The Midwest Collegiate Conference links seven private universities and colleges in an athletic affiliation featuring 17 varsity level sports for men and women. MCC sports compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and routinely send qualifying teams and individuals to NAIA national tournaments.
MCC schools are located in a few of the best locations in America’s Heartland; cities ranging from the metropolitan Des Moines and Quad Cities to the quaint Oskaloosa. All schools in the conference are four-year institutions with enrollments ranging from 600 to 3,200.
The Midwest Collegiate Conference began as a basketball conference prior to the 1988-89 season. By the time the 1988 school year began, the sports of women’s volleyball and men’s soccer were also recognized as conference sports, providing the league with two male and two female sports. The league was founded and remains affiliated nationally with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The six original members of the league, which called itself the Midwest Catholic Conference, were: Clarke College (Dubuque, IA), Edgewood College (Madison, WI), Marycrest University (Davenport, IA), Mount Mercy College (Cedar Rapids, IA), Mt. St. Clare College (Clinton, IA), and Viterbo College (La Crosse, WI). In 1989, Grand View College (Des Moines, IA) replaced Edgewood and the league changed its name to the Midwest Classic Conference.
The St. Ambrose men’s basketball program joined the conference in 1990, while the rest of St. Ambrose’s sports followed suit a year later. Iowa Wesleyan College (Mt. Pleasant, IA) joined the league in 1995, giving the MCC eight members. However, Clarke dropped out a year later to join the NCAA Division III Northern Illinois and Iowa Conference. In 2001, William Penn University (Oskaloosa, IA) was added to the conference, but again an eight-team league was short-lived as Marycrest International University shut its doors at the end of the 2001-02 school year.
In 2003-04, the MCC featured two notable changes. The first was the addition of Waldorf College (Forest City, IA), a former junior college that is now a four-year institution. The second change was that Mount St. Clare College changed its name to The Franciscan University of the Prairies.
In 2005, the MCC became one of the first NAIA Conferences to add a full-time Commissioner when Rick Sanders assumed the role in August. That same year the MCC committed itself to an administrative structure lead by the Council of Presidents, who have responsibility for all Conference functions and maintain direct authority over admission of new members, the league budget and evaluation of the Commissioner. Other Conference issues are delegated to the Athletic Directors Council who, with input from each Coaches group, set all guidelines for Conference and sport administration.
In 2006, Clarke College announced plans to return to the MCC beginning in the 2007-2008. The MCC currently sponsors championships in 17 sports. Those sports are: men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, and volleyball in the fall, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s bowling and men’s and women’s indoor track & field in the winter, and baseball, softball and men’s and women’s outdoor track in the spring. Men’s and women’s golf is also an MCC sport, which is played in both the fall and spring.
In August 2007 the MCC became the Midwest Collegiate Conference in order to better identify and define the conference. In July 2010 the conference welcome its first associate member, as the AIB College of Business in Des Moines joined the MCC as an associate member.