Gulf South Conference
Gulf South Conference logo
Established1970
AssociationNCAA
DivisionDivision II
Members13
Sports fielded
  • 17
    • men's: 8
    • women's: 9
RegionSoutheastern United States
HeadquartersBirmingham, Alabama
CommissionerMatt Wilson (since 2014)
Websitewww.gscsports.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

Originally known as the Mid-South Athletic Conference or 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 would 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 was 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 planned to add an old friend back into the fold when Mississippi College submitted its application to rejoin Division II and was 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.

2010s realignment

Map of GSC school locations
Map of GSC school locations

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 began the multi-year transition process from the NAIA to NCAA.[4] Both universities began 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] The transition was a lengthy process; Mississippi College officially became a Division II candidate starting with the 2013–14 academic year, with the school becoming a full Division II member for 2016–17.[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]

The next change to the conference's membership was officially announced on December 6, 2016 when North Alabama was accepted to the ASUN Conference and would begin a transition to Division I sports in 2018.[10] In May 2020, affiliate member Florida Tech announced the discontinuation of their football program due to the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.[11]

Chronological timeline

Member schools

Current members

The GSC currently has 13 full members, all but five are public schools:

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Colors
University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville, Alabama 1969 Public 9,988 Chargers 1993    
Auburn University at Montgomery Montgomery, Alabama 1967 Public 5,188 Warhawks 2017      
Christian Brothers University Memphis, Tennessee 1871 Catholic 1,968 Buccaneers 1996    
Delta State University Cleveland, Mississippi 1924 Public 2,727 Statesmen &
Lady Statesmen
1970    
Lee University Cleveland, Tennessee 1918 Church of God 5,189 Flames 2013    
Mississippi College Clinton, Mississippi 1826 Baptist 5,059 Choctaws 1972;
2014[a]
   
University of Montevallo[b] Montevallo, Alabama 1896 Public 2,559 Falcons 1995;
2017[c]
   
Shorter University Rome, Georgia 1873 Baptist 1,520 Hawks 2012    
Union University Jackson, Tennessee 1823 Baptist 3,172 Bulldogs 2012    
Valdosta State University Valdosta, Georgia 1906 Public 12,304 Blazers 1981    
University of West Alabama Livingston, Alabama 1835 Public 5,653 Tigers 1970    
University of West Florida Pensacola, Florida 1963 Public 13,403 Argonauts 1994    
University of West Georgia Carrollton, Georgia 1906 Public 13,510 Wolves 1983    
Notes
  1. ^ Mississippi College left the GSC after the 1995–96 school year to join NCAA Division III and the American Southwest Conference; but later re-joined back, effective in the 2014–15 school year.
  2. ^ Montevallo competed in the GSC as an affiliate member for women's lacrosse from the 2016 to 2017 spring seasons (2015–16 to 2016–17 school years).
  3. ^ Montevallo left the GSC after the 2008–09 school year to join the Peach Belt Conference, but later re-joined back, effective in the 2017–18 school year.

Affiliate members

The GSC currently has three affiliate members; all are private schools:

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Colors GSC
sport
Primary
conference
North Greenville University Tigerville, South Carolina 1891 Baptist 2,428 Crusaders 2018–19     football Carolinas
Spring Hill College Mobile, Alabama 1830 Catholic 1,317 Badgers 2014–15     women's golf;
men's soccer;
women's soccer
Southern (SIAC)
Young Harris College Young Harris, Georgia 1886 United Methodist 1,415 Mountain Lions 2015–16     women's lacrosse Peach Belt

Former members

The GSC had 17 former full members, all but three were public schools:

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Current
conference
Arkansas Tech University Russellville, Arkansas 1909 Public 12,009 Wonder Boys &
Golden Suns
1995–96 2010–11 Great American
University of Arkansas at Monticello Monticello, Arkansas 1910 Public 3,659 Boll Weevils &
Cotton Blossoms
1995–96 2010–11 Great American
University of Central Arkansas Conway, Arkansas 1907 Public 10,869 Bears &
Sugar Bears
1993–94 2005–06 ASUN
(NCAA D-I)
Harding University[a] Searcy, Arkansas 1924 Churches of Christ 6,009 Bisons &
Lady Bisons
2000–01 2010–11 Great American
Henderson State University Arkadelphia, Arkansas 1890 Public 3,530 Reddies 1993–94 2010–11 Great American
Jacksonville State University Jacksonville, Alabama 1883 Public 9,238 Gamecocks 1970–71 1992–93 ASUN
(NCAA D-I)
(C-USA in 2023)
Lincoln Memorial University Harrogate, Tennessee 1897 Nonsectarian 4,867 Railsplitters 1992–93 2005–06 South Atlantic (SAC)
Mississippi University for Women Columbus, Mississippi 1884 Public 2,479 Blues[b] 1993–94 2002–03 D-III Independent
(NCAA D-III)
(SLIAC in 2022)
University of New Orleans[c] New Orleans, Louisiana 1958 Public 8,511 Privateers 2011–12 2011–12 Southland
(NCAA D-I)
Nicholls State University Thibodaux, Louisiana 1948 Public 6,366 Colonels 1971–72 1978–79 Southland
(NCAA D-I)
University of North Alabama Florence, Alabama 1830 Public 7,650 Lions 1971–72 2017–18 ASUN
(NCAA D-I)
Northwestern State University Natchitoches, Louisiana 1884 Public 10,979 Demons 1971–72 1974–75 Southland
(NCAA D-I)
Ouachita Baptist University[a] Arkadelphia, Arkansas 1886 Baptist 1,569 Tigers 2000–01 2010–11 Great American
Southeastern Louisiana University Hammond, Louisiana 1925 Public 14,327 Lions 1971–72 1978–79 Southland
(NCAA D-I)
Southern Arkansas University Magnolia, Arkansas 1909 Public 4,138 Muleriders 1995–96 2010–11 Great American
University of Tennessee at Martin Martin, Tennessee 1927 Public 6,705 Skyhawks 1970–71 1990–91 Ohio Valley (OVC)
(NCAA D-I)
Troy State University Troy, Alabama 1887 Public 17,494 Trojans 1970–71 1990–91 Sun Belt
(NCAA D-I)
Notes
  1. ^ a b Harding and Ouachita Baptist competed in the GSC as affiliate members for men's soccer during the 2011 fall season (2011–12 school year).
  2. ^ Their current nickname is now known as the Owls.
  3. ^ New Orleans was a provisional full member in the GSC that competed in baseball, men's & women's cross country, men's & women's golf, men's & women's tennis, and volleyball during the 2011–12 school year.

Former affiliate members

The GSC had two former affiliate members, one was a public school and another was a private school:

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Left GSC
sport(s)
Primary
conference
Current
conference
in GSC sport
Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, Florida 1958 Nonsectarian 6,451 Panthers 2013–14 2019–20 football Sunshine State dropped program
University of Montevallo Montevallo, Alabama 1896 Public 2,559 Falcons 2015–16 2016–17 women's lacrosse Gulf South

Membership timeline

North Greenville UniversityAuburn University at MontgomeryYoung Harris CollegeSpring Hill CollegeFlorida Institute of TechnologyLee UniversityUnion UniversityShorter UniversityUniversity of New OrleansOuachita Baptist UniversityHarding UniversityChristian Brothers UniversitySouthern Arkansas UniversityUniversity of MontevalloUniversity of Arkansas at MonticelloArkansas Tech UniversityUniversity of West FloridaMississippi University for WomenHenderson State UniversityUniversity of Central ArkansasUniversity of Alabama in HuntsvilleLincoln Memorial UniversityUniversity of West GeorgiaValdosta State UniversityMississippi CollegeSoutheastern Louisiana UniversityNicholls State UniversityNorthwestern State UniversityUniversity of West AlabamaTroy UniversityUniversity of Tennessee at MartinUniversity of North AlabamaJacksonville State UniversityDelta State University

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

Conference venues

School Football Basketball
Stadium Capacity Arena Capacity
Alabama–Huntsville non-football school Spragins Hall 2,250
Auburn–Montgomery non-football school AUM Basketball Complex 2,670
Christian Brothers non-football school Canale Arena 1,000
Delta State McCool Stadium 8,000 Walter Sillers Coliseum 4,000
Lee non-football school Walker Arena 2,700
Mississippi College Robinson-Hale Stadium 8,500 A.E. Wood Coliseum 3,500
Montevallo non-football school Trustmark Arena 2,000
North Greenville Younts Stadium 5,000 football-only school
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 Admiral Fetterman Field 5,038 UWF Fieldhouse 1,180
West Georgia University Stadium 9,000 The Coliseum 6,790

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.[12][13]

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

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 5
Auburn–Montgomery Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 5
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
Montevallo 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 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 7
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 13 13 12 8 10 11 10 7 84
Affiliate members
Spring Hill Green tickY 1
North Greenville Green tickY 1

Women's sponsored sports by school

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 7
Auburn–Montgomery 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 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
Montevallo Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 9
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 7
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 13 13 7 4 13 13 11 8 12 94
Affiliate members
Spring Hill Green tickY Green tickY 2
Young Harris Green tickY 1

Other sponsored sports by school

School Men Women
Ice
Hockey
Lacrosse Swimming
& Diving
Track
& Field
Indoor
Wrestling Swimming
& Diving
Track
& Field
Indoor
Alabama–Huntsville WCHA PBC IND IND
Delta State NSISC NSISC
Lee IND IND
Mississippi College IND IND
Montevallo PBC IND IND
Shorter PBC IND IND IND
West Florida NSISC

National championships

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 • 1989 • 1990 • 1992
Southeastern Louisiana 1977
Football West Alabama 1971
Troy State 1984 • 1987
Mississippi College 1989
Jacksonville State 1992
North Alabama 1993 • 1994 • 1995
Delta State 2000
Valdosta State 2004 • 2007 • 2012 • 2018
West Florida 2019
Men's golf Troy 1976 • 1977 • 1984
West Florida 2001 • 2008
Women's golf Troy State 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
North Alabama 2016
Men's tennis West Florida 2004 • 2005 • 2014 • 2017
Valdosta State 2006 • 2011
Men's track & field outdoor Southeastern Louisiana 1975
Women's volleyball North Alabama 2003

References

  1. ^ Pickle, David (March 9, 2011). "GAC becomes 23rd DII conference". NCAA.com. National Collegiate Athletic Association. Archived from the original on December 22, 2011. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  2. ^ "GSC Admits UNO for Conference Membership". Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  3. ^ Daniels, Ed. "UNO Athletics to remain Division I in NCAA". SportsNOLA.com. Archived from the original on May 16, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  4. ^ Staff (July 11, 2011). "NCAA approves Union's application for NCAA Division II membership process". The Jackson Sun. Retrieved July 12, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "NCAA accepts Shorter's application for NCAA II membership process". Shorter University. July 12, 2011. Archived from the original on September 16, 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 9 October 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  7. ^ Staff (October 16, 2012). "Exciting Development for MC Sports". Clinton Courier. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  8. ^ "It's Time to be II". Mississippi College. Archived from the original on October 21, 2014. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  9. ^ "Division II Admits its 300th Member". NCAA. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  10. ^ "UNA Accepts ASUN Division I Invitation" (Press release). North Alabama Lions. December 6, 2016. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
  11. ^ Rogers, Eric; Neale, Rick (May 11, 2020). "Florida Tech cuts football program, announces layoffs due to COVID-19 impacts". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  12. ^ "GSC Adds Women's Lacrosse". Gulf South Conference. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  13. ^ "GSC Adds Men's and Women's Track & Field". Gulf South Conference. Retrieved August 13, 2015.