Sunshine State Conference

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Sunshine State Conference
Sunshine State Conference logo
Established 1975
Association NCAA
Division Division II
Members 9
Sports fielded 17 (18 in 2014–15) (men's: 8; women's: 9 (10 in 2014–15))
Region Florida
Headquarters Orlando, Florida
Commissioner Jay Jones (since 2009)
Website sunshinestateconference.com
Locations
Sunshine State Conference locations

The Sunshine State Conference is a collegiate athletic conference that was originally formed in 1975 as a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II men's basketball conference. It has since expanded to sponsor championships in 14 sports, including men's and women's basketball, baseball, men's and women's golf, women's rowing, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis, and women's volleyball. SSC institutions have won a total of 83 NCAA national team championships, including two in the 2008-09 academic year.

The conference was preceded by the Florida Intercollegiate Conference,[1] which was disbanded in the mid-1960s. The Sunshine State Conference was founded in 1975 by St. Leo University (then a college) Basketball Coach & Athletic Director Norm Kaye. Kaye served as Commissioner the first year until Dick Pace was named Commissioner in 1976. Kaye continued as Executive Director of the Conference for an additional 12 years. Pace was inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.

Jay Jones became commissioner of the conference in 2009. Jones replaced Mike Marcil, who served as commissioner from 2004. Marcil had previously replaced retired SSC Hall of Famer Don Landry. Gregg Kaye (no relation to Norm Kaye) was named assistant commissioner in 2001 and promoted to associate commissioner in 2005. Kelly Harrison was originally named assistant to the commissioner in 2002 and returned to that position in 2006 after a one-year absence and remains on the conference office staff to date as an assistant commissioner and senior woman administrator.

The six charter Conference members were: Biscayne College (now called St. Thomas University), Florida Technological University (now University of Central Florida), Eckerd College, Florida Southern, Rollins College, and St. Leo College.

The Conference has had dozens of athletes go on to have successful professional careers. Some examples include: Current PGA Tour players Lee Janzen and Rocco Mediate went to Florida Southern. Janzen won golf's U.S. Open in 1993 & 1998; on the baseball side are Tim Wakefield (Florida Tech), Ryan Hanigan (Rollins) and Bob Tewksbury (St. Leo). Wakefield tied a career high of 17 wins pitching for the 2007 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox and Tewksbury was third in balloting for the National League Cy Young Award while going 16-5 for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1992.

Membership[edit]

Current members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined
Barry University Miami Shores, Florida 1940 Private 9,300 Buccaneers 1988
Eckerd College St. Petersburg, Florida 1958 Private 3,584 Tritons 1975
Florida Southern College Lakeland, Florida 1883 Private 2,319 Moccasins 1975
Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, Florida 1958 Private 7,626 Panthers 1981
Lynn University Boca Raton, Florida 1962 Private 4,660 Fighting Knights 1997
Nova Southeastern University Davie, Florida 1964 Private 33,135 Sharks 2002
Rollins College Winter Park, Florida 1885 Private 3,153 Tars 1975
Saint Leo University Saint Leo, Florida 1889 Private 16,275 Lions 1975
The University of Tampa Tampa, Florida 1931 Private 10,515 Spartans 1981

Future members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joining
Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach, Florida 1926 Private 6,794 Eagles 2014
Palm Beach Atlantic University West Palm Beach, Florida 1968 Private 3,260 Sailfish 2014
  • Embry–Riddle Aeronautical will be joining from The Sun Conference of the NAIA. [2]
  • Palm Beach Atlantic is currently an NCAA D–II independent. [3]

Former members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Current Conference
(Classification)
University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida 1963 Public 60,181 Knights 1975 1984 The American
(NCAA Division I)
St. Thomas University Miami Gardens, Florida 1961 Private 4,140 Bobcats 1975 1987 The Sun
(NAIA Division II)
University of North Florida Jacksonville, Florida 1969 Public 16,372 Ospreys 1992 1997 Atlantic Sun
(NCAA Division I)

Membership timeline[edit]

 Full member (all sports)   Full member (non-football)   Associate member (football-only)   Associate member (sport) 

Map indicating locations of member schools

Conference facilities[edit]

Institution Arena Capacity
Barry University Health and Sports Center 1,938
Embry–Riddle ICI Center 1,968
Eckerd College McArthur Center
Florida Southern College Jenkins Field House 2,500
Florida Tech Clemente Center 1,500
Lynn University de Hoernle Center 1,000
Nova Southeastern University Don Taft University Center Arena 5,500
Rollins College Warden Arena 2,500
Saint Leo University Marion Bowman Center 2,000
University of Tampa Bob Martinez Sports Center 3,432

National Championships[edit]

The Sunshine State Conference is often considered[who?] the conference of champions. The SSC currently has 9 members, and each institution is eligible for Championship play. Of the current 9 members, 7 of them have won national championships. The schools include; Barry University, Florida Southern College, Florida Tech, Lynn University, Nova Southeastern University, Rollins College, and University of Tampa.

Controversy[edit]

  • On July 17, 2007, NCAA vacated Lynn's 2005 Women's Division II Softball Championship due to extra benefits given to two players. The NCAA found that former coach Thomas Macera gave two Lynn softball players cash payments totaling more than $3,000. Lynn was also placed on probation for two years.[4] Lynn University originally won 9 National Championships at the Division II level, but now the NCAA only recognizes 8 of them because of the unsanctioned actions.
Institution # of NCAA Titles Most Recent
Florida Southern 27 2010-Men's Golf
Rollins 14 2008-Women's Golf
Tampa 13 2013-Baseball
Barry 11 2013-Men's Golf, Men's Tennis
Lynn 8* 2009-Baseball
Nova Southeastern 6 2013-Women's Rowing
Florida Tech 2 1991-Men's Soccer

Mayors' Cup Champions[edit]

Year Overall Champion Men's Division Women's Division
2009 Nova Southeastern Barry Rollins
2008 Nova Southeastern Florida Southern Nova Southeastern
2007 Barry Barry Florida Southern
2006 Barry Lynn Barry
2005 Florida Southern Lynn Florida Southern
2004 Rollins Rollins Rollins
2003 Rollins Rollins Rollins
2002 Barry Florida Southern Barry
2001 Florida Southern Florida Southern Florida Southern
2000 Florida Southern Florida Southern Barry
1999 Florida Southern Florida Southern Florida Southern
1998 Florida Southern Florida Southern Florida Southern
1997 Barry Florida Southern Barry
1996 North Florida Florida Southern North Florida
1995 North Florida North Florida Florida Southern
1994 North Florida North Florida North Florida
1993 Tampa Tampa Tampa
1992 Tampa Florida Tech Tampa
1991 Tampa Tampa Barry
1990 Tampa Tampa Florida Southern
1989 Florida Southern Florida Southern Florida Southern
1988 Florida Southern Florida Southern Florida Southern
1987 Florida Southern Tampa Florida Southern

References[edit]

  1. ^ Florida Southern Mocs
  2. ^ "Embry-Riddle Accepts Invitation to Join Sunshine State Conference". prweb.com. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Palm Beach Atlantic Agrees to Provisional Membership with Sunshine State Conference". sunshinestateconference.com. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "NCAA vacates Lynn's 2005 softball title", Palm Beach Post Staff, Palm Beach Post, July 17, 2007

External links[edit]