Mountain East Conference

The Mountain East Conference (MEC) is a college athletic conference affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the 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
Mountain East Conference logo.svg
AssociationNCAA
Founded2012
CommissionerReid Amos (since 2012)
Sports fielded
  • 23
    • men's: 11
    • women's: 12
DivisionDivision II
No. of teams12
HeadquartersBridgeport, West Virginia
RegionWest Virginia, Maryland, and Ohio
Official websitewww.mountaineast.org

Formation and historyEdit

Mountain East Conference
Location of MEC members:   north division current   south division 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.[1] 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",[2] and also was partially driven by a desire to expand the new conference's footprint outside West Virginia.[3] 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.[4]

At the time of the original announcement, the nine schools planned to expand to at least 12 members.[2] Before the official launch of the conference on August 20, 2012,[5] 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.[3] 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.[5] Wheeling Jesuit was a WVIAC member that had been left out of the original WVIAC split.[3] Urbana and UVA Wise were members of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) 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.[5] UVA Wise, which had previously been turned down for WVIAC membership,[3] 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.[5]

At its launch, the MEC had 11 football members, with Wheeling (then known as Wheeling Jesuit) being the only non-football school.[3] On February 15, 2013, the NCAA accepted the MEC as its 25th D2 conference.[6] 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.[6]

In 2018 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.[7] 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.[8] 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).[9] 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 began MEC competition in men's and women's indoor track & field, women's swimming & diving, and wrestling in 2019, with football following in 2020.[10]

The most recent MEC membership changes were announced in 2020. On April 16, multi-sport associate member UNC Pembroke announced it would join Conference Carolinas effective in 2021–22. Because CC sponsors all of the non-football sports that UNCP housed in the MEC, UNCP is now an MEC member only in football.[11] Five days later, charter member Urbana announced it would close at the end of the 2019–20 school year.[12] Finally, on June 5, Alderson Broaddus University, a West Virginia school left out of the WVIAC split, announced that it would leave the G-MAC to join the MEC the following month.[13]

Chronological timelineEdit

Member schoolsEdit

Current membersEdit

The Mountain East currently has 12 full members, split evenly between private and public schools.

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Colors Division
Alderson Broaddus University Philippi, West Virginia 1871 Baptist 2,306 Battlers 2020     North
University of Charleston Charleston, West Virginia 1888 Nonsectarian 1,350 Golden Eagles 2013     South
Concord University Athens, West Virginia 1872 Public 1,835[14] Mountain Lions 2013     South
Davis & Elkins College Elkins, West Virginia 1904 Presbyterian 810 Senators 2019[15]     South
Fairmont State University Fairmont, West Virginia 1865 Public 4,600 Falcons 2013     North
Frostburg State University[a] Frostburg, Maryland 1898 Public 5,215 Bobcats 2019       North
Glenville State University Glenville, West Virginia 1872 Public 2,000 Pioneers 2013     South
Notre Dame College South Euclid, Ohio 1922 Catholic 2,200 Falcons 2013     North
West Liberty University West Liberty, West Virginia 1837 Public 2,500 Hilltoppers 2013     North
West Virginia State University Institute, West Virginia 1891 Public
(HBCU)
3,100 Yellow Jackets 2013     South
West Virginia Wesleyan College Buckhannon, West Virginia 1890 United Methodist 1,452 Bobcats 2013     South
Wheeling University Wheeling, West Virginia 1954 Catholic 1,600 Cardinals 2013     North
Notes
  1. ^ Reclassifying member in yellow.


Associate memberEdit

The Mountain East currently has one associate member, which is also a public school:

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Colors MEC
sport(s)
Primary
conference
University of North Carolina at Pembroke Pembroke, North Carolina 1887 Public 5,827 Braves 2020–21[10]     football Carolinas (CC)

Former membersEdit

The Mountain East had three former full members, all but one were public schools:

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Colors Current
conference
Shepherd University Shepherdstown, West Virginia 1871 Public 4,400 Rams 2013 2019     Pennsylvania (PSAC)[16]
Urbana University Urbana, Ohio 1850 Nonsectarian N/A Blue Knights 2013 2020     Closed in 2020
University of Virginia's College at Wise
(UVA Wise)
Wise, Virginia 1954 Public 2,000 Cavaliers 2013 2019     South Atlantic (SAC)[17]

Former associate memberEdit

Current Mountain East football associate UNC Pembroke had housed four sports in the MEC before it joined a conference that sponsored all of those sports.

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Colors MEC
sport(s)
Primary
conference
University of North Carolina at Pembroke Pembroke, North Carolina 1887 Public 5,827 Braves 2019–20[10] 2020–21[18]     men's indoor track & field;
women's indoor track & field;
women's swimming & diving
wrestling
Carolinas (CC)

Membership timelineEdit

Alderson Broaddus UniversityUniversity of North Carolina at PembrokeFrostburg State UniversityDavis %26 Elkins CollegeWheeling UniversityWest Virginia Wesleyan CollegeWest Virginia State UniversityWest Liberty UniversityUniversity of Virginia's College at WiseUrbana UniversityShepherd UniversityNotre Dame CollegeGlenville State CollegeFairmont State UniversityConcord UniversityUniversity of Charleston

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

SportsEdit

The MEC sponsored 16 sports in all, eight each for men and women, at its formation.[3] 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.[19] The following school year saw the MEC add acrobatics & tumbling as an official sport, two years before it was added to the NCAA Emerging Sports for Women program.[20] The MEC was the first NCAA conference to establish acrobatics & tumbling as an official sport.[21] The most recently added sports are men's and women's indoor track & field and wrestling, which debuted in 2019–20.[10]

A divisional format is used for basketball (M/W), baseball, soccer (W), softball and volleyball (W).
North
  • Alderson Broaddus
  • Fairmont State
  • Frostburg State
  • Notre Dame
  • West Liberty
  • Wheeling
South
  • Charleston
  • Concord
  • Davis & Elkins
  • Glenville State
  • West Virginia State
  • West Virginia Wesleyan
Conference sports
Sport Men's Women's
Acrobatics & tumbling  Y
Baseball  Y
Basketball  Y  Y
Cross country  Y  Y
Football  Y
Golf  Y  Y
Lacrosse  Y
Soccer  Y  Y
Softball  Y
Swimming & Diving  Y  Y
Tennis  Y  Y
Track & field (indoor)  Y  Y
Track & field (outdoor)  Y  Y
Volleyball  Y
Wrestling  Y


Men's sponsored sports by schoolEdit

School Baseball Basketball Cross
Country
Football Golf Soccer Swimming
& Diving
Tennis Track
& Field
Indoor
Track
& Field
Outdoor
Wrestling Total
MEC
Sports
Alderson Broaddus  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 8
Charleston  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 9
Concord  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 8
Davis & Elkins  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 10
Fairmont State  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 7
Frostburg State  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 9
Glenville State  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 6
Notre Dame  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 10
West Liberty  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 10
West Virginia State  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 5
West Virginia Wesleyan  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 10
Wheeling  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 9
Totals 12 12 11 11 10 9 5 7 9 10 5 101
Associate Member
UNC Pembroke  Y 1

Women's sponsored sports by schoolEdit

School Acrobatics
& Tumbling
Basketball Cross
Country
Golf Lacrosse Soccer Softball Swimming
& Diving
Tennis Track
& Field
Indoor
Track
& Field
Outdoor
Volleyball Total
MEC
Sports
Alderson Broaddus  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 11
Charleston  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 10
Concord  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 8
Davis & Elkins  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 11
Fairmont State  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 9
Frostburg State  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 11
Glenville State  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 7
Notre Dame  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 10
West Liberty  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 10
West Virginia State [a]  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 6
West Virginia Wesleyan  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 12
Wheeling  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 9
Totals 7 11 11 8 7 10 11 5 7 9 10 10 106
  1. ^ West Virginia State has announced it will add acrobatics & tumbling, but has not announced a timetable for the start of competition.[22]

Other sponsored sports by schoolEdit

School Men Women
Lacrosse Sprint football[a] Volleyball[b] Bowling[c] Field Hockey Rugby[d] Triathlon[d] Wrestling[d]
Alderson Broaddus G-MAC[e] CSFL IND IND IND
Charleston EIVA
Davis & Elkins G-MAC IND
Frostburg State ECC IND
Notre Dame IND IND
Wheeling G-MAC
  1. ^ A weight-restricted form of football with two non-NCAA governing bodies. Alderson Broaddus competes in the oldest of the two, the Collegiate Sprint Football League.
  2. ^ De facto Division I sport. The NCAA operates a joint Division I/II championship, with D-I and D-II schools operating under the same scholarship limits.
  3. ^ De facto Division I sport. The NCAA operates a single championship event open to members of all divisions, with D-I and D-II schools operating under the same scholarship limits.
  4. ^ a b c Included in the NCAA Emerging Sports for Women program.
  5. ^ Alderson Broaddus will presumably remain a G-MAC member in men's lacrosse after joining the MEC, as the MEC sponsors that sport only for women.

In addition to the above:

  • Alderson Broaddus considers its cheerleaders (male and female) to be varsity athletes.
  • Charleston considers its female cheerleaders (but not its male cheerleaders) to be varsity athletes.
  • Glenville State considers its female cheerleaders (but not its male cheerleaders) to be varsity athletes. It also fields men's and women's teams in the non-NCAA sport of boxing.
  • Notre Dame fields varsity teams in the non-NCAA sports of men's bowling and men's rugby.
  • Wheeling fields a varsity team in the non-NCAA sport of men's rugby.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "A Break Up For WVIAC". Charleston, WV: West Virginia Metro News. June 19, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  2. ^ a b 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.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Rine, Shawn (August 20, 2012). "Cards, Toppers Set To Jump Into New League". The Intelligencer & Wheeling News Register. Wheeling, WV. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  4. ^ Stevens, Rich (June 25, 2012). "More than meets eye in breakup of WVIAC". Charleston Daily Mail. Charleston, WV. p. 2. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d "UVa–Wise Accepts Charter Membership in Mountain East Conference". Hazard, KY: WYMT-TV. August 20, 2012. Archived from the original on August 21, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  6. ^ a b "NCAA Adds Mountain East Conference As Newest Division II League" (Press release). Mountain East Conference. February 15, 2013.
  7. ^ "UVa-Wise to Join South Atlantic Conference in 2019-20" (Press release). UVA–Wise Cavaliers. April 13, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  8. ^ "Shepherd University to Join PSAC in 2019–20" (Press release). Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. June 7, 2018. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  9. ^ "Frostburg State Set To Join Mountain East Conference" (Press release). Bridgeport, West Virginia: Mountain East Conference. July 5, 2018. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d "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.
  11. ^ "Conference Carolinas Announces Addition of Francis Marion and UNC Pembroke" (Press release). Conference Carolinas. April 16, 2020. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  12. ^ Smola, Jennifer (April 21, 2020). "Ohio's Urbana University to close due to coronavirus challenges, low enrollment". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  13. ^ "Alderson Broaddus to Join MEC" (Press release). Mountain East Conference. June 5, 2020. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  14. ^ "Concord University Institutional Data".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ "Shepherd likely headed to new conference". The Journal. June 1, 2018.
  17. ^ "UVa-Wise to Join South Atlantic Conference in 2019-20". University of Virginia's College at Wise Cavaliers. April 13, 2018.
  18. ^ "Conference Carolinas Announces Addition of Francis Marion and UNC Pembroke" (Press release). Conference Carolinas. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  19. ^ "Great Midwest, Mountain East Form 2018 Conference Championship Event" (Press release). Great Midwest Athletic Conference. September 14, 2017. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  20. ^ "MEC Adds Acrobatics & Tumbling to Championships Offering" (Press release). Mountain East Conference. April 9, 2018. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  21. ^ "Conference Carolinas to Sponsor Acrobatics and Tumbling in 2020-21 Athletic Year; Coker Joins as Affiliate Member in NCAA Emerging Sport" (Press release). Conference Carolinas. January 25, 2020. Retrieved September 5, 2020. Conference Carolinas joins the Mountain East Conference as the only NCAA conferences to presently sponsor the sport.
  22. ^ "WVSU Athletics Announces Acrobatics & Tumbling as 11th Sport Offering" (Press release). West Virginia State Yellow Jackets. January 27, 2022. Retrieved March 7, 2022.

External linksEdit