UMass Minutemen Return to MAC Starting in 2025

    The UMass Minutemen are back for round two in the MAC, becoming full-time members in 2025. What is the school's history with the conference?

    It’s the return of the MAC for the UMass Minutemen. Sources told The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach Monday that the board for the Mid-American Conference has voted to bring back UMass as a member of the conference for the second time, starting in the 2025-2026 academic calendar year on Monday.

    The school will be joining the conference in all sports including football. With the announcement, the MAC will have 13 teams playing in the conference after this upcoming season. This is the first time the conference has had a change to its full-time members since Marshall left for Conference USA in 2005.

    UMass Minutemen Return to the MAC

    Since UMass joined the FBS level, it’s been quite a roller coaster ride for the school. When they first moved to FBS in 2012, they initially joined the MAC Conference and remained there through the 2015 season.

    UMass beginning life in the conference helped the school upgrade its stadium in preparation for being an FBS school.

    The Minutemen were in the East Division where the school played for two seasons before being officially accepted as a full member for the following two campaigns.

    It was tough sledding for UMass as they won just five conference games, going a combined 7-25 against MAC opponents. It was even more difficult outside of MAC play, posting a 1-15 out-of-conference record in their first four seasons at the FBS level.

    After the 2015 season, UMass declined to return to the conference for the 2016 season as the school decided to become an FBS Independent.

    Since the move, the Minutemen have been unable to win more than four games in a season, missing bowl eligibility each year. They are one of just three independent teams for the 2024 college football campaign, joining the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the UConn Huskies.

    KEEP READING: 2024 College Football Realignment

    UMass finished the 2023 season with a 3-9 record, winning two of its last four games. Head coach Don Brown returns for his eighth overall season as head coach and his third since returning to the school.

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