championship regularly drawing large crowds at Quicken Loans Arena. In 2007, the MAC also announced a format change for both tournaments, bringing all twelve men's and women's teams to Cleveland. The MAC also co-hosted the 2007 Women's Final Four at Quicken Loans Arena after successfully hosting the 2006 NCAA Women's Basketball Regional at the same facility.
On May 12, 2020, Steinbrecher announced a suite of major changes to the conference's competitive format across multiple sports in response to fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Specific to men's and women's basketball, the following changes will take effect in 2020–21 and continue through at least 2023–24:
- The conference will adopt a single league table, eliminating the divisional standings.
- The conference schedule will increase from 18 to 20 games.
- Only the top eight men's and women's teams will advance to their respective conference tournaments.
Current MAC champions
The following are the most recent conference champions of each MAC sport. Champions from the previous academic year are indicated in italics.
In sports in which regular-season and tournament champions are recognized, "RS" indicates regular-season champion and "T" indicates tournament champion.
- The final round of the 2019 men's golf championships was canceled due to weather-related issues. Eastern Michigan and Kent State, which were tied for the team lead entering the final round, were declared co-champions.
Hall of Fame
The Mid-American Conference Hall of Fame was the first Division I conference Hall of Fame. It was established in 1987 and classes have been inducted in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 2012 and 2013.
In order to be eligible, a person must have participated during the time the university was in the MAC and five years must have passed from the time the individual participated in athletics or worked in the athletic department.
The following is a list of the members of the MAC Hall of Fame, along with school affiliation, sport(s) for which they were inducted, and year of induction.
- Harold Anderson, Bowling Green, basketball, 1991
- Janet Bachna, Kent State, gymnastics, 1992
- Joe Begala, Kent State, wrestling, 1991
- Tom Beutler, Toledo, football, 1994
- Kermit Blosser, Ohio, golf, 1988
- Jim Corrigall, Kent State, football, 1994
- Hasely Crawford, Eastern Michigan, track and field, 1991
- Ben Curtis, Kent State, golf, 2012
- Caroline (Mast) Daugherty, Ohio, basketball, 1994
- Herb Deromedi, Central Michigan, football, 2012
- Chuck Ealey, Toledo, football, 1988
- Fran Ebert, Western Michigan, softball / basketball, 1992
- Wayne Embry, Miami, basketball, 2012
- Karen Fitzpatrick, Ball State, field hockey, 2012
- John Gill, WMU athlete / coach / administrator, 1994
- Maurice Harvey, Ball State, football, 1992
- Bill Hess, Ohio, football coach, 1992
- Gary Hogeboom, Central Michigan, football, 1994
- Fred Jacoby, MAC commissioner, 1990
- Bob James, MAC commissioner, 1989
- Ron Johnson, Eastern Michigan, football, 1988
- Dave Keilitz, Central Michigan, baseball, 2013
- Ted Kjolhede, Central Michigan, basketball, 1988
- Kim Knuth, Toledo, women's basketball, 2013
- Ken Kramer, Ball State, football, 1991
- Bill Lajoie, Western Michigan, baseball, 1991
- Jack Lambert, Kent State, football, 1988
- Frank Lauterbur, Toledo, football, 1990
- Mel Long, Toledo, football, 1992
- Charlier Maher, Western Michigan, baseball, 1989
- Bill Mallory, Miami/Northern Illinois, football, 2013
- Brad Maynard, Ball State, football, 2013
- Ray McCallum, Ball State, basketball, 1988
- Jack McLain, MAC football official, 1992
- Karen Michalak, Central Michigan, basketball / track and field / field hockey, 1992
- Gordon Minty, Eastern Michigan, track and field, 1994
- Steve Mix, Toledo, basketball, 1989
- Thurman Munson, Kent State, baseball, 1990
- Ira Murchinson, Western Michigan, track and field, 1990
- Don Nehlen, Bowling Green, football, 1994
- Manny Newsome, Western Michigan, basketball, 1988
- Bob Nichols, Toledo, basketball, 2012
- John Offerdahl, Western Michigan, football, 2013
- Bob Owchinko, Eastern Michigan, baseball, 1992
- Ara Parseghian, Miami, football, 1988
- Doyt Perry, Bowling Green, football, 1988
- John Pont, Miami, football player / coach, 1992
- John Pruis, Ball State, president, 1994
- Trevor Rees, Kent State, football, 1989
- David Reese, MAC commissioner, 1988
- George Rider, Miami, track and field, 1989
- William Rohr, Miami, basketball coach 1994
- Dan Roundfield, Central Michigan, basketball, 1990
- Bo Schembechler, Miami, football coach, 1991
- Mike Schmidt, Ohio, baseball, 2012
- Dick Shrider, Miami, basketball, 1990
- Christi Smith, Akron, track and field, 2013
- Jim Snyder, Ohio, basketball, 1991
- Shafer Suggs, Ball State, football, 1989
- Nate Thurmond, Bowling Green, basketball, 1989
- Gary Trent, Ohio, men's basketball, 2013
- Phil Villapiano, Bowling Green, football, 1992
- Bob Welch, Eastern Michigan, baseball, 1990
- Dave Wottle, Bowling Green, track and field, 1990
- Bob Wren, Ohio, baseball, 1989
A number of MAC sports, including football, men's and women's basketball, baseball, soccer, wrestling and volleyball, are telecast on Spectrum Sports (Ohio), replacing SportsTime Ohio and Fox Sports Ohio as the MAC TV partner. Along with Spectrum Sports, ESPN, as well as the American Sports Network, retain the "local and regional" syndication telecast rights to the MAC for football and basketball.
In 2000 ESPN began broadcasting MAC football games on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The conference agreed to the unusual schedule to increase television ratings by not competing against other football. Fans nicknamed the midweek games MACtion. In 2014 the conference and ESPN agreed to a new contract for 13 years. Each school receives more than $800,000 annually, and plays most November games on weekday nights; 16 of 18 games in 2016 were not on Saturdays, for example. While MACtion decreases stadium attendance, games appear on an ESPN channel to a nationwide audience instead of a less-popular channel or streaming media.
Ball State produces its own comprehensive television package with Ball State Sports Link. Affiliate stations include WIPB in Muncie, WNDY in Indianapolis, WPTA in Fort Wayne, WHME in South Bend, WTVW in Evansville, WYIN in Merrillville and Comcast in Michigan. All Ball State Sports Link games are also broadcast on student radio station WCRD and on the Ball State Radio Network produced by WLBC-FM and Backyard Broadcasting.
NIU has multiple football and basketball games telecast by Comcast SportsNet Chicago. In addition, most NIU football and basketball games can be heard on WSCR-AM 670 "The Score" - Chicago's powerful 50,000-watt top-rated all-sports station, which reaches 38 states and Canada.
MAC Properties (a division of ISP Sports) is the sponsorship arm of the Mid-American Conference, and handles all forms of sponsorship and advertising for the MAC which includes managing and growing its stable of official corporate partners. As of 2010, the MAC has five official corporate partners: FirstEnergy, Marathon, PNC Bank, AutoTrader.com and Cleveland Clinic Sports Health. There are approximately 20 other companies engaged as sponsors of the conference at the non-official level. MAC Properties also assists with the management of the conference's television and radio contracts, including those with ESPN Regional, FOX Sports Ohio and ESPN 850 WKNR among others.
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