Gulf Coast Athletic Conference

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Not to be confused with Gulf Coast Conference.
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference logo
Established 1981
Association NAIA
Division Division I
Members 8
Sports fielded 10 (men's: 4; women's: 6)
Region Southeastern United States
Region XIII of the NAIA
Commissioner Steve Martin
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference locations

The Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) is a college athletic conference currently made up entirely of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and affiliated with the NAIA's Division I. Member institutions are located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee, USA.


The GCAC was established in 1981, with the following charter institutions: Belhaven College, Dillard University, Louisiana College, Spring Hill College, Tougaloo College, William Carey University and Xavier University of Louisiana. The first sports were men and women's basketball and men's tennis, with other sports soon following.[1]

The University of Mobile was admitted in October, 1985, Southern University at New Orleans was granted admission in May, 1986, Loyola University was admitted in April, 1995, and Louisiana State University in Shreveport became a member in April, 2000. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina forced Dillard and Xavier (La.) to cancel all athletic competition for 2005-06 and Loyola and Southern-New Orleans were able only to compete partially. All schools returned to competition in 2006-07, although in most cases with a reduced number of sports.

Louisiana College left the GCAC to join the American Southwest Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III in 2000. Belhaven also left in 2000, only to re-join in 2002; while Talladega College, who joined in 1999, left in 2002. In 2010, Belhaven, Loyola-New Orleans, Spring Hill, Mobile and William Carey left the GCAC to join the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC).[2] In 2010 LSU-Shreveport left the conference to join the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC). Edward Waters College and Fisk University joined to replace the departed schools in 2010. Philander Smith College also joined the GCAC in 2011. In January 2011, it was announced Talladega College will re-join the conference starting in the 2011-12 academic year. Talladega was a previous member of the GCAC from 1999-2002.[3]

Conference sports[edit]

Old logo
Conference sports
Sport Men's Women's
Green tickY
Green tickY
Cross Country
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Track and Field
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY

Member schools[edit]

Current members[edit]

Institution Location Men's Nickname Women's Nickname Founded Type Enrollment Joined
Dillard University New Orleans, Louisiana Bleu Devils Lady Bleu Devils 1869 Private/
(Methodist & Church of Christ)
900 1981
Edward Waters College Jacksonville, Florida Tigers Lady Tigers 1866 Private/(African Methodist) 800 2010
Philander Smith College Little Rock, Arkansas Panthers Lady Panthers 1864 Private/(Methodist) 700 2011
Southern University at New Orleans New Orleans, Louisiana Black Knights Lady Knights 1956 Public 3,200 1986
Talladega College Talladega, Alabama Tornadoes Lady Tornadoes 1867 Private/(United Church of Christ) 600 1999,
Tougaloo College Tougaloo, Mississippi Bulldogs Lady Bulldogs 1869 Private/(Church of Christ) 900 1981
Voorhees College Denmark, South Carolina Tigers Lady Tigers 1897 Private/(Episcopal Church) 600 2013
Xavier University of Louisiana New Orleans, Louisiana Gold Rush Gold Nuggets 1925 Private/(Catholic) 3,200 1981

* - Talladega left the GCAC after the 2001-02 season and re-joined back in the 2011-12 season.

Former members[edit]

Institution Location Men’s Nickname Women’s Nickname Founded Type Enrollment Joined Left Current Conference Classification
Belhaven College Jackson, Mississippi Blazers 1883 Private/(Presbyterian Church USA) 1,500 1981
SSAC NAIA Division I
Fisk University Nashville, Tennessee Bulldogs Lady Bulldogs 1866 Private/(Church of Christ) 800 2010 2014 Independent NAIA Division I
Louisiana College Pineville, Louisiana Wildcats Lady Wildcats 1906 Private/(Louisiana Baptist Convention) 1,000 1981 2000 American Southwest NCAA Division III
Louisiana State University in Shreveport Shreveport, Louisiana Pilots Lady Pilots 1967 Public 4,200 2000 2010 RRAC NAIA Division I
Loyola University New Orleans New Orleans, Louisiana Wolfpack 1904 Private/(Catholic) 2,600 1995 2010 SSAC NAIA Division I
Spring Hill College Mobile, Alabama Badgers Lady Badgers 1830 Private/(Catholic) 1,300 1981 2010 SIAC NCAA Division II
University of Mobile Mobile, Alabama Rams Lady Rams 1961 Private/(Alabama Baptist State Convention) 1,500 1985 2010 SSAC NAIA Division I
William Carey University Hattiesburg, Mississippi Crusaders Lady Crusaders 1906 Private/(Mississippi Baptist Convention) 4,418 1981 2010 SSAC NAIA Division I

Membership timeline[edit]

Voorhees College Philander Smith College Fisk University Edward Waters College Louisiana State University in Shreveport Talladega College Loyola University New Orleans Southern University at New Orleans University of Mobile Xavier University of Louisiana William Carey University Tougaloo College Spring Hill College Louisiana College Dillard University Belhaven University

Conference champions[edit]


  1. ^ GCAC Directory 1981-82, pg.2
  2. ^ SSAC To Expand And Restructure Conference In 2010-11, Southern States Athletic Conference, 2009-09-29.
  3. ^ "Talladega College join the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference". Talladega College. January 9, 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2011. 

External links[edit]