DENVER – The Western Athletic Conference (WAC) officially celebrates its 60th anniversary as a collegiate conference on Wednesday.

The conference was founded on July 27, 1962, with charter members Arizona, Arizona State, Brigham Young, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Paul Brechler was appointed as the first commissioner of the WAC after being commissioner of the Skyline Conference. BYU, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming left the Skyline to join the WAC. Arizona and Arizona State both departed from the Border Conference.

Over the 60-year history of the WAC, 16 teams representing the conference have won NCAA team championships in eight different sports.

“The name the WAC is synonymous with success over the past 50, 60 years. We’ve certainly had different iterations over the course of time, but the name still means a lot,” said WAC Commissioner Brian Thornton. “It means excellence, it means success from an academic and athletic standpoint. We have a strong group of President’s who have banded together and are committed to making this an excellent league.”

The WAC currently has 13-members: Abilene Christian, California Baptist, Grand Canyon, New Mexico State, Sam Houston, Seattle University, Southern Utah, Stephen F. Austin, Tarleton, the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Utah Tech and Utah Valley. There are an additional 10 schools who compete in the WAC as affiliates in various sports. The WAC sponsors 20 sports (10 men’s and 10 women’s). Over the 60-year history of the conference, an additional 30 institutions have been full members.