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WAC Timeline
July 27, 1962 – The original charter for the Western Athletic Conference is signed by the presidents of the charter member universities. Paul Brechler is named the WAC’s first commissioner.

November 10, 1962 – Arizona State wins the first WAC championship as it captures the cross country title.

December 19, 1964 – Utah becomes the first school since the formation of the conference to participate in a bowl game as it defeats West Virginia, 32-6, in the Liberty Bowl.

June 12, 1965 – Arizona State wins its first national baseball championship with a 2-1 victory over Ohio State. It is the first NCAA title in WAC history.

March 20, 1966 – Utah becomes the first school to reach the NCAA Final Four, and Brigham Young captures the championship of the National Invitation Tournament.

September 20, 1967 – UTEP becomes the WAC’s seventh member.

September 26, 1968 – Colorado State becomes the WAC’s eighth member.

June 20, 1969 – Arizona State captures its third national baseball title with a 10-1 victory over Tulsa.

September 1, 1969 – Wiles Hallock replaces Paul Brechler as commissioner.

November 24, 1969 – UTEP wins its first men’s cross country national championship.

July 1, 1971 – Stan Bates becomes the WAC’s third commissioner as he replaces Wiles Hallock.

December 27, 1971 – The first Fiesta Bowl, originated to match the WAC champion against an at-large team, is played in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State defeats Florida State, 45-38.

March, 1974 – UTEP captures its first men’s NCAA indoor track and field title.

June, 1975 – UTEP wins its first men’s outdoor track and field national championship.

June 19, 1976 – Arizona wins the College World Series, its first national championship in any sport.

December 27, 1976 – The Presidents’ Council receives official notification of the intention of Arizona and Arizona State to seek affiliation with the then-Pacific-8 Conference.

April 8, 1977 – San Diego State University is extended an invitation of membership effective July 1, 1978.

May 2, 1977 – The University of Hawai’i is extended a membership invitation dependent upon the institution’s meeting of certain criteria set by the Council.

June, 1977 – Arizona State wins the men’s outdoor track and field national championship and the College World Series title.

June 30, 1978 – Arizona and Arizona State officially withdraw from the conference.

September 29, 1978 – The University of Hawai’i officially is approved as a member effective July 1, 1979.

December 22, 1978 – After a seven-year tie to the Fiesta Bowl, the WAC begins a new affiliation with the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.

August 29, 1979 – The United States Air Force Academy is accepted as a member effective July 1, 1980.

May 1, 1980 – Dr. Joe Kearney is named the fourth commissioner in conference history as he replaces Stan Bates.

November 23, 1981 – UTEP captures its seventh men’s NCAA cross country title.

March, 1982 – UTEP brings home its seventh men’s NCAA indoor track and field title in nine years.

June, 1982 – UTEP wins its sixth men’s outdoor track and field national championship in eight years.

May 1, 1983 – The Presidents’ Council approves the concept for a WAC Basketball Tournament beginning in 1984.

December 21, 1984 – Brigham Young University earns the conference’s first national football championship with a victory over Michigan in the Holiday Bowl to complete a 13-0 season.

July 16, 1987 – The WAC and KUTV of Salt Lake City agree to the conference’s first one-million-dollar package for the regional syndication of men’s basketball games.

February 23, 1988 – The WAC and the Holiday Bowl reach an agreement for the conference champion to host the game through the 1992 season.

May 9, 1990 – The WAC and ESPN agree to the conference’s first contract for the telecast of men’s basketball games by a national network.

July 1, 1990 – The WAC merges with the High Country Athletic Conference to form a single conference for men’s and women’s athletics.

June 12, 1991 – Fresno State is accepted as the WAC’s 10th member effective July 1, 1992.

December 1, 1991 – BYU’s Ty Detmer wins the Heisman Trophy, a first for a WAC athlete.

April 24, 1992 – Utah wins the women’s NCAA national championship in gymnastics. It is the first-ever women’s national title in WAC history,

June 10, 1992 – The WAC selects the Delta Center in Salt Lake City as the site for its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. Commissioner Kearney announces his retirement effective July 1, 1994.

August 13, 1992 – The WAC is included in the Western Bowl Alliance, which guarantees at least one conference team an appearance in the Aloha and Copper Bowls for the next two years.

April 20, 1994 – Karl Benson is appointed the fifth commissioner in league history, replacing Dr. Joe Kearney.

April 21, 1994 – The WAC Council of Presidents extends an invitation of membership to UNLV, Rice, San Jose State, SMU, TCU and Tulsa.

June 6, 1994 – The University Arena in Albuquerque is chosen as the site of the 1995 and 1996 WAC men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

June 14, 1994 – The WAC signs a multi-year football contract with ESPN and ABC.

January, 1995 – For the first time, three WAC football teams finish the season ranked among the nation’s top 25 in both the USA Today/CNN Coaches’ Poll and the Associated Press Top 25.

May 1, 1995 – The Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas is selected as the site of the 1997 and 1998 WAC men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

May 9, 1995 – The WAC signs a multi-year contract with ESPN for the telecast of 22 men’s and two women’s basketball games annually, the largest such contract in WAC history and the first national telecast of WAC women’s basketball. The WAC becomes the only conference in the country with an exclusive contract with ESPN for football and basketball.

June 5, 1995 – The WAC Council of Presidents select Las Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium as the site for the 1996 and 1997 WAC Football Championship Game.

December 11, 1995 – The WAC’s first website is published.

February 19, 1996 – The MGM Grand Garden arena is selected as the site of the inaugural WAC volleyball tournament, to be contested Nov. 26-30 in Las Vegas.

February 26, 1996 – The WAC Council selects Pacific and Mountain as the names for the newly-created divisions to be instituted in 1996-97.

July 1, 1996 – The WAC becomes the nation’s largest NCAA Division I-A conference with 16 members competing in 11 men’s and 10 women’s championship sports.

November 26-30, 1996 – The WAC hosts its first ever Volleyball Tournament at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Brigham Young defeats Hawai’i, 3-2, in the championship match.

December 7, 1996 – Brigham Young and Wyoming play in the inaugural WAC Football Championship game at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. Brigham Young wins the game in overtime, 28-25, before a record-setting crowd of 41,238, the largest for a team sporting event in Nevada.

January 1, 1997 – The WAC has its second team ever play in a New Year’s Day bowl. Brigham Young defeats Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl, 19-15, and sets the record for most wins by a Division IA school with 14.

June 23, 1997 – The WAC becomes a Bowl Alliance member beginning with the 1998 season.

November 24, 1997 – Brigham Young’s women’s cross country team edges Stanford, 100 to 102, to capture the NCAA title. It is the first women’s national championship in school history.

March 30, 1998 – The Utah Runnin’ Utes advance to the NCAA men’s basketball title game. Utah leads most of the game, but bows out in the final five minutes to Kentucky.

May 25, 1998 – Fresno State’s softball team wins the national championship with a 1-0 victory over Arizona.

May 27-30, 1998 – UNLV wins the men’s NCAA golf title. It’s the third national championship for a WAC team during the 1997-98 season.

November 28, 1998 – Hawai’i and Brigham Young meet in the WAC Volleyball Tournament final and the Wahine win, 15-12, 21-19, 13-15, 16-18, 24-22. The 89 points scored by Hawai’i sets a new NCAA record.

June 7, 1999 – Selland Arena in Fresno is chosen as the site for the 2000 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. Tulsa’s Reynolds Center is selected for the 2001 tournaments.

June 8, 1999 – The WAC signs a two-year football and basketball television deal with Fox Sports Net.

June 10, 1999 – The WAC Council of Presidents extends an invitation of membership to Nevada beginning July 1, 2000.

June 30, 1999 – Air Force, Brigham Young, Colorado State, UNLV, New Mexico, San Diego State, Utah and Wyoming officially withdraw from the conference.

October 17, 1999 – The WAC Council of Presidents invites Boise State and Louisiana Tech to join the league on July 1, 2001.

December 25, 1999 – The Hawai’i football team breaks the NCAA record with an eight and a half game improvement in wins from the previous year with a 23-17 victory over Oregon State in the Oahu Bowl.

July 1, 2000 – The University of Nevada becomes an official member of the WAC and increases the membership to nine schools.

December 31, 2000 – Fresno State competes in the inaugural Silicon Valley Football Classic in San Jose.

March 29, 2001 – The University of Tulsa wins the men’s basketball NIT title with a 79-60 victory over Alabama.

June 5, 2001 – Tulsa’s Reynolds Center is chosen as the site for the 2002 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

June 20, 2001 – The WAC signs a three-year deal with ESPN for telecasts of football and basketball.

July 1, 2001 – Boise State University and Louisiana Tech University become official members of the WAC, while TCU withdraws. This increases the membership to 10 schools.

January 17, 2002 – Tulsa is chosen as the host for the 2003 basketball tournaments.

August 7, 2002 – The WAC initiates an innovative and creative two-year pilot project to create an academic alliance among its 10 member institutions.

November 12, 2002 – Fresno State’s brand new Save Mart Center is chosen as the site for the 2004 WAC Basketball Tournament while Nevada is picked as host for the 2005 tournament.

December 31, 2002 – Boise State and Fresno State both win their bowl games. The Broncos beat Iowa State 34-16 in the Humanitarian Bowl, while the Bulldogs defeated Georgia Tech, 30-21, in the Silicon Valley Football Classic.

February 22, 2003 – The men’s basketball teams from Fresno State, Hawai’i, Louisiana Tech and Tulsa compete in ESPN’s inaugural Bracket Buster Saturday event.

June 23, 2003 – Rice wins the NCAA title in baseball, the school’s first team title in any sport.

October 23, 2003 – The WAC Board of Directors extends invitations for membership to New Mexico State and Utah State, effective July 1, 2005.

June 4, 2004 – The WAC Board of Directors extends an invitation for membership to the University of Idaho, effective July 1, 2005.

October 1, 2004 – The University of Nevada is selected as the host for the 2006 WAC Basketball Tournament.

November 2, 2004 – Sacramento State is added as an affiliate member in baseball beginning with the 2006 season.

December 31, 2004 – Boise State’s 22-game winning streak comes to an end in the Liberty Bowl. The Broncos finish the season in the top 15 for the third consecutive year.

April 7, 2005 – The WAC announces the addition of women’s gymnastics beginning in 2005-06 and reinstates postseason tournaments for both softball and baseball in 2006.

July 1, 2005 – Idaho, New Mexico State and Utah State become official members of the WAC. Rice, SMU, UTEP and Tulsa withdraw giving the WAC a total of nine members.
July 27, 2005 – The WAC unveils its new marketing campaign, “Play Up”.

November 10, 2005 – Fresno State defeats Boise State, 27-7, in football, ending the Broncos’ WAC-record 31-game conference winning streak.

November 11, 2005 – New Mexico State is named host for the 2007 and 2008 WAC basketball tournaments.

November 19, 2005 – Fresno State leads top-ranked and two-time defending national champion USC, 42-41, midway through the fourth quarter, before dropping the game 50-42.

November 24, 2005 – The WAC streams its first sporting event (the opening match of the volleyball tournament) via the internet using

February 17-18, 2006 – The WAC goes 3-1 in BracketBusters as Nevada, Louisiana Tech and Utah State earn men’s basketball wins.

March 26, 2006 – The WAC sponsors its first WAC Women’s Gymnastics championship since 1993 in Logan, Utah.

April 3, 2006 – Louisiana Tech men’s basketball player Paul Millsap becomes the first in NCAA history to lead the nation in rebounding three years in a row.

January 1, 2007 – Boise State becomes the first WAC team to play in a BCS bowl game and beats Oklahoma in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, 43-42, in overtime.

February 16-17, 2007 – Boise State, Nevada, New Mexico State and Utah State win men’s basketball games to give the WAC a perfect 4-0 record in BracketBusters.

April 28-29, 2007 – A total of 17 WAC football players were chosen in the NFL Draft, the most ever (per school) in the seven-round format.

January 1, 2008 – Hawai’i becomes the second WAC team to play in a BCS bowl game in two years, taking on Georgia in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

June 25, 2008 – Fresno State wins the national championship in baseball.  The Bulldogs beat Georgia in the best-of-three series, 6-1, in the deciding game.

September 3, 2008 – The WAC announces a contract extension with ESPN that guarantees over 300 regular season and 45 championship events will be aired on the ESPN networks through the spring of 2017.

December, 2008 – For the first time in its history, the WAC sends more than half of its football teams (5) to postseason bowl games.

April-June, 2009 – The WAC announces neutral site locations for the 2009 Volleyball Tournament (Las Vegas), the 2010-12 Baseball Tournaments (Mesa, Ariz.) and the 2011 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments (Las Vegas).

December 12, 2009  –  The Hawai‘i women’s volleyball team swept No. 16 Michigan, 25-23, 25-19, 25-18 in the NCAA Tournament Regional Final at Maples Pavilion, advancing the team to its ninth Final Four appearance in school history.

January 4, 2010 – Boise State makes its second appearance in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and beats TCU, 17-10.  The Broncos become the second team in FBS history to end a season 14-0.

August 27, 2010 – The WAC and Learfield Sports announce the creation of the WAC Sports Network to enhance the coverage of football and basketball in the WAC’s media markets.

November 11, 2010 – The WAC Board of Directors extend invitations for membership to Denver, UTSA and Texas State, effective July 1, 2012.

November 28, 2010 – For the first time since 1997, the WAC has three football teams ranked in the AP top 25: Boise State, Nevada and Hawai’i.

May 30, 2010 – Hawai‘i defeats Alabama on a two-out, two-run, walk-off home run by Jenna Rodriguez in the bottom of the seventh in the deciding game of the NCAA Tuscaloosa Softball Super Regional, sending the UH to its first-ever College World Series. The moment was nominated for “Best Upset” at the 2010 ESPN ESPY Awards.

June 14, 2011 – The WAC Board of Directors extends an invitation for membership to Seattle U, effective July 1, 2012.

July 14, 2011 – The WAC Board of Directors extends an invitation for membership to UT Arlington, effective July 1, 2012, increasing membership to 10 schools.

July 1, 2012 – Denver, Seattle, UT Arlington, UTSA and Texas State become official members of the WAC. Fresno State, Hawai‘i and Nevada withdraw giving the WAC a total of 10 members.

October 9, 2012 – The WAC Board of Directors extend invitations for membership to Bakersfield and Utah Valley, effective, July 1, 2013.

November 27, 2012 – The WAC Board of Directors extend an invitation for membership to Grand Canyon, effective, July 1, 2013.

December 5, 2012 – Chicago State becomes a member of the WAC, effective July 1, 2013.

December 12, 2012 – Northern Colorado is added as an affiliate member in baseball beginning with the 2014 season.

December 19, 2012 – Texas-Pan American accepts an invitation to become the eighth member of the conference for the 2013-14 season.

January 9, 2013 – The WAC reinstates men’s soccer. Bakersfield, Grand Canyon and Seattle U join affiliates Air Force, Houston Baptist, UNLV and San Jose State for the 2013 season.

February 7, 2013 – The University of Missouri-Kansas City accepted an invitation for membership to join the conference effective July 1, 2013.

February 11, 2013 – North Dakota is added as an affiliate member in baseball beginning with the 2014 season.

June 11, 2013 – Jeff Hurd is named the sixth commissioner in league history.

June 11, 2013 – WAC Board of Directors determined that the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will return to Las Vegas and the Orleans Arena March 12-15, 2014. The Board also committed to the development of a strategic plan to facilitate conference growth that includes both a digital network and a new marketing/branding campaign.

July 1, 2013 – Bakersfield, Chicago State, Grand Canyon, Missouri-Kansas City, Texas-Pan American and Utah Valley become official members of the WAC. Denver, Louisiana Tech, San Jose State, UT Arlington, UTSA, Texas State and Utah State withdraw giving the WAC a total of nine members.

December 16, 2013 – The WAC announces the addition of the University of Incarnate Word as an affiliate member for men’s soccer.

June 13, 2014 – The WAC Board of Directors announces that the 2015 men’s and women’s basketball tournament will return to the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas for a fifth consecutive year.

July 1, 2014 – The WAC unveils an updated logo along with several other new branding initiatives.
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