Mountain East Conference
The Mountain East Conference (MEC) is a collegiate athletic conference that competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II level and officially began competition on September 1, 2013. It consists of 12 schools, mostly in West Virginia with other members in Maryland and Ohio.
|Mountain East Conference|
|Region||West Virginia, Maryland, and Ohio|
|Headquarters||Bridgeport, West Virginia|
|Commissioner||Reid Amos (since 2012)|
Formation and historyEdit
|Mountain East Conference|
|Location of MEC members: current|
The conference is an offshoot of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC), another Division II conference that had operated primarily in West Virginia since 1924. In June 2012, the nine football-playing schools in that conference announced plans to break away and form a new all-sports conference. The schools that made the initial announcement were the University of Charleston, Concord University, Fairmont State University, Glenville State College, Seton Hill University, Shepherd University, West Liberty University, West Virginia State University, and West Virginia Wesleyan College. All of these schools were in West Virginia, except for Seton Hill, located in Pennsylvania. According to regional media, the split was "supposedly rooted in different philosophies of progressivism", and also was partially driven by a desire to expand the new conference's footprint outside West Virginia. The divisions in the WVIAC were also rooted in the split between public and private schools, although the departing schools included institutions of both types.
At the time of the original announcement, the nine schools planned to expand to at least 12 members. Before the official launch of the conference on August 20, 2012, the MEC sought to add the WVIAC's other Pennsylvania member, the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown; however, both Seton Hill and Pittsburgh–Johnstown chose to join the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. The MEC filled out its charter membership with another West Virginia school, Wheeling Jesuit University, today known as Wheeling University; two Ohio schools, Notre Dame College and Urbana University; and the University of Virginia's College at Wise (UVA–Wise), located in Southwest Virginia. Wheeling Jesuit was a WVIAC member that had been left out of the original WVIAC split. Urbana and UVA–Wise were members of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference in 2012–13, while Notre Dame was a Division II independent that had housed five of its 22 sports in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. UVA–Wise, which had previously been turned down for WVIAC membership, was transitioning from the NAIA and did not officially become an active D-II member until 2015-16; all of the other charter members were already full D-II members.
At its launch, the MEC had 11 football members, with Wheeling (then known as Wheeling Jesuit) being the only non-football school. On February 15, 2013, the NCAA accepted the MEC as its 25th D2 conference. The 2015–16 school year was the first in which MEC teams were eligible for automatic bids to NCAA Division II championships; before then, they were eligible only for at-large bids.
The most recent changes to the conference membership were all announced in 2018. First, UVA–Wise and the South Atlantic Conference jointly announced on April 13 that UVA–Wise would leave the MEC to join the SAC for 2019–20 and beyond. Next, Shepherd and the PSAC jointly announced on June 7 that Shepherd would join the PSAC in 2019, becoming that league's first full member outside of Pennsylvania. The MEC would replace both members in the ensuing months. On July 5, the Mountain East Conference announced that Frostburg State University had accepted an offer of membership beginning with the 2019–20 academic year, contingent upon Frostburg State achieving active membership status in NCAA Division II (which would occur on the announced schedule). Finally, on August 30, the MEC announced two additional new members effective in 2019–20. Davis & Elkins College would become a full member, and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke would join in five sports. UNC Pembroke begins MEC competition in men's and women's indoor track & field, women's swimming & diving, and wrestling in 2019, with football to follow in 2020.
|University of Charleston||Charleston, West Virginia||1888||1,350||Golden Eagles||2013|
|Concord University||Athens, West Virginia||1872||2,850||Mountain Lions||2013|
|Davis & Elkins College||Elkins, West Virginia||1904||810||Senators||2019|
|Fairmont State University||Fairmont, West Virginia||1865||4,600||Falcons||2013|
|Frostburg State University||Frostburg, Maryland||1898||5,215||Bobcats||2019|
|Glenville State College||Glenville, West Virginia||1872||2,000||Pioneers||2013|
|Notre Dame College||South Euclid, Ohio||1922||2,200||Falcons||2013|
|Urbana University||Urbana, Ohio||1850||1,500||Blue Knights||2013|
|West Liberty University||West Liberty, West Virginia||1837||2,500||Hilltoppers||2013|
|West Virginia State University||Institute, West Virginia||1891||3,100||Yellow Jackets||2013|
|West Virginia Wesleyan College||Buckhannon, West Virginia||1890||1,452||Bobcats||2013|
|Wheeling University||Wheeling, West Virginia||1954||1,600||Cardinals||2013|
- Reclassifying member in yellow.
|Shepherd University||Shepherdstown, West Virginia||1871||4,400||Rams||2013||2019||PSAC|
|University of Virginia's College at Wise||Wise, Virginia||1954||2,000||Cavaliers||2013||2019||SAC|
|Institution||Location||Founded||Enrollment||Nickname||Colors||Primary Conference||MEC Sports||Joined|
|University of North Carolina at Pembroke||Pembroke, North Carolina||1887||5,827||Braves||Peach Belt||Football
Indoor track & field (M&W)
Swimming & diving (W)
|2019 (other sports)|
Full member (all sports) Full member (non-football) Associate member (football-only) Associate member (sport)
The MEC sponsored 16 sports in all, eight each for men and women, at its formation. Women's lacrosse became the 17th conference sport for the 2014–15 school year (2015 season). Men's and women's swimming and diving were added as the 18th and 19th conference sports for 2017–18, with the MEC and Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) forming a swimming and diving alliance that conducts a joint conference championship meet. The MEC added men's and women's indoor track & field and wrestling to its sports roster in 2019–20.
|A divisional format is used for baseball and softball.|
|Swimming & Diving|
|Track & field (indoor)|
|Track & field (outdoor)|
Men's sponsored sports by schoolEdit
|Davis & Elkins||10|
|West Virginia State||5|
|West Virginia Wesleyan||10|
- Football joins the MEC in 2020.
Women's sponsored sports by schoolEdit
|Davis & Elkins||10|
|West Virginia State||5|
|West Virginia Wesleyan||11|
Other sponsored sports by schoolEdit
|Davis & Elkins||G-MAC||IND|
- Division I sport.
- Although gymnastics is an NCAA sport, acrobatics & tumbling currently fall outside the scope of NCAA competition. An NCAA committee has recommended the addition of this discipline to the Emerging Sports for Women program in 2020–21.
- "A Break Up For WVIAC". Charleston, WV: West Virginia Metro News. June 19, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
- Stevens, Rich (June 25, 2012). "More than meets eye in breakup of WVIAC". Charleston Daily Mail. Charleston, WV. p. 1. Archived from the original on January 2, 2013. Retrieved August 21, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Rine, Shawn (August 20, 2012). "Cards, Toppers Set To Jump Into New League". The Intelligencer & Wheeling News Register. Wheeling, WV. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
- Stevens, Rich (June 25, 2012). "More than meets eye in breakup of WVIAC". Charleston Daily Mail. Charleston, WV. p. 2. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
- "UVa–Wise Accepts Charter Membership in Mountain East Conference". Hazard, KY: WYMT-TV. August 20, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
- "NCAA Adds Mountain East Conference As Newest DIvision II League" (Press release). Mountain East Conference. February 15, 2013.
- "UVa-Wise to Join South Atlantic Conference in 2019-20" (Press release). UVA–Wise Cavaliers. April 13, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
- "Shepherd University to Join PSAC in 2019–20" (Press release). Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. June 7, 2018. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- "Frostburg State Set To Join Mountain East Conference" (Press release). Bridgeport, West Virginia: Mountain East Conference. July 5, 2018. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
- "Davis & Elkins To Join MEC; UNC Pembroke To Be Associate Member" (Press release). Bridgeport, West Virginia: Mountain East Conference. August 30, 2018. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
- "Mountain East Conference to welcome Davis & Elkins as full member, UNC Pembroke as associate member". Charleston Gazette-Mail. August 30, 2018. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
- "Shepherd likely headed to new conference - News, Sports, Jobs - Journal News". www.journal-news.net.
- "UVa-Wise to Join South Atlantic Conference in 2019-20". The University of Virginia's College at Wise.
- "Great Midwest, Mountain East Form 2018 Conference Championship Event" (Press release). Great Midwest Athletic Conference. September 14, 2017. Retrieved July 7, 2018.