Missouri Valley Football Conference
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2022 Missouri Valley Football Conference season
Missouri Valley Football Conference logo.svg
FormerlyGateway Football Conference (1992–2008)
Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference (1982–1992)
Founded1982 (chartered)[1]
1985 (began football)
CommissionerPatty Viverito (since 1982)
Sports fielded
  • 1 (football)
    • men's: 1
    • women's: 0
DivisionDivision I
No. of teams11 (12 in 2023)
HeadquartersSt. Louis, Missouri
Official websitewww.valley-football.org
Location of teams in (({title))}

The Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC), 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.


Gateway Conference logo
Gateway Conference logo

The Missouri Valley Football Conference has a complex history that involves three other conferences:

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.[3] 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.[4]

Missouri Valley Football Conference is located in USA Midwest
Illinois State
Indiana State
Missouri State
Missouri State
Murray State
Murray State
North Dakota State
North Dakota State
North Dakota
North Dakota
Northern Iowa
Northern Iowa
South Dakota
South Dakota
South Dakota State
South Dakota State
Southern Illinois
Southern Illinois
Western Illinois
Western Illinois
Youngstown State
Youngstown State
Locations of Missouri Valley Football Conference Members
Red pog.svg
Horizon League member
Blue pog.svg
Missouri Valley Conference member
Yellow pog.svg
Summit League member

In 1992, when the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference merged with the MVC,[1] 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 in 2001. Southwest Missouri State changed its name to Missouri State in 2005.

Western Kentucky moved to the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS; formerly Division I-A) after the 2006 season,[5] leaving the GFC with seven members for the 2007 season. Great West Football Conference members North Dakota State and South Dakota State[6] were invited to join the conference beginning with the 2008 season.[7] Subsequently, the Gateway Football Conference changed its name to the Missouri Valley Football Conference in June 2008. This change aligned the conference with the Missouri Valley Conference, a conference in which five of the nine Missouri Valley Football schools were (and still are) all-sports members. The conferences continue to share the "Missouri Valley" name, and space in the same building in St. Louis, but remain separate administratively.[8]

The University of South Dakota joined as the 10th member in 2012. The University of North Dakota joined as the 11th member in 2020, bringing back the yearly rivalries among North Dakota, North Dakota State, South Dakota and South Dakota State which had existed under the Division 2 North Central Conference that NDSU and SDSU left in 2004–05. [9][10][11]

The most recent change to the MVFC membership was announced on April 4, 2022. Murray State University, which had previously been announced as a new MVC member effective in July 2022, will join the MVFC in 2023.[12]

Member schools

Current members

Institution Location Founded Joined Type Enrollment Endowment Nickname Colors Initial primary
when joining
the MVFC
Indiana State University Terre Haute, Indiana 1865 1986 Public 12,144 $70.1 million Sycamores     Missouri Valley
Illinois State University Normal, Illinois 1857 1985 20,635 $196.9 million Redbirds    
Missouri State University Springfield, Missouri 1905 23,502 $193 million Bears     Summit Missouri Valley
Murray State University Murray, Kentucky 1922 2023 9,427 $90.8 million Racers     Missouri Valley
University of North Dakota Grand Forks, North Dakota 1883 2020 13,876 $352.1 million Fighting Hawks     Summit
North Dakota State University Fargo, North Dakota 1890 2008 12,242 $457 million Bison    
University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, Iowa 1876 1985 10,497 $163 million Panthers     Summit Missouri Valley
University of South Dakota Vermillion, South Dakota 1862 2012 9,856 $328.5 million Coyotes     Summit
South Dakota State University Brookings, South Dakota 1881 2008 11,331 $213 million Jackrabbits    
Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Illinois 1869 1985 11,366 $190.1 million Salukis     Missouri Valley
Western Illinois University Macomb, Illinois 1899 6,170 $63.6 million Leathernecks     Summit
Youngstown State University Youngstown, Ohio 1908 1997 12,155 $275.9 million Penguins     Horizon

Former members

Institution Location Founded Joined Left Type Nickname Colors Primary
in the MVFC
Eastern Illinois University Charleston, Illinois 1895 1985 1995 Public Panthers     Summit OVC
Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, Kentucky 1906 2001 2007 Hilltoppers     Sun Belt C-USA

Membership timeline

Murray State UniversityUniversity of North DakotaUniversity of South DakotaSouth Dakota State UniversityNorth Dakota State UniversityWestern Kentucky UniversityYoungstown State UniversityIndiana State UniversityWestern Illinois UniversitySouthern Illinois UniversityUniversity of Northern IowaMissouri State UniversityIllinois State UniversityEastern Illinois University

Conference champions

See also: List of Missouri Valley Football Conference champions

11 different teams have won MVFC championships. The most recent champion is South Dakota State. The school with the most championships is Northern Iowa (10).

NCAA Football Championship Subdivision national championships

Team Titles Title Years Finals Runner-up
North Dakota State 9 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021 10 2022
Youngstown State 4 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997 7 1992, 1999, 2016
Southern Illinois 1 1983 1
South Dakota State 1 2022 2 2020
Western Kentucky 1 2002 1
Northern Iowa 0 1 2005
Illinois State 0 1 2014

Now a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).


Overall winning streaks

# Team Streak Spoiler Season(s)
1. North Dakota State 39 † Southern Illinois[13] 2017–2020
2. North Dakota State 33 Northern Iowa 2012–2014
3. North Dakota State 14 South Dakota State 2015–2016
4. Northern Iowa 13 Delaware 2006–2007
Western Kentucky 13 Auburn 2002–2003

FCS Record [14]

Consecutive conference wins

  1. North Dakota State, 19 (2017–2020)
  2. North Dakota State, 18 (2012–2014)


Team Stadium Capacity
Illinois State Hancock Stadium 13,391
Indiana State Memorial Stadium 12,764
Missouri State Plaster Sports Complex 17,500
Murray State Roy Stewart Stadium 16,800
North Dakota Alerus Center 12,283
North Dakota State Fargodome 18,700
Northern Iowa UNI-Dome 16,324
South Dakota DakotaDome 10,000
South Dakota State Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium 19,340
Southern Illinois Saluki Stadium 15,000
Western Illinois Hanson Field 16,368
Youngstown State Stambaugh Stadium 20,630

See also


  1. ^ a b c "This is the Missouri Valley Conference". Missouri Valley Conference. Archived from the original on September 15, 2015. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
  2. ^ "Gateway Conference Adding Six Teams in Men's Football". Los Angeles Times. St. Louis, Missouri. August 25, 1985. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  3. ^ "Universities plan new football conference". Carbondale, Illinois: St. Joseph Gazette. July 9, 1985. p. 2G. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  4. ^ "Indiana State Historical Data". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  5. ^ "WKU Regents Approve Move To Division 1-A (sic) Football". Western Kentucky University. 2006-11-02. Archived from the original on 2008-01-15. Retrieved 2006-11-03.
  6. ^ "Gateway Eyes Dakotas For Expansion". ESPN. 2006-10-26. Retrieved 2006-11-19.
  7. ^ "Gateway Expands to Nine Members". Gateway Football Conference. 2007-03-07. Retrieved 2007-03-09.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Gateway Football Conference Changes Its Name". Gateway Football Conference. 2008-06-06. Archived from the original on November 21, 2020. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
  9. ^ "North Dakota to Join Summit League, Missouri Valley Football Conference". Espn991.com. 2017-01-24. Archived from the original on 2017-03-20. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
  10. ^ "Sources: North Dakota set to leave Big Sky Conference | Big Sky Conference". billingsgazette.com. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
  11. ^ "Report: UND to join Summit League in 2018, MVFC in 2020". Argusleader.com. 2017-01-24. Retrieved 2017-04-23.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Murray State Football To Join Missouri Valley Football Conference July of 2023" (Press release). Missouri Valley Football Conference. April 4, 2022. Archived from the original on April 4, 2022. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  13. ^ "NDSU's 39-game winning streak ends with lopsided loss at Southern Illinois".
  14. ^ "North Dakota State University Athletics - Bison at Missouri State Saturday in Valley Football Game of the Week". Archived from the original on 2018-11-11. Retrieved 2018-11-11.