Missouri Valley Football Conference
|Missouri Valley Football Conference|
1985 (began football)
|Division||Division I FCS|
|Sports fielded||1 (football) (men's: 1; women's: 0)|
|Former names||Gateway Football Conference (1992–2008)
Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference (1982–1992)
|Headquarters||St. Louis, Missouri|
|Commissioner||Patty Viverito (since 1982)|
The Missouri Valley Football Conference (formerly the Gateway Football Conference) is a collegiate athletic conference which operates in the Midwestern United States. It participates in the NCAA's Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) as a football-only conference.
The Missouri Valley Football Conference has a convoluted history that involves three other conferences:
- Missouri Valley Conference (MVC): A long-established conference, in existence since 1907, that sponsored football until 1985. In its last years as a football conference, it was a hybrid league that included teams in NCAA Divisions I-A (today's FBS) and I-AA (now FCS).
- Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference (Gateway): A women's sports conference founded in 1982 by MVC member schools.
- Association of Mid-Continent Universities (AMCU): An all-sports conference, also founded in 1982, that sponsored football at the I-AA level through the 1984 season. The AMCU had absorbed the Mid-Continent Athletic Association, a football-only league founded in 1978. (After dropping football, the AMCU later became the Mid-Continent Conference, and is now The Summit League.)
In 1985, the MVC stopped sponsoring football. At that time, the two remaining I-AA members from the MVC (Illinois State and Southern Illinois) joined Eastern Illinois, Northern Iowa, Southwest Missouri State, and Western Illinois from the AMCU and together became a football conference under the Gateway's auspices. Indiana State, which had left MVC football after the 1981 season to become a Division I-AA independent while remaining a full MVC member, would join the next year.
In 1992, when the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference merged with the MVC, the football conference kept the Gateway charter, with a minor name change to Gateway Football Conference. After Eastern Illinois joined the Ohio Valley Conference for football in 1995, Youngstown State joined in 1997 and was followed by Western Kentucky University (WKU) in 2001. Southwest Missouri State changed its name to Missouri State in 2005. The Gateway changed its name to the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2008.
On November 2, 2006, WKU's Board of Regents approved a proposal by the school's president to upgrade the Hilltoppers football program to the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS; formerly Division I-A). WKU left the GFC after the 2006 season, went through the two-year "reclassification" period mandated by the NCAA for schools moving from the FCS to the FBS, and became a football member of its all-sports conference, the Sun Belt Conference, in 2009. WKU moved to Conference USA in 2014.
Due to WKU's move, the Gateway was left with 7 members for the 2007 season. However, Great West Football Conference members North Dakota State and South Dakota State were asked to submit information about themselves and to attend the conference presidents' meeting. On March 7, 2007, the conference announced that both schools would join the conference beginning with the 2008 season.
On June 6, 2008, the Gateway Football Conference changed its name to the Missouri Valley Football Conference, effective immediately. This change aligns the conference with the Missouri Valley Conference, a conference in which five of the nine Missouri Valley Football schools participate. The conferences will share the "Missouri Valley" name but will remain separate administratively.
On November 4, 2010, the University of South Dakota was invited as the 10th member. This renewed an in-state rivalry with fellow MVFC member South Dakota State.
|Eastern Illinois University||Charleston, Illinois||1895||Public||11,651||1985-86||1995-96||Panthers||Summit||OVC|
|Western Kentucky University||Bowling Green, Kentucky||1906||Public||21,048||2001-02||2006-07||Hilltoppers||Sun Belt||C-USA|
- 1985: Northern Iowa (5-0)
- 1986: Eastern Illinois (5-1)
- 1987: Northern Iowa (6-0)
- 1988: Western Illinois (6-0)
- 1989: Missouri State (5-1)
- 1990: Missouri State & Northern Iowa (5-1)
- 1991: Northern Iowa (5-1)
- 1992: Northern Iowa (5-1)
- 1993: Northern Iowa (5-1)
- 1994: Northern Iowa (6-0)
- 1995: Eastern Illinois & Northern Iowa (5-1)
- 1996: Northern Iowa (6-0)
- 1997: Western Illinois (6-0)
- 1998: Western Illinois (5-1)
- 1999: Illinois State (6-0)
- 2000: Western Illinois (5-1)
- 2001: Northern Iowa (6-1)
- 2002: Western Illinois & WKU (6-1)
- 2003: Northern Iowa & Southern Illinois (6-1)
- 2004: Southern Illinois (7-0)
- 2005: Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, & Youngstown State (5-2)
- 2006: Youngstown State (6-1)
- 2007: Northern Iowa (6-0)
- 2008: Southern Illinois & Northern Iowa (7-1)
- 2009: Southern Illinois (8-0)
- 2010: Northern Iowa (6-2)
- 2011: North Dakota State (7-1) & Northern Iowa (7-1)
- 2012: North Dakota State (7-1)
- 2013: North Dakota State (8-0)
- 2014: Illinois State (7-1) & North Dakota State (7-1)
- 2015: Illinois State (7-1) & North Dakota State (7-1)
Conference titles by school
||1985, 1987, 1990†, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995†, 1996, 2001, 2003†, 2005‡, 2007, 2008†, 2010, 2011†|
|North Dakota State||
||2011†, 2012, 2013, 2014†, 2015†|
||2003†. 2004, 2005‡, 2008†, 2009|
||1988, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002†|
||1999, 2014†, 2015†|
|South Dakota State||
† 2-way tie for conference championship
‡ 3-way tie for conference championship
NCAA Football Championship Subdivision national championships
|North Dakota State||5||2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015||5|
|Youngstown State||4||1991, 1993, 1994, 1997||6||1992, 1999|
♯ Now a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).
|Illinois State||Hancock Stadium||13,391|
|Indiana State||Memorial Stadium||12,764|
|Missouri State||Plaster Sports Complex||17,500|
|North Dakota State||Fargodome||19,000|
|South Dakota State||17,000
|Southern Illinois||Saluki Stadium||15,000|
|Western Illinois||Hanson Field||17,168|
|Youngstown State||Stambaugh Stadium||20,630|
- "This is the Missouri Valley Conference". Missouri Valley Conference. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
- "Gateway Conference Adding Six Teams in Men's Football". St. Louis, Missouri: Los Angeles Times. August 25, 1985. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
- "Universities plan new football conference" (in Carbondale and Illinois). St. Joseph Gazette. July 9, 1985. p. 2G. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
- "Indiana State Historical Data". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- "WKU Regents Approve Move To Division 1-A (sic) Football". Western Kentucky University. 2006-11-02. Retrieved 2006-11-03.
- "Gateway Eyes Dakotas For Expansion". ESPN. 2006-10-26. Retrieved 2006-11-19.
- "Gateway Expands to Nine Members". Gateway Football Conference. 2007-03-07. Retrieved 2007-03-09.
- "Gateway Football Conference Changes Its Name". Gateway Football Conference. 2008-06-06. Retrieved 2008-06-07.