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Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
FormerlyIllinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
DivisionCollege Division (Small College)
No. of teams8 (start), 4 (final), 29 (total)

The Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) was a college athletic conference that existed from 1908 to 1970 in the United States.

At one time the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, or IIAC, was a robust league that claimed most of the Illinois institutions of higher education. It was nicknamed the "Little Nineteen," but in 1928 had a membership of 23 schools. Former Illinois State University track coach Joseph Cogdal, associated with the IIAC for 43 years of its 62-year history, noted that the league had roots in the 1870s when a number of schools banded together for oratorical contests. Their first intercollegiate football game was played in 1881 between Illinois State University and Knox College, and by 1894 a football association was established.


The IIAC was formed in April 1908 with eight charter members: Illinois State Normal University (now Illinois State University), Illinois Wesleyan University, Bradley Polytechnic Institute (now Bradley University), Millikin University, Monmouth College, Knox College, Lombard College and Illinois College. The first track meet was held on May 22, 1908. The group quickly expanded. Eastern Illinois State Teachers College (now Eastern Illinois University) and Western Illinois University joined in 1912 and 1914 respectively.

In 1920, the name "Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference" was adopted, providing the initials IIAC. Conference membership reached a peak of 23 member schools in 1928, when virtually all of the small colleges in Illinois were included.

Private schools withdrew during much of the 1930s, until in 1942 only the five state schools remained: Illinois State University, Eastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Western Illinois University. In 1950, the league name became the Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, when Central Michigan University and Eastern Michigan University brought the membership to seven. In 1961-62, Eastern Michigan University and Southern Illinois University Carbondale withdrew; Northern Illinois University followed in 1965-66. The conference disbanded at the end of the 1969–1970 academic year.

Member schools

Final members

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Current
Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, Michigan 1892 Public 21,705 Chippewas 1950–51 1969–70 Mid-American (MAC) Division I
Eastern Illinois University Charleston, Illinois 1895 Public 8,626 Panthers 1912–13 1969–70 Ohio Valley (OVC) Division I
Illinois State University Normal, Illinois 1857 Public 20,706 Redbirds 1908–09 1969–70 Missouri Valley (MVC) Division I
Western Illinois University Macomb, Illinois 1899 Public 7,624 Leathernecks 1914–15 1969–70 Summit Division I

Former members

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Current
Augustana College Rock Island, Illinois 1860 Private 2,513 Vikings 1912–13 1936–37 Illinois–Wisconsin (CCIW) Division III
Blackburn College Carlinville, Illinois 1837 Private 590 Beavers 1914–15 1922–23 St. Louis (SLIAC) Division III
Bradley University Peoria, Illinois 1897 Private 5,451 Braves 1908–09 1936–37 Missouri Valley (MVC) Division I
Carthage College Carthage, Illinois 1847 Private 2,374 Redmen[a] 1912–13 1940–41 Illinois–Wisconsin (CCIW) Division III
Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, Michigan 1849 Public 18,838 Hurons[b] 1950–51 1961–62 Mid-American (MAC) Division I
Elmhurst College[c] Elmhurst, Illinois 1871 Private 2,748 Pirates[d] 1929–30 1940–41 Illinois–Wisconsin (CCIW) Division III
Eureka College Eureka, Illinois 1855 Private 680 Red Devils 1910–11 1941–42 St. Louis (SLIAC) Division III
Hedding College[e] Abingdon, Illinois 1855 Private N/A Orangemen 1910–11 1925–26 N/A N/A
Illinois College Jacksonville, Illinois 1829 Private 1,105 Blueboys &
Lady Blues
1908–09 1936–37 Midwest (MWC) Division III
Illinois Wesleyan University Bloomington, Illinois 1850 Private 2,113 Titans 1908–09 1936–37 Illinois–Wisconsin (CCIW) Division III
Knox College Galesburg, Illinois 1837 Private 1,399 Prairie Fire 1908–09 1936–37 Midwest (MWC) Division III
Lake Forest College Lake Forest, Illinois 1857 Private 1,395 Foresters 1919–20 1936–37 Midwest (MWC) Division III
Lincoln College Lincoln, Illinois 1865 Private 800 Lynx 1910–11 1927–28 Chicagoland (CCAC) NAIA (no division)
Lombard College[e] Galesburg, Illinois 1853 Private N/A Golden Tornado,
1908–09 1928–29 N/A N/A
McKendree College[f] Lebanon, Illinois 1828 Private 1,702 Bearcats 1912–13 1937–38 Great Lakes Valley (GLVC) Division II
Millikin University Decatur, Illinois 1901 Private 2,118 Big Blue 1908–09 1936–37 Illinois–Wisconsin (CCIW) Division III
Monmouth College Monmouth, Illinois 1853 Private 1,300 Fighting Scots 1908–09 1936–37 Midwest (MWC) Division III
Mount Morris College[e] Mount Morris, Illinois 1839 Private N/A Mountaineers,
1922–23 1930–31 N/A N/A
North Central College Naperville, Illinois 1861 Private 2,490 Cardinals 1927–28 1936–37 Illinois–Wisconsin (CCIW) Division III
Northern Illinois University DeKalb, Illinois 1895 Public 17,169 Huskies 1920–21 1965–66 Mid-American (MAC) Division I
Shurtleff College[e] Alton, Illinois 1827 Private N/A Pioneers,
1910–11 1936–37 N/A N/A
Southern Illinois University Carbondale Carbondale, Illinois 1869 Public 11,695 Maroons,
1913–14 1961–62 Missouri Valley (MVC) Division I
St. Viator College[e] Bourbonnais, Illinois 1865 Private N/A Irish,
1916–17 1937–38 N/A N/A
Wheaton College Wheaton, Illinois 1860 Private 2,282 Crusaders[g] 1919–20 1936–37 Illinois–Wisconsin (CCIW) Division III
William & Vashti College[e] Aledo, Illinois 1908 Private N/A unknown 1910–11 1916–17 N/A N/A
  1. ^ Carthage changed its nickname from Redmen to Firebirds in 2021.
  2. ^ Eastern Michigan changed its nickname from Hurons to Eagles in 1991.
  3. ^ Currently known as Elmhurst University since 2020.
  4. ^ Elmhurst changed its nickname from Pirates to Bluejays in 2000.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Defunct institution.
  6. ^ Currently known as McKendree University since 2007.
  7. ^ Wheaton changed its nickname from Crusaders to Thunder in 2000.

Membership timeline

Eastern Michigan UniversityCentral Michigan UniversityElmhurst CollegeNorth Central CollegeMount Morris CollegeNorthern Illinois UniversityLake Forest CollegeWheaton CollegeSt. Viator CollegeBlackburn CollegeWestern Illinois UniversitySouthern Illinois University CarbondaleAugustana CollegeMcKendree UniversityCarthage CollegeEastern Illinois UniversityWilliam %26 Vashti CollegeHedding CollegeLincoln College (Illinois)Shurtleff CollegeEureka CollegeLombard CollegeIllinois CollegeKnox College (Illinois)Monmouth CollegeMillikin UniversityBradley UniversityIllinois Wesleyan UniversityIllinois State University

Football champions

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Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

See also


  1. ^ "Illinois Wesleyan "Little 19" Championships". Illinois Wesleyan University Athletics. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  2. ^ "EIU Football History" (PDF). Eastern Illinois University Athletics. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  3. ^ "Championship to Millikin". Herald & Review. Decatur, Illinois. December 13, 1919. p. 4. Retrieved July 19, 2020 – via open access.
  4. ^ "Bradley Joins I.I.A.C. At Annual Conference". The Daily Pantagraph. December 9, 1922. p. 10 – via
  5. ^ "Colorful Year For Little 19 Ends Thursday". Herald & Review. Decatur, Illinois. November 26, 1927. p. 17. Retrieved July 18, 2020 – via open access.
  6. ^ "3 Elevens Claim Little 19 Crown And All Are Good". Alton Evening Telegraph. Alton, Illinois. November 24, 1931. p. 10. Retrieved July 16, 2020 – via open access.
  7. ^ "Football Athletic Honors". Central Michigan Athletics. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  8. ^ "Nick Manych - Class of 1955 - E-Club Athletic Hall of Fame -". Eastern Michigan Athletics. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  9. ^ "Red Miller: I Tackled the Thing". Western Illinois University. Retrieved July 18, 2018.