Ohio Athletic Conference
OAC
Ohio Athletic Conference logo
Established1902
AssociationNCAA
DivisionDivision III
Members10
Sports fielded
  • 23
    • men's: 12
    • women's: 11
RegionOhio
HeadquartersWesterville, Ohio
CommissionerSarah Otey (since 2021)
Websiteoac.org
Locations
Ohio Athletic Conference locations

The Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) was formed in 1902 and is the third oldest athletic conference in the United States. Its current commissioner is Tim Gleason. Former commissioners include Mike Cleary, who was the first General Manager of a professional basketball team to hire an African American head coach, and would later run the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). The Ohio Athletic Conference competes in the NCAA's Division III. Through the years, 31 schools have been members of the OAC. The enrollments of the current ten member institutions range from around 1,000 to 4,500. Member teams are located in Ohio.

History

The Ohio Athletic Conference was found in 1902 with six charter members—Case Tech, Kenyon, Oberlin, Ohio State, Ohio Wesleyan, and Western Reserve. By 1934, the conference reached an all-time high of twenty-four members,[1] seeing many schools come and go throughout the upcoming decades. By 2000, the conference solidified to its current form with the addition of its final school, Wilmington, to ten members.

Conference timeline

Ohio Athletic Conference is located in Ohio
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Historical membership of the OAC: current members in red and former members in steel.

Member schools

Current members

The OAC currently has nine full members, all are private schools:

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Colors
Baldwin Wallace University Berea, Ohio 1845 Nonsectarian 4,177 Yellow Jackets 1915;
1923;[a]
1961[b]
   
Capital University Bexley, Ohio 1830 Lutheran ELCA 3,628 Comets 1927    
Heidelberg University Tiffin, Ohio 1850 United Church of Christ 1,500 Student Princes 1907      
John Carroll University University Heights, Ohio 1886[c] Catholic
(Jesuit)
3,700 Blue Streaks 1932;
1989[d]
   
Marietta College Marietta, Ohio 1835 Nonsectarian 1,430 Pioneers 1926    
University of Mount Union Alliance, Ohio 1846 Private
(Non-sectarian)
2,223 Purple Raiders 1914    
Muskingum University New Concord, Ohio 1837 Presbyterian 1,779 Fighting Muskies 1922    
Ohio Northern University Ada, Ohio 1871 United Methodist 3,577 Polar Bears 1916;
1973[e]
     
Otterbein University Westerville, Ohio 1847 United Methodist 3,080 Cardinals 1921    
Wilmington College Wilmington, Ohio 1870 Quakers 990 Quakers 2000    
Notes
  1. ^ Baldwin–Wallace left the OAC after the 1918–19 school year, but re-joined back effective in the 1923–24 school year.
  2. ^ Baldwin–Wallace left the OAC again after the 1947–48 school year, but re-joined back again effective in the 1961–62 school year.
  3. ^ Founded as St. Ignatius College in Cleveland, Ohio.
  4. ^ John Carroll left the OAC after the 1948–49 school year, but re-joined back effective in the 1989–90 school year.
  5. ^ Ohio Northern left the OAC after the 1948–49 school year, but re-joined back effective in the 1973–74 school year.

Former members

The OAC had 20 former full members, all but seven were private schools:

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Colors Current
conference
University of Akron[a] Akron, Ohio 1870 Public 18,730 Zips 1915;
1944
1936;
1966
    Mid-American (MAC)
(NCAA D-I)
Ashland University Ashland, Ohio 1878 Brethren 6,626 Eagles 1931 1948     Great Midwest (G-MAC)
(NCAA D-II)
Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, Ohio 1910 Public 17,540 Falcons 1933 1942     Mid-American (MAC)
(NCAA D-I)
Case Institute of Technology[b] Cleveland, Ohio 1880 Nonsectarian N/A various[c] 1902 1948    [2] University (UAA)[b]
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio 1819 Public 45,949 Bearcats 1910 1924     The American
(NCAA D-I)
(Big 12 in 2023)
University of Dayton Dayton, Ohio 1850 Catholic
(Marianist)
11,241 Flyers 1926 1934     Atlantic 10 (A-10)
(NCAA D-I)
Denison University[d] Granville, Ohio 1831 Nonsectarian 2,100 Big Red 1907;
1933
1928;
1984
    North Coast (NCAC)
Hiram College[e] Hiram, Ohio 1850 Disciples of Christ 1,395 Terriers 1920;
1951;
1989
1935;
1971;
1999
    North Coast (NCAC)
Kent State University Kent, Ohio 1910 Public 28,122 Golden Flashes 1932 1951     Mid-American (MAC)
(NCAA D-I)
Kenyon College Gambier, Ohio 1824 Episcopal/Anglican 1,640 Lords &
Ladies
1902 1984     North Coast (NCAC)
Miami University Oxford, Ohio 1809 Public 19,933 RedHawks[f] 1911 1928     Mid-American (MAC)
(NCAA D-I)
Oberlin College Oberlin, Ohio 1833 Nonsectarian 2,850 Yeomen &
Yeowomen
1902 1984     North Coast (NCAC)
Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio 1870 Public 61,369 Buckeyes 1902 1912     Big Ten
(NCAA D-I)
Ohio University[g] Athens, Ohio 1804 Public 28,750 Bobcats 1910 1925     Mid-American (MAC)
(NCAA D-I)
Ohio Wesleyan University[h] Delaware, Ohio 1842 Nonsectarian[i] 1,850 Battlin' Bishops 1902;
1947
1928;
1984
    North Coast (NCAC)
University of Toledo Toledo, Ohio 1872 Public 20,304 Rockets 1932 1947     Mid-American (MAC)
(NCAA D-I)
Western Reserve University[b] Cleveland, Ohio 1826 Nonsectarian N/A various[j] 1902 1932    [3] University (UAA)[b]
Wittenberg University[k] Springfield, Ohio 1845 Lutheran ELCA 2,050 Tigers 1909;
1934
1928;
1989
    North Coast (NCAC)
The College of Wooster Wooster, Ohio 1866 Nonsectarian 1,827 Fighting Scots 1907 1984     North Coast (NCAC)
Xavier University Cincinnati, Ohio 1831 Catholic
(Jesuit)
7,112 Musketeers 1921 1936       Big East
(NCAA D-I)
Notes
  1. ^ Akron left the OAC after the 1935–36 school year, but re-joined back effective in the 1944–45 school year before leaving for good after the 1965–66 school year.
  2. ^ a b c d Case Tech and Western Reserve merged with to form Case Western Reserve University in 1967. However, their athletic programs continued to operate separately until after the 1969–70 school year.
  3. ^ Case Tech's nicknames were the following: Scientists from 1918–19 to 1939–40; and Rough Riders from 1940–41 to 1970–71.
  4. ^ Denison left the OAC after the 1927–28 school year, but re-joined back effectively the 1933–34 school year before leaving for good after the 1983–84 school year.
  5. ^ Hiram first left the OAC after the 1934–35 school year, but re-joined back effective in the 1951–52 school year. It left the OAC again after the 1970–71 school year, but re-joined back again effective in the 1989–90 school year before leaving for good after the 1998–99 school year.
  6. ^ During Miami's tenure in the OAC, the school had no established nickname; "Boys", "Big Reds", and "Red and White" were used interchangeably. "Redskins" made its first appearance in 1928; by 1931, that nickname became official. As of 2021, Miami (Oh.) has been competing as the RedHawks since the 1997–98 school year.
  7. ^ Ohio adopts conference rules in 1909 that go into effect for the 1910 fall season (1910–11 school year)."Ohio University Football", Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati, OH, p. 4, September 27, 1909
  8. ^ Ohio Wesleyan left the OAC after the 1927–28 school year, but re-joined back effective in the 1947–48 school year before leaving for good after the 1983–84 school year.
  9. ^ Formerly affiliated with the United Methodist Church until 2019.
  10. ^ Western Reserve's nicknames were the following: Pioneers from 1920–21 to 1927–28; and Red Cats from 1928–29 to 1970–71.
  11. ^ Wittenberg left the OAC after the 1927–28 school year, but re-joined back effective in the 1934–35 school year before leaving for good after the 1988–89 school year.

Former associate members

The OAC had three former associate members, all were private schools:

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Colors OAC
sport
Primary
conference
Defiance College Defiance, Ohio 1850 United Church of Christ 1,000 Yellow Jackets 2011–12 2015–16     men's swimming & diving
women's swimming & diving
Heartland (HCAC)
Manchester University North Manchester, Indiana 1860 Church of the Brethren 1,250 Spartans 2015–16    
Transylvania University Lexington, Kentucky 1780 Disciples of Christ 1,120 Pioneers 2012–13  

Membership timeline

Wilmington College (Ohio)Bowling Green State UniversityUniversity of ToledoKent State UniversityJohn Carroll UniversityAshland UniversityCapital UniversityMarietta CollegeMuskingum UniversityXavier UniversityOtterbein CollegeHiram CollegeOhio Northern UniversityBaldwin Wallace UniversityUniversity of AkronUniversity of Mount UnionMiami UniversityOhio UniversityUniversity of CincinnatiWittenberg UniversityThe College of WoosterHeidelberg University (Ohio)Denison UniversityWestern Reserve UniversityOhio Wesleyan UniversityOhio State UniversityOberlin CollegeKenyon CollegeCase Institute of Technology

Sports

In 2018–19, the OAC sponsors the following championships:

Conference sports
Sport Men's Women's
Baseball
Green tickY
Basketball
Green tickY
Green tickY
Cross Country
Green tickY
Green tickY
Football
Green tickY
Golf
Green tickY
Green tickY
Lacrosse
Green tickY
Green tickY
Soccer
Green tickY
Green tickY
Softball
Green tickY
Swimming & Diving
Green tickY
Green tickY
Tennis
Green tickY
Green tickY
Indoor Track
Green tickY
Green tickY
Outdoor Track
Green tickY
Green tickY
Volleyball
Green tickY
Wrestling
Green tickY

Facilities

School Football stadium Capacity Basketball arena Capacity Baseball field Capacity Softball field Capacity
Baldwin Wallace George Finnie Stadium 10,000 Rudolph Ursprung Gymnasium 2,800 Heritage Field Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds Field
Capital Bernlohr Stadium 3,000 Capital Center 2,100 Clowson Field Clowson Field
Heidelberg Hoernemann Stadium 1,300 Seiberling Gymnasium Peaceful Valley Frann's Field
John Carroll Don Shula Stadium 5,416 Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center 2,500 Schweickert Field Bracken Outdoor Athletic Complex
Marietta Don Drumm Stadium 5,000 Ban Johnson Arena 1,457 Don Schaly Stadium 1,500 Marietta Field
Mount Union Mount Union Stadium 5,600 McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex 3,000 23rd Street Field 23rd Street Field
Muskingum McConagha Stadium 5,000 Anne C. Steele Center 2,500 Mose Morehead Field Donna J. Newberry Field
Ohio Northern Dial-Roberson Stadium 3,500 ONU Sports Center Wander Field ONU Softball Field
Otterbein Memorial Stadium 2,400 Rike Center 3,100 Otterbein Baseball Field Otterbein Softball Field
Wilmington Williams Stadium 3,500 Fred Raizk Arena 3,500 Tewksbury-Delaney Field WC Softball Field

OAC Tournament Championship History

Men's Swimming & Diving

Women's Swimming & Diving

Men's Basketball

Women's Basketball

Football

Baseball

Men's Soccer

Women's Soccer

Women's Volleyball

Men's Golf

Men's Wrestling

Men's Cross Country

Women's Cross Country

Men's Lacrosse

Women's Lacrosse

References