The Mid-American Conference announced today the addition of the University of Missouri, the University of Northern Iowa and Old Dominion University as affiliate members in the sport of wrestling.
All three universities have joined the MAC with five-year agreements, with Missouri and Northern Iowa joining the MAC for the conference tournament only for the 2012-13 season and then participate fully in regular season and tournament action for the next four consecutive years (2013-14 season through 2016-17 academic season).
Old Dominion will join the MAC for the regular season and tournament action in the 2013-14 season through the 2017-18 academic season.
The addition of the three affiliate members will increase the MAC wrestling membership to nine members with NIU, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State and Ohio.
With this increase in wrestling membership, the MAC will become the third largest Division I wrestling league in the nation only behind the Big Ten and the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA). This move also will provide the conference extended recruiting opportunities from across the Midwest toward the East Coast into Virginia.
“After significant study and discussion by our member institution’s coaches and administrators the Mid-American Conference has made a move that will take what is already a very strong wrestling conference and make it one of the elite wrestling conferences in the country,” said Jon A. Steinbrecher, commissioner of the Mid-American Conference. “I am pleased to welcome Missouri, Northern Iowa and Old Dominion, their student-athletes, coaches and fans to the MAC in the sport of wrestling.”
Last season, Kent State won the MAC regular season title and the previous season witnessed a three-way tie for the MAC regular season title between Kent State, Central Michigan and Ohio.
In 2012, the MAC sent 24 wrestlers to the 2012 NCAA Championship Tournament in St. Louis, where MAC Champion Central Michigan finished tied for 13th and Kent State ended 27th in the NCAA Championship standings.