- The North Central Conference (also known as North Central Intercollegiate Conference) was founded in 1922 with nine charter members: College of St. Thomas, Creighton University, Des Moines University, Morningside College, Nebraska Wesleyan University, North Dakota Agricultural College, University of North Dakota, South Dakota State College of Agricultural and Mechanical Arts, and the University of South Dakota.
- Des Moines University left the NCC in 1926, the school eventually closed its doors in 1929. Nebraska Wesleyan also left, joining the Nebraska Conference. The North Central Conference was left with seven members.
- In 1928, Creighton University and the College of St. Thomas (now University of St. Thomas) left the NCC. St. Thomas became a full member of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference while Creighton left to join the Missouri Valley Conference. The NCC was left with five members.
- In 1934 Iowa State Teachers College joined the NCC from the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Also, Omaha University joined the NCC to bring membership back up to seven schools.
- In 1942 Augustana College left the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference to join the North Central Conference as its eighth member.
- In 1946, Omaha University left the NCC to join the Central Intercollegiate Conference. The NCC is left with seven members.
- In 1960 North Dakota Agricultural College was renamed North Dakota State University
- In 1961 the Iowa State Teachers College was renamed the State College of Iowa
- In 1964 South Dakota State College was renamed South Dakota State University
- In 1967 State College of Iowa was renamed to the University of Northern Iowa
- In 1968 Mankato State College joins the NCC from the Northern Intercollegiate Conference, bringing league membership up to eight teams.
- In 1975 Mankato State College is renamed Mankato State University.
- In 1976 the University of Nebraska at Omaha (Omaha University was renamed to UNO in 1968) rejoined the NCC, while Mankato State University leaves the NCC due to not fielding a team in the 1976 season. Membership in the NCC remains at eight schools.
- In 1978 the University of Northern Colorado left the Great Plains Athletic Conference and joined the North Central Conference. In the same year, the University of Northern Iowa left the NCC to move to the Association of Mid-Continent Universities. Membership remained at eight schools.
- In 1981 Mankato State University and St. Cloud State University joined the North Central Conference from the Northern Intercollegiate Conference, giving the NCC its largest membership total in history at 10 schools and it would remain at this level for the next 21 years. Membership at this time included: Augustana, Mankato State, Morningside, Nebraska-Omaha, North Dakota, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, South Dakota, South Dakota State, and St. Cloud State.
- In 1999 Mankato State University is renamed to Minnesota State University-Mankato.
- In 2002, Morningside College, one of the North Central Conference's charter members, leaves the league and moves out of NCAA Division II to the NAIA level. The NCC is left with nine members.
- In 2003 the University of Northern Colorado announces plans to move up to NCAA Division I and leaves the NCC with eight members.
- In 2004 charter members North Dakota State and South Dakota State also announce plans to move to Division I and leave the North Central Conference. SDSU, NDSU and Northern Colorado founded the FCS Great West Football Conference. The University of Minnesota-Duluth left the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference to join the NCC as its seventh member.
- In 2006 Central Washington University and Western Washington University of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference joined the North Central Conference as affiliate members in the sport of football only to give the conference nine football schools.
- In 2008 the two remaining charter members of the North Central Conference, the University of South Dakota and the University of North Dakota, announce plans to leave the conference and move up to Division I. This move led to the rest of the league members making a move. Central Washington and Western Washington joined up with other schools in the Pacific Northwest to form a football league in the GNAC. Augustana, Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota State-Mankato and St. Cloud State remained in NCAA Division II by joining the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. Finally Nebraska-Omaha also remained in Division II by joining the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA). These moves resulted in the dissolution of the North Central Conference after having existed for 86 years.
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