Heart of America Athletic Conference
|Heart of America Athletic Conference
|Sports fielded||19 (men's: 10; women's: 9)|
|Headquarters||Overland Park, Kansas|
|Commissioner||Lori Thomas (since 2014)|
The Heart of America Athletic Conference (the Heart) is a college athletic conference affiliated with the NAIA. Member institutions are located in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska in the United States.
The HAAC's earliest ancestor was the Missouri College Athletic Union, which was formed in 1924 when the Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association (now the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association) split in two. The old MIAA's private schools formed the Athletic Union, while the state teachers' colleges stayed in the MIAA It was reorganized as the HAAC in 1971 when it began admitting schools outside Missouri. However, the HAAC does not presently claim the Athletic Union's history as its own.
All 10 conference schools are members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The only sport that utilizes divisions in the NAIA is basketball, and the HAAC is competing in its seventh season at the Division I level during the 2014–15 school year.
In 1971, College of Emporia (KS), Ottawa University (KS), Tarkio College (MO), and William Jewell College were members, but they have since withdrawn from the conference. College of Emporia closed in 1974. Ottawa joined the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) in 1982, Tarkio closed in the spring of 1991 and William Jewell left at the conclusion of the 2010–11 school year to join the ranks of NCAA Division II. Central Methodist University, also an original member in 1971, withdrew from the conference in 1986, but was reinstated as a member in 1991.
Culver-Stockton College and MidAmerica Nazarene University became members in 1980. Evangel University joined in 1987 while Benedictine joined in 1991 when Central Methodist was reinstated. Lindenwood University began competing in the conference in 1996 but concluded their affiliation at the conclusion of the 2010–11 school year as they began their transition to NCAA Division II status. Avila University began competing in all sports but football during the 2000–01 season and fielded its first football team ever in 2001. Peru State College became the newest school to join the storied conference as they began full competition during the 2011–12 academic year.
In early 2014, Grand View University and William Penn University were announced as members for the 2015–16 school year. In April 2015, Clarke University and Mount Mercy University were announced as members for the 2016–17 school year.
The current commissioner of the conference is Lori Thomas. Thomas, the first female commissioner in NAIA history, began her term on July 1, 2014, succeeding Larry Lady who retired after 22 years as commissioner.
|Avila University||Kansas City, Missouri||1916||1,710||Eagles||2000|
|Baker University||Baldwin City, Kansas||1858||989||Wildcats||1971|
|Benedictine College||Atchison, Kansas||1858||2,189||Ravens||1991|
|Central Methodist University||Fayette, Missouri||1854||1,094||Eagles||1971;
|Clarke University||Dubuque, Iowa||1843||1,075||Crusaders||2016|
|Culver–Stockton College||Canton, Missouri||1853||1,066||Wildcats||1980|
|Evangel University||Springfield, Missouri||1955||1,958||Crusaders||1987|
|Graceland University||Lamoni, Iowa||1895||2,301||Yellowjackets||1971|
|Grand View University||Des Moines, Iowa||1896||1,988||Vikings||2015|
|MidAmerica Nazarene University||Olathe, Kansas||1966||1,884||Pioneers||1980|
|Missouri Valley College||Marshall, Missouri||1889||1,728||Vikings||1971|
|Mount Mercy University||Cedar Rapids, Iowa||1928||1,877||Mustangs||2016|
|Peru State College||Peru, Nebraska||1865||2,422||Bobcats||2011|
|William Penn University||Oskaloosa, Iowa||1873||1,550||Statesmen
|College of Emporia||Emporia, Kansas||1882||Fighting Presbies||1971||1974||Closed in 1974|
|Lindenwood University||St. Charles, Missouri||1827||Lions||1996||2011||Mid-America
|Ottawa University||Ottawa, Kansas||1865||Braves||1971||1981||Kansas|
|Tarkio College||Tarkio, Missouri||1883||Owls||1971||1992||Closed in 1992|
|William Jewell College||Liberty, Missouri||1849||Cardinals||1971||2011||Great Lakes Valley
Full member (all sports) Full member (non-football)
|Track & Field Indoor|
|Track & Field Outdoor|
- "Heart of America Athletic Conference Athletics News". Haacsports.com. 2015-05-07. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
- "Heart of America Athletic Conference Athletics – About Us". haacsports.com.
- "Heart of America Conference adds two Iowa members | The Kansas City Star". Kansascity.com. 2014-01-10. Retrieved 2015-07-20.
- "Heart of America Athletic Conference Athletics News". Haacsports.com. 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-07-20.