Skyline Conference (1938–1962)
The Skyline Conference was a college athletic conference based in the Western United States that was active from 1938 to 1962. The conference's formal name was the Mountain States Athletic Conference, although it was also known as the Mountain States Conference along with informal but popular nicknames. It is unrelated to the contemporary Skyline Conference that is active in NCAA Division III in the New York City area.
|Mountain States Athletic Conference|
|Region||Western United States|
The conference began operating in 1938 with college athletic programs that left the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The seven charter members of the conference were: BYU, Colorado, Colorado A&M (now Colorado State), Denver, Utah, Utah State, and Wyoming. At the time of formation, the formal name of Mountain States Athletic Conference was adopted, although newspapers were already calling it the Big Seven at that time. The conference became popularly known as the Skyline Conference or Skyline Six after Colorado left in 1947. Colorado joined the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MVIAA), informally known as the Big Six Conference, which took over the Big Seven name and would later become the Big Eight Conference.
The conference became known as the Skyline Eight after New Mexico and Montana joined in 1951. The conference officially dissolved as of July 1, 1962, after four of its members (BYU, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming) departed to form the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Montana operated as an independent for one football season in 1962 until the formation of the Big Sky Conference in 1963. Colorado State became independent until it joined the WAC in 1968. Utah State operated as an independent for fifteen seasons, until it joined the Pacific Coast Athletic Association (later named the Big West Conference) in 1977.
The conference first had a full-time commissioner in 1949, appointing Dick Romney, who had led the Utah State Aggies football program since 1919. He was succeeded in August 1960 by Paul Brechler, who had been athletic director at the University of Iowa. Brechler served as commissioner until the conference disbanded, and became the first commissioner of the WAC.
- BYU: now independent in football and in the West Coast Conference in all other sports.
- Colorado: left in 1948 to join the Big Seven Conference (whose members all moved to the Big 12 Conference in 1996); now in the Pac-12 Conference.
- Colorado A&M/State: now in the Mountain West Conference.
- Denver: dropped football after 1960; now in The Summit League.
- Utah: moved to the Mountain West Conference; now in the Pac-12 Conference.
- Utah State: now in the Mountain West Conference.
- Wyoming: now in the Mountain West Conference.
- Montana (1951–1962): joined after a year of independent play in 1950 following several decades of membership in the Pacific Coast Conference; a charter and current member of the Big Sky Conference.
- New Mexico (1951–1962): joined from the Border Conference; left to join the WAC; now a member of the Mountain West Conference.
- "Rocky Mountain Men are to Frame Skeds". Independent Record. Helena, Montana. December 3, 1937. p. 7. Retrieved January 5, 2020 – via newspapers.com.
- Goodell, Bob (December 5, 1937). "New Circuit Christened Mountain Stats Athletic Conference". The Salt Lake Tribune. p. 37. Retrieved January 5, 2020 – via newspapers.com.
- Goodell, Bob (December 5, 1937). "Football Schedules Drawn At Denver Meeting". The Salt Lake Tribune. p. 38. Retrieved January 5, 2020 – via newspapers.com.
- Moler, Murray (May 25, 1947). "'Skyline Six' (ex-Big Seven) Conference Will Send Champs Into California Raisin Bowl". Nevada State Journal. UP. p. 5. Retrieved January 5, 2020 – via newspapers.com.
- "Montana Accepted As Member of Skyline Eight". Independent Record. Helena, Montana. AP. June 11, 1950. p. 12. Retrieved January 5, 2020 – via newspapers.com.
- "New League Is Established". Daily Inter Lake. Kalispell, Montana. AP. October 12, 1962. p. 6. Retrieved January 5, 2020 – via newspapers.com.
- McCulloch, Ollie (January 28, 1949). "Dick Romney Accepts Skyline Six Commissioner Position". The Salt Lake Tribune. p. 22. Retrieved January 5, 2020 – via newspapers.com.
- "Brechler Quits Iowa Post, Becomes Skyline Chief". The Salt Lake Tribune. AP. February 25, 1960. p. 21. Retrieved January 5, 2020 – via newspapers.com.
- Mooney, John (August 23, 1960). "Dick Romney Ends Half Century of Athletic Service". The Salt Lake Tribune. p. 16. Retrieved January 5, 2020 – via newspapers.com.
- "Brechler Explains 'Circuit'". Standard-Examiner. Ogden, Utah. AP. January 11, 1962. p. 24. Retrieved January 5, 2020 – via newspapers.com.
- "Conference Championships – Mountain States Athletic Conference". cfbdatawarehouse.com. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
- Mountain States Athletic Conference Records. Provo, Utah: L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University.