Mountain West Conference

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The Mountain West Conference (MWC), the youngest of the college athletic conferences affiliated with the NCAA’s Division I FBS (formerly I-A), officially began operations in July 1999. Geographically, the MWC covers a broad expanse of the western United States, with member institutions located in California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Wyoming, and has announced expansion into Idaho beginning July 2011 and Hawaii (2012) (though also then losing both Utah schools). Craig Thompson has served as Commissioner of the MWC since its founding in 1999.

Charter members included Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, Utah, and Wyoming. Before forming the Mountain West Conference, seven of the eight charter members had been longtime members of the Western Athletic Conference; half were WAC charter members at its formation in 1962 - UNLV had only joined the WAC in 1996.

A lesser known "Mountain West Athletic Conference" existed from 1982–88, sponsoring championships for women’s sports at Big Sky Conference institutions. The Big Sky absorbed the MWAC in 1988, forming one league for both men's and women's competition.


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