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1983/84 - 1987/88


February, 1983: The formation of the NCAC is announced at joint news conferences in Cleveland, Columbus and Pittsburgh. Allegheny, Case Western Reserve, Denison, Kenyon, Oberlin, Ohio Wesleyan and Wooster are the seven charter members. Competition is slated to begin in the fall of 1984. Kenyon's Philip Jordan (far left) is elected first North Coast president.

February, 1984: Dennis Collins of Cleveland is named NCAC executive director.

April, 1984: The North Coast announces that it will sponsor championship competition in 21 sports, 11 for men and 10 for women, the most of any NCAA Division III conference at the time.

1984-85: The first season of play

October, 1984: The Oberlin women's cross country team wins the North Coast's first championship event, which is held at the Delaware Country Club. Vanessa Jones of Ohio Wesleyan is the individual champion. Within the next hour, Allegheny takes the men's title with Wooster's Todd Fach earning top individual honors.

May, 1985: Wooster uses seven team titles and two second-place finishes to win the NCAC's first All-Sports championship. The North Coast completes its inaugural season with 14 of 21 champions ranked nationally. Kenyon takes national titles in men's and women's swimming to lead the way.


October, 1985: In a battle of unbeaten teams, CWRU and Denison square off for the North Coast football championship. CBS films the game and clips are shown nationally during a feature on "The NFL Today." Denison wins and goes on to an undefeated season, claiming the conference title and advancing into the NCAA playoffs -- all with the "archaic" single-wing offense.

March, 1986: The NCAC hosts the NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships in Canton. Kenyon sweeps the men's and women's titles.


November 1986: Denison's Chris Spriggs set major and unique NCAA football record for all divisions. He became the first 4,000-yard rusher to pass for over 2,000 yards.

March 1987: Allegheny men's basketball becomes the first NCAC squad invited to the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament. The Gator women also were selected for the NCAA Tournament.

May 1987: Denison's Scott Shorney won the long jump championship at the NCAA Division III Championships. He also placed in five final events -- an unprecedented feat in the history of the Div. III Championship. Vince VanBurik of Case Western Reserve claimed the championship in the 800 meters ... Ohio Wesleyan hosts the NCAA Division III Golf Championship at Mansfield's Westbrook Country Club. The Bishops finished ninth, followed by Wooster in 10th ... Ohio Wesleyan men's lacrosse closes out its season with a 9-5 loss to Hobart in the NCAA Div. III Championship game.


December, 1987: Dick Schultz, newly-elected executive director of the NCAA, makes a visit to an NCAC Presidents' Council meeting in Columbus. Schultz, as part of a six-month tour, spends two days with the North Coast brass. The visit is a rare Division III stop.

January, 1988: Wooster athletic director Al Van Wie is elected NCAA Division III vice-president. George Andrews, professor of math at Oberlin, is named chairman of the NCAA's Faculty Representative Council for Division III. Denison women's athletic director Cheryl Marra is named to the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics.

March, 1988: Ohio Wesleyan wins the NCAA Division III championship in men's basketball. Bishop senior Scott Tedder is named national Player of the Year.

April, 1988: Ohio Wesleyan's basketball team meets President Ronald Reagan
(below) in the Oval Office, a first for a Division III team in any sport ... CWRU's Erwin Grabisna is the first NCAC player to be chosen in the NFL draft. A 6-3, 250-pound defensive end, Grabisna is taken in the sixth round by the Los Angeles Raiders.

May, 1988: Wooster wins its third NCAC All-Sports championship in four years, withstanding spring surges from Kenyon and Ohio Wesleyan.

June, 1988: Earlham and Wittenberg accept invitations to join the NCAC, pushing conference membership to nine schools in three states. The two schools will begin play in the fall of 1989.