Great South Athletic Conference

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Great South Athletic Conference
Great South Athletic Conference logo
Established 1999
Association NCAA
Division Division III
Members 8
Sports fielded 6 (men's: 0; women's: 6)
Region Southeast
Headquarters Decatur, Georgia
Commissioner Joeleen Akin
Great South Athletic Conference locations

The Great South Athletic Conference (GSAC) is an intercollegiate athletic conference affiliated with the NCAA’s Division III. Member institutions are located nationwide, but was originally based in the southeastern United States.


The Great South Athletic Conference was founded in 1999 as a group of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III member institutions from the Southeast with similar academic and athletic interests. Charter members included Fisk University, LaGrange College, Maryville College, Piedmont College and Stillman College. In 2002, Huntingdon College and women’s colleges Agnes Scott College and Wesleyan College were granted membership. In 2003, Spelman College and Wesleyan (Ga.) were admitted to the GSAC on a provisional basis and given full membership status in 2005. Salem College, a women’s school in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, became the conference’s eighth member for the 2009-10 season.[1] Covenant College, located on top of Lookout Mountain in northwest Georgia, joined the conference in Spring 2010 and began playing in Fall 2010,[2] while completing its requirements for NCAA Division III provisional status. Stillman, a charter member, dropped out of the conference following the 2001-02 season, now currently competing in the NCAA Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC); while Fisk, another charter member, dropped out of the conference following the 2005-06 season, to compete in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

Three schools (also charter members of the GSAC) left for the USA South Athletic Conference beginning with the 2012-13 season: Piedmont,[3] LaGrange[4] and Maryville. Pine Manor College[5] and Trinity Washington University[6] joined the conference in the 2012-13 season to replace those schools. Due to the lack of men's athletic programs in the GSAC, the conference stopped sponsoring men's sports championships at the end of the 2011-12 season.

On May 10, 2012, Covenant College and Huntingdon College announced plans to leave the Great South and join USA South Athletic Conference beginning in the 2013-14 season. In the 2012-13 season, the Covenant and Huntingdon women's sports competed as full members of the GSAC, while their men's sports competed as NCAA Division III independents.

On November 1, 2012, Spelman College announced that they will be dropping all intercollegiate sports at the end of the 2012-13 academic year.[7]

On January 14, 2013, the GSAC announced that Mills College, Finlandia University, and the University of Maine at Presque Isle will join the GSAC in 2013-14.[8] Finlandia and Maine-Presque Isle are co-educational colleges. The women's sports will join the GSAC, while the men's sports at the two schools will remain Division III Independents.

On May 6, 2015, the USA South Athletic Conference announced that Agnes Scott College, Salem College, and Wesleyan College will be leaving the GSAC and joining the USA South beginning in the 2016-2017 season.[9]

On June 11, 2015, the GSAC announced that Mount Mary University and UC Santa Cruz would be joining the conference in women's soccer, volleyball, women's basketball, softball (Mount Mary only) and tennis (UC Santa Cruz only).[10] The move was made effective immediately. Both schools were formerly affiliate members, playing tennis in the GSAC since 2013.

Member schools[edit]

Current members[edit]

The league currently has 8 full members:

Institution Location Nickname Founded Type Enrollment Joined
Agnes Scott College Decatur, Georgia Scottish Terriers 1889 Private/Presbyterian 914 2002
Finlandia University^‡ Hancock, Michigan Lions 1896 Private/Lutheran 500 2013
Mills College Oakland, California Cyclones 1854 Private/Non-sectarian 1,555 2013
Mount Mary University Milwaukee, Wisconsin Blue Angels 1913 Private/Catholic 1,209 2015
Pine Manor College^* Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts Gators 1911 Private/Non-sectarian 480 2012
Salem College Winston-Salem, North Carolina Spirits 1772 Private/Non-sectarian 1,100 2009
University of California, Santa Cruz^ Santa Cruz, California Banana Slugs 1965 Public 17,203 2015
Wesleyan College Macon, Georgia Wolves 1839 Private/Methodist 645 2003

- Finlandia joined the GSAC for softball in the spring of the 2012-13 season, and joined for all other sports in the 2013-14 season.
^ - Co-educational college, but only competes in women's sports in the GSAC.
* - Former women's college now-turned co-ed college (Pine Manor since 2014-15)
- Women's college

  • - Agnes Scott, Salem, and Wesleyan will be leaving the GSAC and joining the USA South Athletic Conference, effective July 1, 2016.

Affiliate member[edit]

The league has 1 affiliate member:

Institution Location Nickname Founded Type Enrollment Primary
GSAC Sport Since
Rust College Holly Springs, Mississippi Bearcats 1866 Private/Methodist 900 NCAA D-III Independent Softball 2013-14

Former members[edit]

Institution Location Nickname Founded Type Enrollment Joined Left Current
Covenant College Lookout Mountain, Georgia Scots (men's)
Lady Scots (women's)
1955 Private/Presbyterian 1,282 2010 2013^ USA South
Fisk University Nashville, Tennessee Bulldogs 1866 Private/United Church of Christ 800 1999 2006 NAIA Independent
Huntingdon College Montgomery, Alabama Hawks 1854 Private/Methodist 900 2002 2013^ USA South
LaGrange College LaGrange, Georgia Panthers 1831 Private/Methodist 942 1999 2012 USA South
University of Maine at Presque Isle* Presque Isle, Maine Owls 1903 Public 1,600 2013 2015 Division III Independents
Maryville College Maryville, Tennessee Scots 1819 Private/Presbyterian 1,176 1999 2012 USA South
Piedmont College Demorest, Georgia Lions 1897 Private/United Church of Christ 2,000 1999 2012 USA South
Stillman College Tuscaloosa, Alabama Tigers 1876 Private/Presbyterian 1,500 1999 2002 SIAC
(NCAA Division II)
Spelman College Atlanta, Georgia Jaguars 1881 Private/Non-sectarian 2,318 2003 2013 dropped athletics
Trinity Washington University Washington, D.C. Tigers 1897 Private/Catholic 2,100 2012 2015 Division III Independents

- Women's college
^ - Co-educational college, but only competed in women's sports in the GSAC in the 2012-13 season while its men's sports competed until the end of the 2011-12 season.
* - Co-educational college

Membership timeline[edit]

University of California, Santa Cruz Mount Mary University Mills College University of Maine at Presque Isle Finlandia University Trinity Washington University Pine Manor College Covenant College Salem College Wesleyan College Spelman College Huntingdon College Agnes Scott College Stillman College LaGrange College Maryville College Piedmont College Fisk University


As of the 2012-13 academic year, GSAC sponsors intercollegiate athletic competition in women's sports only: basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis, golf, and volleyball.


  1. ^ "Salem becomes newest GSAC member". Great South Athletic Conference. May 13, 2009. Retrieved May 14, 2009. 
  2. ^ Branton, B.B. (8 April 2010). "Covenant College Joins Great South Athletic Conference". The Chattanoogan. John Wilson. Retrieved 31 May 2010. 
  3. ^ McCormack, Timmy (11 April 2011). "Piedmont College Announces Plan To Join USA South Athletic Conference". Piedmont College Athletics. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  4. ^ "LaGrange College accepts invitation to join USA South Athletic Conference". LaGrange Panthers. 21 April 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Pine Manor College Joins GSAC". Great South Athletic Conference. Aug 27, 2012. Retrieved Sep 8, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Trinity Washington University Joins GSAC". Great South Athletic Conference. Sep 7, 2012. Retrieved Sep 8, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Spelman eliminates athletics in favor of campus-wide wellness initiative". Inside Higher Ed. Nov 1, 2012. Retrieved Nov 4, 2012. 
  8. ^ "GSAC Adds Finlandia University, the University of Maine at Presque Isle and Mills College". Great South Athletic Conference. January 14, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Agnes Scott, Salem and Wesleyan Set to Join USA South". 6 May 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  10. ^

External links[edit]