Gulf South Conference

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Gulf South Conference
(GSC)
Gulf South Conference logo
Established 1970
Association NCAA
Division Division II
Members 12 (14 in 2017)
Sports fielded 17 (men's: 8; women's: 9)
Region Southeastern United States
Headquarters Birmingham, Alabama
Commissioner Matt Wilson (since 2014)
Website www.gulfsouthconference.org
Locations
Gulf South Conference locations

The Gulf South Conference (GSC) is a collegiate athletic conference affiliated at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II level which operates in the southeastern United States.

History[edit]

Originally known as the Mid-South Conference, the Gulf South Conference was formed by six universities in the summer of 1970: Delta State, Florence State (now North Alabama), Jacksonville State, Livingston (now West Alabama), Tennessee–Martin, and Troy State (now Troy). Scheduling problems for the 1970–71 academic year limited the league to football, won by Jacksonville State.

In 1971, the league changed its name to the Gulf South Conference; added Southeastern Louisiana (SLU) and Nicholls State (increasing the membership to eight); opened an office in Hammond, Louisiana; and began championships in all men’s sports. The following year, Mississippi College and Northwestern Louisiana (NWLA, now Northwestern State) were admitted. NWLA withdrew to go Division I two years later, followed by SLU and Nicholls State in 1979.

The conference continued with seven teams until 1981, when the presidents admitted Valdosta State. West Georgia joined in 1983. Eight years of stability ended in 1991 when Tennessee–Martin and Troy State went Division I, briefly dropping the GSC back to seven members, before the beginning of an expansion resulting in ten new members: Lincoln Memorial (1992–93); Alabama–Huntsville, Henderson State, Central Arkansas, and Mississippi University for Women (MUW) (1993–94); West Florida (1994–95); and Arkansas-Monticello, Arkansas Tech, Montevallo, and Southern Arkansas (1995–96). Jacksonville State went Division I at the end of 1992–93. Mississippi College dropped to Division III at the end of 1995–96 and was replaced by Christian Brothers to keep the Conference at 16 schools. In July 2000, the GSC welcomed Harding University and Ouachita Baptist University, making it the largest NCAA conference at any level with 18 schools. The Conference membership decreased to 17 when MUW dropped its athletics program at the end of the 2002–03 season.

2006–07 was another season of change for the GSC. Central Arkansas moved to Division I, leaving the West Division with eight schools while Lincoln Memorial left for the South Atlantic Conference due to travel and location issues, leaving the East Division with seven schools.

Montevallo announced on June 27, 2008 that they will be leaving for the Peach Belt Conference following the 2008–09 season due to issues between the University's President and the Commissioner.

The GSC moved away from divisional play after the 2010-11 season after its six Arkansas members broke away, dropping the membership to eight. Thanks to an aggressive expansion plan, the GSC sponsored the Division II applications of Union University (TN) and Shorter University (GA), which became official members in 2014-15. The next step in bolstering its membership came in 2012, backing the Division II application of Lee University (TN) which is on track to join the league officially in 2015-16. The league added its first-ever associate member, Florida Tech, in football only in 2013. The Conference hopes to officially add an old friend back into the fold when Mississippi College submitted its application to rejoin Division II and is on track for 2016-17 membership.

Former Commissioner Jim McCullough brought the GSC office to Birmingham when he was hired in 1979. The Conference welcomed its seventh Commissioner in May, 2014 when Matt Wilson was selected to follow Nate Salant who retired after a 22-year stint.

Map of GSC school locations

2010s realignment[edit]

Beginning with the 2011–12 academic year; Arkansas Tech University, University of Arkansas at Monticello, Harding University, Henderson State University, Ouachita Baptist University, and Southern Arkansas University left the GSC to form the Great American Conference.[1]

The University of New Orleans, which was transitioning from Division I to Division II, was accepted into the conference in June 2011,[2] but the school announced intentions to stay at Division I in March 2012.[3] In July 2011, Shorter University and Union University (Jackson, Tenn.) were accepted into the NCAA and will begin the multi-year transition process from the NAIA to NCAA.[4] Both universities will begin GSC competition in the 2012–13 academic year but will not be eligible for NCAA national tournaments until the 2014–15 academic year.[5] In August 2011, the GSC added the Florida Institute of Technology as an associate member for football beginning in the 2013 season.[6]

On October 11, 2012, Mississippi College announced that it would petition the NCAA to leave Division III and return to the conference.[7] There is a lengthy process involved as Mississippi College becomes part of the Division II candidacy starting with the 2013-14 academic year. The transition period will end with the 2016-17 season when Mississippi College will become a full Division II member.[8]

In 2013, Lee University joined the GSC, bringing the membership to 11. Lee University moved to Division II provisional membership for the 2014-15 season. They will complete transition to Division II in the 2015-16 season. Mississippi College entered its second candidacy year with the 2014-15 season in its path to full Division II membership in 2016-17 and added Gulf South Conference teams to its schedule.[9]

Member schools[edit]

Current members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Enrollment Nickname Colors Joined
University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville, Alabama 1969 7,900 Chargers           1993
Christian Brothers University Memphis, Tennessee 1871 1,720 Buccaneers           1996
Delta State University Cleveland, Mississippi 1924 4,392 Statesmen & Lady Statesmen           1970
Lee University Cleveland, Tennessee 1918 4,922 Flames           2013
Mississippi College Clinton, Mississippi 1826 4,162 Choctaws           1972;
2014
University of North Alabama Florence, Alabama 1830 7,244 Lions           1970
Shorter University Rome, Georgia 1873 3,500 Hawks           2012
Union University Jackson, Tennessee 1823 4,186 Bulldogs           2012
Valdosta State University Valdosta, Georgia 1906 12,898 Blazers           1981
University of West Alabama Livingston, Alabama 1835 5,157 Tigers           1970
University of West Florida Pensacola, Florida 1963 12,823 Argonauts           1994
University of West Georgia Carrollton, Georgia 1906 11,252 Wolves           1983

Future members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Enrollment Nickname Colors Joins
Auburn University at Montgomery Montgomery, Alabama 1967 5,079 Warhawks           2017
University of Montevallo Montevallo, Alabama 1896 3,000 Falcons           1995;
2017
  • Reclassifying member in yellow.
  • Montevallo — lacrosse (W) was an affiliate member from 2015–2017.

Affiliate members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Enrollment Nickname Colors Joined Sport Primary
Conference
Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, Florida 1958 6,400 Panthers           2013 football Sunshine State
University of Montevallo Montevallo, Alabama 1896 3,000 Falcons           2015 lacrosse (W) Peach Belt
Spring Hill College Mobile, Alabama 1830 1,439 Badgers           2014 golf (W);
soccer (M);
soccer (W)
Southern Intercollegiate
Young Harris College Young Harris, Georgia 1886 1,120 Mountain Lions           2015 lacrosse (W) Peach Belt
  • Reclassifying member in yellow.

Future affiliate members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Enrollment Nickname Colors Joins Sport Primary
Conference
North Greenville University Tigerville, South Carolina 1891 2,100 Crusaders           2018 football Carolinas

Former members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Nickname Joined Left Current
Conference
Arkansas Tech University Russellville, Arkansas 1909 Wonder Boys & Golden Suns 1995 2011 Great American
University of Arkansas at Monticello Monticello, Arkansas 1910 Boll Weevils & Cotton Blossoms 1995 2011 Great American
University of Central Arkansas Conway, Arkansas 1907 Bears & Sugar Bears 1993 2006 Southland
(NCAA D-I)
Harding University Searcy, Arkansas 1924 Bisons & Lady Bisons 2000 2011 Great American
Henderson State University Arkadelphia, Arkansas 1890 Reddies 1993 2011 Great American
Jacksonville State University Jacksonville, Alabama 1883 Gamecocks 1970 1993 Ohio Valley
(NCAA D-I)
Lincoln Memorial University Harrogate, Tennessee 1897 Railsplitters 1992 2006 South Atlantic
Mississippi University for Women Columbus, Mississippi 1884 Blues 1993 2003 Dropped sports
University of New Orleans New Orleans, Louisiana 1958 Privateers 2011 2012 Southland
(NCAA D-I)
Nicholls State University Thibodaux, Louisiana 1948 Colonels 1971 1979 Southland
(NCAA D-I)
Northwestern State University Natchitoches, Louisiana 1884 Demons 1971 1973 Southland
(NCAA D-I)
Ouachita Baptist University Arkadelphia, Arkansas 1886 Tigers 2000 2011 Great American
Southeastern Louisiana University Hammond, Louisiana 1925 Lions 1971 1979 Southland
(NCAA D-I)
Southern Arkansas University Magnolia, Arkansas 1909 Muleriders 1995 2011 Great American
University of Tennessee at Martin Martin, Tennessee 1927 Skyhawks 1970 1991 Ohio Valley
(NCAA D-I)
Troy University Troy, Alabama 1887 Trojans 1970 1991 Sun Belt
(NCAA D-I)
  • Harding — soccer (M) was an affiliate member in 2011–12.
  • New Orleans — provisional member in transition from D-I to D-II which competed in baseball, cross country (M / W), golf (M / W), tennis (M / W), and volleyball. However, the school announced intentions to remain D-I in March 2012.
  • Ouachita Baptist — soccer (M) was an affiliate member in 2011–12.

Membership timeline[edit]

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

Conference venues[edit]

School Football Basketball
Stadium Capacity Arena Capacity
Alabama–Huntsville
non-football school
Spragins Hall
2,250
Christian Brothers
non-football school
Canale Arena
1,000
Delta State McCool Stadium
8,000
Walter Sillers Coliseum
4,000
Florida Tech Florida Tech Panther Stadium
4,980
football-only member
Lee
non-football school
Walker Arena
2,700
Mississippi College Robinson-Hale Stadium
8,500
A.E. Wood Coliseum
3,500
North Alabama Braly Municipal Stadium
14,215
Flowers Hall
3,900
Shorter Barron Stadium
6,500
Winthrop-King Centre
1,500
Union
non-football school
Fred DeLay Gymnasium
2,200
Valdosta State Bazemore-Hyder Stadium
11,500
The Complex
5,350
West Alabama Tiger Stadium
7,000
Pruitt Hall
1,500
West Florida Blue Wahoos Stadium UWF Fieldhouse
1,180
West Georgia University Stadium
9,000
The Coliseum
6,790

[edit]

The GSC sponsors competition in 8 men's sports and 9 women's sports. The conference begins sponsoring women's lacrosse and men's / women's track & field in the 2015–16 school year.[10][11]

Conference sports
Sport Men's Women's
Baseball Green tickY
Basketball Green tickY Green tickY
Cross Country Green tickY Green tickY
Football Green tickY
Golf Green tickY Green tickY
Lacrosse Green tickY
Soccer Green tickY Green tickY
Softball Green tickY
Tennis Green tickY Green tickY
Track & Field Outdoor Green tickY Green tickY
Volleyball Green tickY

Men's sponsored sports by school[edit]

School Baseball Basketball Cross
Country
Football Golf Soccer Tennis Track
& Field
Outdoor
Total
GSC
Sports
Alabama–Huntsville Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 6
Christian Brothers Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 7
Delta State Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 6
Lee Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 7
Mississippi College Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 8
North Alabama Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 6
Shorter Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 8
Union Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 5
Valdosta State Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 6
West Alabama Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 8
West Florida Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 7
West Georgia Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 5
Totals 12 12 11 8 11 9 10 6 79
Future Members
Auburn–Montgomery Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 5
Montevallo Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 6
Affiliate Members
Florida Tech Green tickY 1
Spring Hill Green tickY 1

Women's sponsored sports by school[edit]

School Basketball Cross
Country
Golf Lacrosse Soccer Softball Tennis Track
& Field
Outdoor
Volleyball Total
GSC
Sports
Alabama–Huntsville Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 8
Christian Brothers Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 8
Delta State Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 5
Lee Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 9
Mississippi College Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 7
North Alabama Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 7
Shorter Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 9
Union Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 6
Valdosta State Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 6
West Alabama Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 8
West Florida Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 7
West Georgia Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 8
Totals 12 12 7 3 12 12 11 8 11 88
Future Members
Auburn–Montgomery Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 5
Montevallo Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 9
Affiliate Members
Montevallo Green tickY 1
Spring Hill Green tickY Green tickY 2
Young Harris Green tickY 1
  • Auburn-Montgomery — Volleyball begins play in 2017.[12]

Other sponsored sports by school[edit]

School Men Women
Ice
Hockey
Lacrosse Swimming
& Diving
Track
& Field
Indoor
Wrestling Swimming
& Diving
Track
& Field
Indoor
Alabama–Huntsville WCHA IND IND IND
Delta State NSISC NSISC
Lee IND IND
Mississippi College IND IND
North Alabama IND
Shorter IND IND IND IND
West Florida NSISC
Future Members
Montevallo IND IND
  • — D-I sport
  • Montevallo (IND) — Lacrosse (M) begins play in 2017.[13]

National championships[edit]

Sport School Year(s)
Baseball Valdosta State 1979
Troy State 1986 • 1987
Jacksonville State 1990 • 1991
Delta State 2004
West Florida 2011
Men's Basketball North Alabama 1979 • 1991
Jacksonville State 1985
Women's Basketball Delta State 1975 • 1976 • 1977 (AIAW) • 1989 • 1990 • 1992
Southeastern Louisiana 1977
Football West Alabama 1971 (NAIA)
Troy 1984 • 1987
Mississippi College 1989
Jacksonville State 1992
North Alabama 1993 • 1994 • 1995
Delta State 2000
Valdosta State 2004 • 2007 • 2012
Men's Golf Troy 1976 • 1977 • 1984
West Florida 2001 • 2008
Women's Golf Troy 1984 • 1986 • 1989
Women's Gymnastics Jacksonville State 1984 • 1985
Men's Ice Hockey Alabama–Huntsville 1996 • 1998
Women's Soccer Christian Brothers 2002
West Florida 2012
Softball Valdosta State 2012
Men's Tennis West Florida 2004 • 2005 • 2014
Valdosta State 2006 • 2011
Men's Track & Field Outdoor Southeastern Louisiana 1975 (NAIA)
Women's Volleyball North Alabama 2003
  • Valdosta State won 1979 baseball national championship prior to joining the GSC.
  • Mississippi College's 1989 football tournament participation and national championship were vacated by the NCAA Committee on Infractions for recruiting violations.
  • Ice Hockey is not a conference-sanctioned sport.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pickle, David (March 9, 2011). "GAC becomes 23rd DII conference". NCAA.com. National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  2. ^ "GSC Admits UNO for Conference Membership". Retrieved 22 June 2011. 
  3. ^ Daniels, Ed. "UNO Athletics to remain Division I in NCAA". SportsNOLA.com. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Staff (July 11, 2011). "NCAA approves Union's application for NCAA Division II membership process". The Jackson Sun. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  5. ^ "NCAA accepts Shorter's application for NCAA II membership process". Shorter University. July 12, 2011. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Florida Tech Football Accepts Invitation to Join Gulf South Conference". Florida Tech Athletics. 19 August 2011. Archived from the original on 23 August 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  7. ^ Staff (October 16, 2012). "Exciting Development for MC Sports". Clinton Courier. Retrieved October 16, 2012. 
  8. ^ "It's Time to be II". Mississippi College. Retrieved October 20, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Division II Admits its 300th Member". NCAA. Retrieved October 20, 2014. 
  10. ^ "GSC Adds Women's Lacrosse". Gulf South Conference. Retrieved August 18, 2015. 
  11. ^ "GSC Adds Men's and Women's Track & Field". Gulf South Conference. Retrieved August 13, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Wetzel Announces Resignation; Inaugural Season Delayed Until 2017". Auburn University at Montgomery Athletics. Retrieved April 22, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Montevallo announces men's lacrosse as 18th intercollegiate sport". University of Montevallo. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 

External links[edit]