American Southwest Conference
|American Southwest Conference
|Sports fielded||16 (men's: 8; women's: 8)|
|Commissioner||Amy Carlton (since 2006)|
The American Southwest Conference (ASC) is a college athletic conference, founded in 1996, whose member schools compete in the NCAA's Division III. The schools are located in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi. The conference competes in baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, football, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track and field and women's volleyball.
The American Southwest Conference was announced in May 1996. The new league included some former members of the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association (TIAA). Founding members of the ASC were Howard Payne University, Austin College, Hardin–Simmons University, McMurry University, Mississippi College, Sul Ross State University, the University of Dallas and the University of the Ozarks.
The expansion soon began as the University of Mary Hardin–Baylor joined the ASC in 1997; followed by East Texas Baptist University, LeTourneau University and Schreiner University in 1998; then Concordia University Texas in 1999, and finally Louisiana College and Texas Lutheran University in 2000.
The University of Dallas was a member of the ASC until the end of the 2000-01 season to become an Independent; and Austin College withdrew the ASC in the 2005-06 season to join the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC). The University of Texas at Tyler began athletics in 2002 and became a member in 2003, but as a provisional member of the NCAA, was ineligible to participate in ASC or NCAA postseason tournaments until 2007. Centenary College of Louisiana joined the conference in 2011, after completing their transition from Division I to Division III, but almost immediately announced its departure for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Recently, however, several schools have announced plans to leave the conference in favor of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, which lost seven of its members at the end of the 2011-12 school year. Centenary departed at the end of the 2011-12 season after joining the ASC in that same season; Schreiner and Texas Lutheran left at the end of the 2012-13 season.
In 2012, McMurry left the ASC and completed the process of reclassifying to a full-scholarship, Division II institution and joined the Heartland Conference. Additionally, Mississippi College announced that it would be also leaving the conference and reclassifying to Division II in 2014. Mississippi College will join the Gulf South Conference, a league that it had been a member of until 1996.
The departures of McMurry, Texas Lutheran and Mississippi College will leave the conference with only six football playing members, below the minimum seven participating schools required to receive an automatic bid to the NCAA football playoffs. The conference has not announced a plan to maintain its automatic bid.
- The schools are divided into two divisions: East and West.
- Yellow background is West Division
|Austin College||Sherman, Texas||1849||Private||1,320||Kangaroos||1996||2006||SCAC||Yes|
|Centenary College of Louisiana||Shreveport, Louisiana||1825||Private||787||Gentlemen (men's)
|University of Dallas||Dallas, Texas||1956||Private||2,977||Crusaders||1996||2001||SCAC||No|
|McMurry University||Abilene, Texas||1923||Private||1,430||War Hawks||1996||2012||Heartland
(NCAA Division II)
|Schreiner University||Kerrville, Texas||1923||Private||1,117||Mountaineers||1998||2013||SCAC||No|
|Texas Lutheran University||Seguin, Texas||1891||Private||1,400||Bulldogs||2000||2013||SCAC||Yes|
- "Centenary Approved for Div. III Reclassification". American Southwest Conference. July 20, 2010. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
- "Centenary College of Louisiana to Join the SCAC". SCAC. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
- Members leave ASC for SCAC
- Schreiner leaves for SCAC
- Texas Luthern leaves for SCAC
- McMurray joins Heartland Conference
- "Mississippi College chooses Division II". D3 Sports. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
- "Mississippi College Takes Steps to Rejoin NCAA Division II". D3 Sports. Retrieved 11 October 2012.