Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference
|Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference
The Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference was a women's-only college athletic conference which operated in the midwestern United States from its inception in 1982 to its absorption by the Missouri Valley Conference in 1992.
The Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference was founded in August 1982 as a women's-only conference. The charter members consisted of Bradley University, Drake University, Eastern Illinois University, Illinois State University, Indiana State University, the University of Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois University, Southwest Missouri State University, Western Illinois University and Wichita State University.
In 1985, the Gateway added football (its only men's-sponsoring sport) with Eastern Illinois, Illinois State, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, Southwest Missouri State and Western Illinois as the charter members. Indiana State would join the league for that sport in the following year. For football, Eastern Illinois, Western Illinois, Northern Iowa and Southwest Missouri State previously competed in the Mid-Continent Conference, while Illinois State and Southern Illinois previously competed in the then-NCAA Division I-A Missouri Valley Conference, and Indiana State previously competed as a Division I-AA Independent.
In 1992, the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference was merged into the Missouri Valley Conference. The league's football side was spun off into the standalone Gateway Football Conference, known since 2008 as the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The MVFC and MVC, although separate leagues, now share five members and operate out of the same offices in St. Louis.
- The Mid-Continent Conference adopted its current name of The Summit League in 2007.
- Southwest Missouri State University adopted its current name of Missouri State University in 2005.
- Western Illinois did not adopt the nickname of "Leathernecks" for women's sports teams until 2009.
- When Western Illinois joined, the conference now known as The Summit League was known as the Mid-Continent Conference.
- Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference 1989–90 Basketball Media Guide. Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference. 1989. pp. 36 pages.