|Pages related to the Western Athletic Conference|
The Western Athletic Conference (known as the WAC) is a conference formed on July 27, 1962 and participating in the NCAA's Division I. The WAC covers a broad expanse of the western United States, with member institutions located in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington, along with the "non-western" states of Illinois (traditionally associated with the Midwest) and Texas (traditionally associated with the South).
Due to most of the conference's football-playing members leaving the WAC for other affiliations, the conference discontinued football as a sponsored sport after the 2012-13 season and left the NCAA's Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A). The WAC thus became the first Division I conference to drop football since the Big West in 2000. The WAC then added men's soccer and became one of the NCAA's eleven Division I non-football conferences.
The WAC underwent a major expansion in July 2021. The WAC had announced on January 14 of that year that five new members would join by 2022. Originally, all new members were intended to join in July 2022. However, when the Southland Conference, home to four of the incoming members, expelled those schools effective with the end of the 2020–21 school year, the WAC moved their arrival forward to 2021. The arrival of the fifth new member, Southern Utah, remains on the original 2022 schedule. With all incoming members sponsoring football at the second level of Division I, the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), the conference reinstated football at the FCS level for the fall 2021 season. The new members were joined in the football league by current FCS football schools Dixie State and Tarleton, as well as three incoming members of the ASUN Conference in a partnership that will operate until the ASUN establishes its own FCS league in 2022 or later.
Also in 2022, current member Chicago State will leave the conference.
- Abilene Christian (joined in 2021)
- California Baptist (joined in 2018)
- Chicago State (joined in 2013; leaving in 2022)
- Dixie State (joined in 2020)
- Grand Canyon (joined 2013)
- Lamar (joined in 2021)
- New Mexico State (joined 2005)
- Sam Houston (joined in 2021)
- Seattle (joined 2013)
- Stephen F. Austin (joined in 2021)
- Tarleton (joined in 2020)
- UTRGV (joined 2013)
- UTRGV did not begin operation until 2015, following the merger of UT Pan American and UT Brownsville. The UTPA athletic program transferred to the new institution, inheriting UTPA's Division I and WAC memberships.
- Utah Valley (joined 2013)
- Southern Utah (joining in 2022)
- Air Force (joined 1980; women's sports joined in 1996; left in 1999)
- Arizona (joined 1962, withdrew 1978)
- Arizona State (joined 1962, withdrew 1978)
- Boise State (joined 2001, withdrew 2011)
- BYU (joined 1962, withdrew 1999)
- Cal State Bakersfield (joined in 2013, left in 2020)
- Colorado State (joined 1967, withdrew 1999)
- Fresno State (joined 1992, withdrew 2012)
- Hawaii (joined in 1979; women's sports joined in 1996; left in 2012)
- Idaho (joined 2005, withdrew 2014)
- Kansas City (joined in 2013 under former athletic identity of UMKC Kangaroos; left in 2020, a year after changing athletic identity to Kansas City Roos)
- Louisiana Tech (joined 2001, withdrew 2013)
- Nevada (joined 2000, withdrew 2012)
- New Mexico (joined 1962, withdrew 1999)
- Rice (joined 1996, withdrew 2005)
- San Diego State (joined 1978, withdrew 1999)
- San José State (joined 1996, withdrew 2013)
- SMU (joined 1996, withdrew 2005)
- TCU (joined 1996, withdrew 2001)
- Texas State (joined 2012, withdrew 2013)
- Tulsa (joined 1996, withdrew 2005)
- UNLV (joined 1996, withdrew 1999)
- UT Arlington (joined 2012, withdrew 2013)
- Utah (joined 1962, withdrew 1999)
- Utah State (joined 2005, withdrew 2013)
- UTEP (joined 1967, withdrew 2005)
- UTSA (joined 2012, withdrew 2013)
- Wyoming (joined 1962, withdrew 1999)
- Blum, Sam (January 14, 2021). "As WAC announces addition of 5 schools, Frisco-based Southland Conference left in no man’s land". The Dallas Morning News. https://www.dallasnews.com/sports/college-sports/2021/01/14/as-wac-conference-announces-addition-of-5-schools-frisco-based-southland-conference-left-in-no-mans-land/. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
- "WAC Announces Expedited Entrance for Four Texas Institutions". Western Athletic Conference. January 21, 2021. https://wacsports.com/general/2020-21/releases/20210121f62s76.
- "WAC Announces Expansion, Plans to Reinstate Football". Western Athletic Conference. January 14, 2021. https://wacsports.com/general/2020-21/releases/20210113xbg9zk. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
- "ASUN, WAC Conferences Announce Football Partnership for 2021". ASUN Conference. February 23, 2021. https://asunsports.org/sports/fball/2020-21/releases/20210223bff9nn. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
- "Chicago State University Announces Plan to Leave Western Athletic Conference in June 2022". Chicago State Cougars. January 14, 2021. https://www.gocsucougars.com/news/2021/1/14/general-chicago-state-university-announces-plan-to-leave-western-athletic-conference-in-june-2022.aspx. Retrieved January 15, 2021.