Founded in 1951 with seven original members as the Midwest Collegiate Hockey League (MCHL), on to the Western Intercollegiate Hockey League (WIHL) in 1953 and then to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) in 1959, the league has adapted and evolved on numerous occasions over its distinguished history, always with a mindset of growing the game and assisting developing programs however possible. The new-look men's WCHA for 2013-14 covers a wide, diverse geographical area that includes five time zones and consists of ten quality institutions that offer the best in both educational and athletic environments in University of Alabama Huntsville, University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Bemidji State University, Bowling Green State University, Ferris State University, Lake Superior State University, Michigan Technological University, Minnesota State University, Mankato and Northern Michigan University. The highly-successful women's WCHA consists of eight member teams in Bemidji State University, University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State University, Mankato, University of North Dakota, Ohio State University, St. Cloud State University and University of Wisconsin.
No collegiate athletic conference, in any sport, can top the impressive list of national scale team accomplishments of the WCHA – on both the men's and women's sides. Since 1951, teams representing this Association have earned a record 37 men's national championships and since its founding for 1999-2000, women's WCHA-member teams have garnered a record 14 consecutive national championships. In addition, men's WCHA-member teams have finished as the national runner-up another 27 times.
The WCHA men's league has produced a record 16 Hobey Baker Memorial Award Winners – given annually to the top player in Division 1 college hockey, while the women's league is home to six Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winners. The men's and women's WCHA swept the honors in 2012-13, with Drew LeBlanc of St. Cloud State winning the Hobey Baker and Amanda Kessel of Minnesota winning the Patty Kazmaier.
The league's official website, WCHA.com, is being relaunched with an all-new look for 2013-14, and includes the fully-functional WCHA.com/mobile site.
For more than 61 years on the men's side and 14 on the women's side, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association has stood at the top of the collegiate hockey world. And with it's great brand, rich tradition, well-documented history of success, dedicated and enthusiastic fans, top-notch programs and a 100% commitment to excellence across the board, this Association will continue to stand second to none.