Frontier Conference

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Frontier Conference
Frontier Conference logo
Established 1935
Association NAIA
Members 10 (7 full, 3 associate)
Sports fielded 16 (men's: 8; women's: 8)
Region Western United States
Region I of the NAIA
Former names Montana Collegiate Conference (1920-35)
Headquarters Whitefish, Montana
Commissioner Kent Paulson
Frontier Conference locations

The Frontier Conference is a college athletic conference, founded in 1935 and affiliated with the NAIA. Member institutions are located in the northwestern United States, in the states of Idaho, Montana, and Oregon.


The Montana Collegiate Conference was established in 1920 by the four smaller schools (Billings Poly, Carroll, Montana School of Mines, Western Montana) in the state, with Eastern Montana and Northern Montana joining once they had established athletics. The conference reestablished itself under its current moniker in 1935, containing the same six schools until 1974. Great Falls joined that year, however would only stay for a decade. Eastern Montana (now MSU-Billings) left for the first incarnation of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in 1988, leaving the Frontier at five members for another decade. The conference opened up outside of Montana for the first time in 1998, with schools from Idaho (Lewis-Clark State) and Utah (Westminster) joining. Great Falls rejoined in 1999.

Member schools

The Frontier Conference has 5 full members with football, 3 full members without football, and 3 football-only affiliate members. Lewis–Clark State College and Great Falls do not play football. College of Idaho, Eastern Oregon, and Southern Oregon are the football-only affiliates.[1]

Current members

Institution Location Founded Enrollment Nickname Joined
Carroll College Helena, Montana 1909 1,502 Fighting Saints 1938
University of Great Falls Great Falls, Montana 1932 800 Argonauts 1974;
Lewis–Clark State College Lewiston, Idaho 1893 4,500 Warriors
Lady Warriors
Montana State University–Northern Havre, Montana 1929 1,207 Lights
Montana Tech of the University of Montana Butte, Montana 1889 2,694 Orediggers 1935
University of Montana Western Dillon, Montana 1893 1,336 Bulldogs 1935
Rocky Mountain College Billings, Montana 1878 894 Battlin' Bears 1935

Affiliate members

Institution Location Founded Enrollment Nickname Joined Sport Primary
Eastern Oregon University La Grande, Oregon 1929 3,743 Mountaineers 2008 football Cascade
College of Idaho Caldwell, Idaho 1891 1,010 Coyotes 2014 football Cascade
Southern Oregon University Ashland, Oregon 1872 5,696 Raiders 2012 football Cascade

Former members

Institution Location Founded Nickname Joined Left Current
Dickinson State University Dickinson, North Dakota 1918 Blue Hawks 2012 2014 North Star
Eastern Montana College Billings, Montana 1927 Yellowjackets 1937 1988 Great Northwest
Westminster College Salt Lake City, Utah 1875 Griffins 1998 2015 Rocky Mountain
  • Eastern Montana College — school name reflects that used during conference membership, now known as Montana State University Billings.

Membership timeline

 Full member (all sports)   Full member (non-football)   Associate member (football-only) 


The Frontier Conference sponsors athletic competition in men's and women's basketball, men's football, golf, and women's volleyball. Dickinson State University, Montana State University-Northern and University of Great Falls are participants in wrestling (all are national powers). University of Great Falls, College of Idaho, Southern Oregon University, and Westminster College are participants in men's lacrosse.

National Championships


(The Frontier Conference does not sponsor baseball, but conference member Lewis-Clark State has an outstanding record in the sport)

Lewis-Clark State has won the national title 17 times: 1984-85, 1987-1992 (six straight), 1996, 1999-2000, 2002-03, 2006-08, and 2015.

They were runners-up in 1976, 1982-83, 1986, 2001, 2013 and 2014.


Rocky Mountain won the national title in men's basketball, NAIA Division I, in 2009.

Montana State-Northern won the national title in women's basketball, NAIA Division II, in 1993.

Carroll reached the semi-finals in men's basketball in 2005, as did Lewis-Clark State in women's basketball in 2001.


Carroll has won the NAIA national championship six times: four straight, from 2002-05, also in 2007 and 2010, and has been runner-up twice.

Montana Tech was the national runner-up in 1996.

Southern Oregon won the NAIA national championship in the 2014 season.[2]


Montana State-Northern has won six wrestling titles: 1991, 1992, 1998-2000, 2004, and was runner-up in 1990,1993, and 2002.

Montana-Western was co-champion in 1994.

In 2014, the University of Great Falls was second and Montana State-Northern took third at the NAIA national wrestling championship.


See also


External links