Heart of America Athletic Conference

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Heart of America Athletic Conference
Heart of America Athletic Conference logo
Established 1971
Association NAIA
Division Division I
Members 10 (12 in 2015)
Sports fielded 20 (men's: 10; women's: 10)
Region Region V of the NAIA
Headquarters Kansas City, Kansas
Commissioner Larry Lady
Website www.haacsports.com
Heart of America Athletic Conference locations

The Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) is a college athletic conference affiliated with the NAIA. Member institutions are located in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska in the United States.

The HAAC's earliest ancestor was the Missouri College Athletic Union, which was formed in 1924 when the Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association (now the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association) split in two. The state teachers' colleges stayed in the MIAA, while the private schools created the new conference.[1] It was reorganized as the HAAC in 1971 when it began admitting schools outside Missouri. However, the HAAC does not presently claim the Athletic Union's history as its own.


The Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) was founded in 1971. All 10 conference schools are members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The only sport that utilizes divisions in the NAIA is basketball, and the HAAC will be competing in its sixth season at the Division I level during the 2013-14 school year.[2]

Three schools have been members of the conference since its inception - Baker University, Graceland University and Missouri Valley College.[2]

In 1971, College of Emporia (Kan.), Ottawa University (Kan.), Tarkio College (Mo.), and William Jewell College were members, but they have since withdrawn from the conference. College of Emporia closed in 1974. Ottawa joined the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) in 1982, Tarkio closed in the spring of 1991 and William Jewell left at the conclusion of the 2010-11 school year to join the ranks of NCAA Div. II. Central Methodist University, also an original member in 1971, withdrew from the conference in 1986, but was reinstated as a member in 1991.[2]

Culver-Stockton College and MidAmerica Nazarene University became members in 1980. Evangel University joined in 1987 while Benedictine joined in 1991 when Central Methodist was reinstated. Lindenwood University began competing in the conference in 1996 but concluded their affiliation at the conclusion of the 2010-11 school year as they began their transition to NCAA Div. II status. Avila University began competing in all sports but football during the 2000-01 season and fielded its first football team ever in 2001. Peru State College became the newest school to join the storied conference as they began full competition during the 2011-12 academic year.[2]

The current commissioner of the conference is Larry Lady. The 2013-14 season marks Lady's 22nd year as the conference commissioner. The HAAC Director of Sports Information is Eric Montgomery.[2]

In early 2014, Grand View University and William Penn University were announced as members for the 2015-16 school year.[3]


The HAAC sponsors intercollegiate competition in men's baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's football, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's indoor AND outdoor track and field and women's volleyball.

Two HAAC Schools also participate in wrestling, while others participate in men's and women's tennis and spirit squad.

Member schools[edit]

Current members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined
Avila University Kansas City, Missouri 1916 Private/Catholic 1,907 Eagles 2000
Baker University Baldwin City, Kansas 1858 Private/Methodist 3,208 Wildcats 1971
Benedictine College Atchison, Kansas 1858 Private/Catholic 2,012 Ravens 1991
Central Methodist University Fayette, Missouri 1854 Private/Methodist 4,500 Eagles 1971*
Culver–Stockton College Canton, Missouri 1853 Private/Disciples of Christ 810 Wildcats 1980
Evangel University Springfield, Missouri 1955 Private/Assemblies of God 1,911 Crusaders 1987
Graceland University Lamoni, Iowa 1895 Private/non-sectarian 2,222 Yellowjackets 1971
MidAmerica Nazarene University Olathe, Kansas 1966 Private/Nazarene 1,743 Pioneers 1980
Missouri Valley College Marshall, Missouri 1889 Private/Presbyterian 1,727 Vikings 1971
Peru State College Peru, Nebraska 1865 Public 2,124 Bobcats 2011

* - Central Methodist withdrew from the HAAC following the 1985-86 season, but rejoined for the 1991-92 season.

Future members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joins
Grand View University Des Moines, Iowa 1896 Private/Lutheran (ELCA) 1,750 Vikings 2015
William Penn University Oskaloosa, Iowa 1873 Private/Quaker 1,550 Statesmen (men's)
Lady Statesmen (women's)

Former members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Nickname Joined Left Current Conference Classification
College of Emporia Emporia, Kansas 1882 Private Fighting Presbies 1971 1974 ceased operations in 1974
Lindenwood University St. Charles, Missouri 1827 Private Lions 1996 2011 MIAA NCAA Division II
Ottawa University Ottawa, Kansas 1865 Private Braves 1971 1981 KCAC NAIA Division II
Tarkio College Tarkio, Missouri 1883 Private Owls 1971 1992 ceased operations in 1992
William Jewell College Liberty, Missouri 1849 Private Cardinals 1971 2011 GLVC NCAA Division II

Membership timeline[edit]

William Penn University Grand View University Peru State College Avila University Lindenwood University Benedictine College Evangel University MidAmerica Nazarene University Culver–Stockton College William Jewell College Tarkio College Ottawa University Missouri Valley College Graceland University College of Emporia Central Methodist University Baker University

See also[edit]


External links[edit]