American Southwest Conference

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American Southwest Conference
American Southwest Conference logo
Established 1996
Association NCAA
Division Division III
Members 13
Sports fielded 16 (men's: 8; women's: 8)
Region Gulf Coast
Headquarters Richardson, Texas
Commissioner Amy Carlton (since 2006)
American Southwest Conference locations

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 shares operates from the same headquarters complex in the Dallas suburb of Richardson as the Lone Star Conference.


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 Schreiner University and the University of Texas at Dallas 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.[1][2]

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[3] departed at the end of the 2011-12 season after joining the ASC in that same season; Schreiner[4] and Texas Lutheran[5] 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.[6] Additionally, Mississippi College announced that it would be also leaving the conference and reclassifying to Division II in 2014.[7] Mississippi College will re-join the Gulf South Conference, a league that it had been a member of until 1996.[8]

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.

ASC officials announced on March 13, 2014 the forthcoming addition of McMurry University and Belhaven University to its membership.[9][10] McMurry will re-join the ASC after a two-year stint in the Division II level, competing as a member of the Heartland Conference; while Belhaven is scheduled to join the ASC as a provisional member in 2015.

On December 3, 2015, ASC officials reported that Texas Lutheran University and Southwestern University would join the conference for football in 2017 [11] as football-only members . Both schools are members of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, but the conference only had four remaining schools competing in football. Two other SCAC schools. Austin College and Trinity University (Texas), have announced they will play football in the Southern Athletic Association beginning with the 2017 season. The SCAC will no longer offer football as a conference sport after the 2016 season.

Member schools[edit]

Current members[edit]

Institution Location
Founded Type Enrollment U.S. News
Ranking [13]
Endowment [13] Nickname Joined Mascot Football?
Belhaven University Jackson, Mississippi
1883 Private 3,245 59
(Regional: South)
$4,952,872 Blazers 2015 N/A Yes
Concordia University Texas Austin, Texas
1926 Private/Lutheran 1,200 not ranked $18,570,000 Tornadoes 1999 Mr. Tornado No
East Texas Baptist University Marshall, Texas
1912 Private/Baptist 1,350 19
(Regional College: West)
$58,780,000 Tigers 1998 Toby Yes
Hardin–Simmons University Abilene, Texas
1891 Private/Baptist 2,333 39
(Regional: West)
$120,430,000 Cowboys 1996 Simon the Simonite Yes
Howard Payne University Brownwood, Texas
1889 Private/Baptist 1,400 14
(Regional College: West)
$45,700,000 Yellow Jackets 1996 Buzzsaw Yes
LeTourneau University Longview, Texas
1946 Private 3,758 27
(Regional: West)
$10,500,000 Yellowjackets 1998 Buzz No
Louisiana College Pineville, Louisiana
1906 Private/Baptist 1,265 60
(Regional College: South)
$31,000,000 Wildcats & Lady Wildcats 2000 Alex the Wildcat Yes
University of Mary Hardin–Baylor Belton, Texas
1845 Private/Baptist 2,713 54
(Regional: West)
$59,500,000 Crusaders 1997 CRUnk the Sader Yes
McMurry University Abilene, Texas
1923 Private 1,430 15
(Regional College: West)
$59,920,763 War Hawks 1996,
University of the Ozarks Clarksville, Arkansas
1834 Private/Presbyterian 630 6
(Regional College: South)
$87,540,000 Eagles 1996
Sul Ross State University Alpine, Texas
1917 Public
(Texas State University)
2,070 not ranked
Lobos 1996 Sully Yes
University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, Texas
(103,297/1,241,000 metro)
1961 Public
(University of Texas)
24,554 142 National $273,570,000 Comets 1998 Temoc No
University of Texas at Tyler Tyler, Texas
1971 Public
(University of Texas)
5,326 66
(Regional: West)
$68,370,000 Patriots 2002 Swoop No

1 - McMurry left the ASC to join the NCAA Division II ranks and the Heartland Conference from 2012-13 to 2013-14 before re-joining back to the conference.

* - The schools are divided into two divisions: East (white background) and West (yellow background).

Affiliate members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined Current
Southwestern University Georgetown, Texas 1840 Private 1,536 Pirates 2017 SCAC Yes
Texas Lutheran University Seguin, Texas 1891 Private 1,400 Bulldogs 2017* SCAC Yes

* - Texas Lutheran University rejoins the conference for football only in 2017, but was a former member before leaving in 2013 for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Former members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Current
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)
Ladies (women's)
2011 2012 SCAC No
University of Dallas Dallas, Texas 1956 Private 2,977 Crusaders 1996 2001 SCAC No
Mississippi College Clinton, Mississippi 1826 Private/Baptist 4,162 Choctaws 1996 2014 Gulf South
(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*

* Texas Lutheran University rejoined the ASC for football in 2016.

Membership timeline[edit]

Belhaven University Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Centenary College of Louisiana University of Texas at Tyler Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Texas Lutheran University Louisiana College Concordia University Texas University of Texas at Dallas Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Schreiner University LeTourneau University East Texas Baptist University University of Mary Hardin–Baylor Sul Ross State University University of the Ozarks Gulf South Conference Mississippi College Lone Star Conference McMurry University Howard Payne University Hardin–Simmons University Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference NCAA Division III independent schools University of Dallas Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Austin College


External links[edit]