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Midwest Conference
DivisionDivision III
Sports fielded
  • 20
    • men's: 10
    • women's: 10
RegionUpper Midwest
Former namesMidwest Collegiate Athletic Conference and Midwest Athletic Conference for Women
HeadquartersGrinnell, Iowa
CommissionerHeather Benning (since 2014)

The Midwest Conference (MWC) is a college athletic conference affiliated with the NCAA's Division III. Member institutions are located in the Midwestern United States in the states of Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. The Midwest Conference was created in 1994 with the merger of the Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference, which had been sponsoring men's sports since 1921, and the Midwest Athletic Conference for Women, which was formed in 1977.


The organization of the Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC) was conceived at a meeting at Coe College on May 12, 1921. Charter members were Beloit College, Carleton College, Coe College, Cornell College, Knox College (Illinois) and Lawrence University. Hamline University and Millikin University joined the league in December 1921, but both of them later withdrew: Hamline after the 1929–30 academic year, and Millikin after the 1924–25 academic year.

Ripon College joined the conference in 1923, followed by Monmouth College in 1924, Grinnell College in 1940 and Lake Forest College in 1974. Illinois College and St. Norbert College joined in 1982 and Carroll University followed in 1992. Carleton withdrew following the 1982–83 academic year. St. Olaf College also competed in the conference from 1952 to 74, as did the University of Chicago from 1976 to 1987. Coe and Cornell withdrew following the 1996–97 academic year with Cornell rejoining the league starting in the 2012–13 year. Macalester College joined as a football-only member starting in 2014. The University of Chicago returned as a football-only member in 2017, and added baseball to its conference membership in the 2019 season (2018–19 school year).

The MWC split into North and South divisions for football, men's and women's tennis, baseball, and softball from 2012 through 2016. Divisional play ended with the departure of Carroll after the 2015–16 school year,[1] and resumed for football only with the addition of the University of Chicago as an affiliate member for the 2017–18 season.[2] St. Norbert left in 2021 for the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference.[3]

Member schools

Current members

Institution Location Founded Joined Type
(all private)
Enrollment Nickname Colors
Beloit College Beloit, Wisconsin 1846 1921 Nonsectarian 1,358 Buccaneers College Blue & Vegas Gold
Cornell College Mount Vernon, Iowa 1853 1921
United Methodist 1,176 Rams Purple & White
Grinnell College Grinnell, Iowa 1846 1940 Nonsectarian 1,638 Pioneers Scarlet & Black
Illinois College Jacksonville, Illinois 1829 1982 UCC & PCUSA 1,105 Blueboys (men's)
Lady Blues (women's)
Blue & White
Knox College Galesburg, Illinois 1837 1921 Nonsectarian 1,399 Prairie Fire Purple & Gold
Lake Forest College Lake Forest, Illinois 1857 1974 Nonsectarian 1,395 Foresters Red & Black
Lawrence University Appleton, Wisconsin 1847 1921 Nonsectarian 1,489 Vikings Blue & White
Monmouth College Monmouth, Illinois 1853 1924 Presbyterian (PCUSA) 1,300 Fighting Scots Red & White
Ripon College Ripon, Wisconsin 1851 1923 Nonsectarian 967 Red Hawks Red & White
  1. ^ Cornell left the Midwest Conference to compete in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC; now known as the American Rivers Conference) in the 1997–98 school year, and rejoined the MWC for the 2012–13 school year.

Affiliate members

Institution Location Founded Joined Type Enrollment Nickname MWC sport Primary conference
University of Chicago Chicago, Illinois 1890 2017–18
Private 13,400 Maroons football,

Former members

Institution Location Founded Joined Left Type Enrollment Nickname Current conference
Carleton College Northfield, Minnesota 1866 1921 1983 Private 2,105 Knights MIAC
Carroll University Waukesha, Wisconsin 1846 1992 2016 Private/Presbyterian (PCUSA) 2,789 Pioneers CCIW
University of Chicago Chicago, Illinois 1890 1976 1987 Private 13,400 Maroons UAA
Coe College Cedar Rapids, Iowa 1851 1921 1997 Private/Presbyterian (PCUSA) 1,355 Kohawks ARC
Hamline University St. Paul, Minnesota 1854 1922 1930 Private/Methodist 1,944 Pipers MIAC
Millikin University Decatur, Illinois 1901 1922 1925 Private/Presbyterian (PCUSA) 2,200 Big Blue CCIW
St. Norbert College De Pere, Wisconsin 1898 1982 2021 Private/Catholic (Premonstratensians) 2,095 Green Knights NACC
St. Olaf College Northfield, Minnesota 1874 1952 1974 Private/Lutheran (ELCA) 2,900 Oles MIAC

Former affiliate members

Institution Location Founded Joined Left Type Enrollment Nickname MWC sport Primary conference
Macalester College Saint Paul, Minnesota 1874 2014 2021 Private 2,221 Scots football MIAC

Membership timeline

Macalester CollegeCarroll UniversitySt. Nobert CollegeIllinois CollegeUniversity of ChicagoLake Forest CollegeSt. Olaf CollegeGrinnell CollegeMonmouth CollegeRipon College (Wisconsin)Millikin UniversityHamline UniversityLawrence UniversityKnox College (Illinois)Cornell CollegeCoe CollegeCarleton KnightsBeloit College


As of 2021, the MWC sponsors the following sports:

Conference sports
Sport Men's Women's
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Cross country
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Indoor track
Green tickY
Green tickY
Outdoor track
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Swimming & Diving
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY

Conference facilities

School Football field Capacity Basketball arena Capacity Baseball field
Beloit Strong Stadium 3,000 Flood Arena 2,500 Ballpark at Strong Stadium
Chicago Stagg Field 1,650 Member only in football and baseball J. Kyle Anderson Field
Cornell Ash Park Stadium 2,500 Multi-Sport Center 2,000 Ash Park Field
Grinnell Rosenbloom Field 5,000 Darby Gym 1,250 Grinnell Baseball Diamond
Illinois College England Stadium 3,000 Sherman Gymnasium 1,600 Joe Brooks Field
Knox Knosher Bowl 4,000 Memorial Gym 3,000 Blodgett Field
Lake Forest Farwell Field 1,000 Lake Forest Sports Center 1,200 No Baseball Team
Lawrence Banta Bowl 5,255 Alexander Gym 1,280 Whiting Field
Macalester Macalester Stadium 4,000 Football-only member
Monmouth Bobby Woll Memorial Field 2,000 Glennie Gymnasium 1,600 Glasgow Field
Ripon Ingalls Field 3,500 Storzer Gymnasium 1,000 Francis Field

See also


  1. ^ "Carroll University leaving Midwest Conference for CCIW".
  2. ^ "Football Season Preview". Midwest Conference. Retrieved 2017-08-30.
  3. ^ "NACC Welcomes St. Norbert College as Full Member in 2020-21" (Press release). Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. April 3, 2019. Retrieved April 14, 2019.