The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, or MIAC, is a league in NCAA Men's Division III and Women's Division III. The conference has 13 members, all of which are private. The conference is an all-sport conference. Ten of the thirteen conference members sponsor varsity ice hockey. Three members are single-sex schools.
The men's conference dates back to the 1918-19 season, while the women's conference began play in the 1998-99 season.
On July 30, 1998 the MIAC and the United States Olympic Committee announced a grant of $440,000 over four years to help supplement the start up of a women's hockey conference, which had been previously announced. As part of the discussion on the issuing of the grant Bethel College decided to go ahead with the formation of a women's ice hockey program and Bethel would receive a higher portion of the grant to help offset start up cost for the program.
The College of Saint Benedict and St. Catherine University are women's colleges and Saint John's University is a men's college. Saint Benedict and Saint John's form a joint academic institution commonly referred to as CSB/SJU.
Neither the men's or women's conference has produced a national champion. The men's conference has had teams finish as runners-up in 2000, 2005, and 2009
The women's conference has produced three Laura Hurd Award winners as the best player in Division III ice hockey, Sarah Moe, Gustavus Adolphus College (2002) and Andrea Peterson, Gustavus Adolphus College (2007). Bre Simon, Hamline (2019).
For the 2013-14 season the men's conference added the shootout and went to a three point system for game points. The new system awards 3 points for a regulation or overtime win, two points for a shootout win, one point for a shootout loss, and no points for a regulation or overtime loss. As of the 2015-16 season, the men's conference continues to use this system, white the women's conference uses the traditional 2 points for a win, 1 for a tie, and none for a loss (no points are awareded for an overtime loss).
On May 22, 2019 the board that runs the conference, which is made up of the school presidents, announced that the University of St. Thomas (UST) was being removed from the conference involuntarily, effective at the end of the 2020–21 school year. The release cited competitive parity as the main reason for the move. The university was dominant in league competition; at the time of announcement, UST had accounted for about half of all MIAC championships (team and individual) since 2013. Additionally, UST had more than twice as many undergraduates than any other MIAC member except the all-female St. Catherine. No announcement was made at that time about the university's plans for joining a new conference. Shortly after this announcement, the Summit League, an NCAA Division I all-sports conference that does not sponsor hockey for either sex, announced that it had invited St. Thomas to join effective in 2021–22. That conference worked with UST in a bid to receive a waiver from the NCAA to allow the Tommies to move from D-III to D-I on the standard four-year timetable used for moves from Division II. In the summer of 2020, with the NCAA approving the waiver, UST was confirmed as a new Summit League member effective in July 2021, with the women's hockey team joining the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and the men's team joining the revived Central Collegiate Hockey Association at the same time.
On May 27, 2020 The College of St. Scholastica announced that the Saints men's and women's hockey teams would join the MIAC from the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association for the 2021-22 playing season, with other sports joining from the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. St. Scholastica replaced UST for all sports, including men's and women's hockey.
- Carleton College, Gustavus Adolphus College, Hamline University, Macalester College, St. John's University, St. Olaf College, and University of St. Thomas (then known as the College of St. Thomas) were founding members in 1920.
- Concordia College joined in 1921 before formal league play began.
- Augsburg College joined in 1924
- St. Mary's University joined in 1926.
- Carleton College withdrew in 1925 and rejoined in 1983 (the school has never sponsored ice hockey for either men or women).
- St. John's first started playing ice hockey for 1932-33.
- Gustavus Adolphus started playing ice hockey for 1936-37
- The St. Olaf Oles left the conference from 1950 until rejoining the conference for the 1975-76 season.
- The Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs were part of the conference from 1930 until 1965 when they joined the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The team joined the National Collegiate Hockey Conference when it formed for the 2013-14 season. The school is presently at the Division II level in all other sports except for ice hockey.
- The conference did not sponsor any sports from the fall of 1943 to the spring of 1945 due to World War II and hockey was not played for the 1942-43 through 1945-46 seasons.
- The Macalester Scots were members of the men's conference from its founding until the mid 1970's. The school dropped the sport to the club level where it remains today. A women's club level team was formed in 2000 and is still playing at the club level.
- Bethel University joined the conference in 1978.
- Women's colleges St. Catherine University (1983) and Saint Benedict (1985) joined the conference prior to the conference sponsoring women's ice hockey.
- Saint Benedict and Saint John's are brother/sister schools. CSB and SJU began offering joint evening classes in 1955, and fully adopted a joint undergraduate curriculum in 1961. While the two schools have separate residential and athletic facilities, students may attend classes at either institution and have access to the resources of both campuses.
- The University of Saint Thomas was involuntarily removed from the conference in all sports following the 2020-21 academic year.
- The College of Saint Scholastica was added for the 2021-22 academic year as an all-sports member.
Men's Conference Membership
Men's Conference Seasons
The men's conference competes for the Saugestad Cup, which is named after Ed Saugestad who coached the Augsburg College hockey team from 1958 to 1996. His teams had a 503-354-21 record and won three NAIA national ice hockey championship titles. The conference tournament was first held in 1987.
Women's Conference Membership
College of St. Benedict and St. Catherine University are women's colleges and St. John's University is a men's college.