Gulf South Conference
|Gulf South Conference
|Members||12 (14 in 2017)|
|Sports fielded||17 (men's: 8; women's: 9)|
|Region||Southeastern United States|
|Commissioner||Matt Wilson (since 2014)|
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.
- 1 History
- 2 Member schools
- 3 Conference venues
- 4 Sponsored sports
- 5 National championships
- 6 References
- 7 External links
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.
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.
The University of New Orleans, which was transitioning from Division I to Division II, was accepted into the conference in June 2011, but the school announced intentions to stay at Division I in March 2012. 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. 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. In August 2011, the GSC added the Florida Institute of Technology as an associate member for football beginning in the 2013 season.
On October 11, 2012, Mississippi College announced that it would petition the NCAA to leave Division III and return to the conference. 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.
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.
|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;
|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|
|Auburn University at Montgomery||Montgomery, Alabama||1967||5,079||Warhawks||2017|
|University of Montevallo||Montevallo, Alabama||1896||3,000||Falcons||1995;
- Reclassifying member in yellow.
- Montevallo — lacrosse (W) was an affiliate member from 2015–2017.
|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);
|Young Harris College||Young Harris, Georgia||1886||1,120||Mountain Lions||2015||lacrosse (W)||Peach Belt|
- Reclassifying member in yellow.
Future affiliate members
|North Greenville University||Tigerville, South Carolina||1891||2,100||Crusaders||2018||football||Carolinas|
- 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.
Full member (all sports) Full member (non-football) Associate member (football-only) Associate member (sport)
|Delta State||McCool Stadium||
|Walter Sillers Coliseum||
|Florida Tech||Florida Tech Panther Stadium||
|Mississippi College||Robinson-Hale Stadium||
|A.E. Wood Coliseum||
|North Alabama||Braly Municipal Stadium||
|Fred DeLay Gymnasium||
|Valdosta State||Bazemore-Hyder Stadium||
|West Alabama||Tiger Stadium||
|West Florida||Blue Wahoos Stadium||UWF Fieldhouse||
|West Georgia||University Stadium||
|Track & Field Outdoor|
Men's sponsored sports by school
Women's sponsored sports by school
- Auburn-Montgomery — Volleyball begins play in 2017.
Other sponsored sports by school
|Troy State||1986 • 1987|
|Jacksonville State||1990 • 1991|
|Men's Basketball||North Alabama||1979 • 1991|
|Women's Basketball||Delta State||1975 • 1976 • 1977 (AIAW) • 1989 • 1990 • 1992|
|Football||West Alabama||1971 (NAIA)|
|Troy||1984 • 1987|
|North Alabama||1993 • 1994 • 1995|
|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|
|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.
- Pickle, David (March 9, 2011). "GAC becomes 23rd DII conference". NCAA.com. National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
- "GSC Admits UNO for Conference Membership". Retrieved 22 June 2011.
- Daniels, Ed. "UNO Athletics to remain Division I in NCAA". SportsNOLA.com. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
- Staff (July 11, 2011). "NCAA approves Union's application for NCAA Division II membership process". The Jackson Sun. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "NCAA accepts Shorter's application for NCAA II membership process". Shorter University. July 12, 2011. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "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.
- Staff (October 16, 2012). "Exciting Development for MC Sports". Clinton Courier. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
- "It's Time to be II". Mississippi College. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
- "Division II Admits its 300th Member". NCAA. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
- "GSC Adds Women's Lacrosse". Gulf South Conference. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
- "GSC Adds Men's and Women's Track & Field". Gulf South Conference. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
- "Wetzel Announces Resignation; Inaugural Season Delayed Until 2017". Auburn University at Montgomery Athletics. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
- "Montevallo announces men's lacrosse as 18th intercollegiate sport". University of Montevallo. Retrieved May 26, 2016.