Missouri Valley Football Conference
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
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

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 Midwest USA
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
Youngstown State
Youngstown State
Locations of Missouri Valley Football Conference Members
Horizon League member
Missouri Valley Conference member
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 1996, 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 II North Central Conference that NDSU and SDSU left in 2004–05.[9][10][11]

On April 4, 2022, another change was announced for the league. Murray State University, which had previously been announced as a new MVC member effective in July 2022, joined the MVFC in 2023.[12]

On May 12, 2023, the most recent change to the league was announced. Western Illinois, who had been a founding member of the league, would be leaving the MVFC and their full time conference, the Summit League, for the Ohio Valley Conference beginning in fall 2023 and 2024. They would leave the Summit beginning in fall 2023, and would leave the Valley after the conclusion of the 2023 football season.[13]

Member schools

Current members

Institution Location Founded Joined Type Enrollment Endowment Nickname Colors Current
Indiana State University Terre Haute, Indiana 1865 1986 Public 12,144 $70.1 million Sycamores     Missouri Valley
Illinois State University Normal, Illinois 1857 1985 20,989 $204 million Redbirds    
Missouri State University Springfield, Missouri 1905 23,502 $193 million Bears    
Murray State University Murray, Kentucky 1922 2023 9,427 $90.8 million Racers    
University of North Dakota Grand Forks, North Dakota 1883 2020 14,172 $352.1 million Fighting Hawks     Summit
North Dakota State University Fargo, North Dakota 1890 2008 11,952 $457 million Bison    
University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, Iowa 1876 1985 10,497 $163 million Panthers     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
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
Western Illinois University Macomb, Illinois 1899 1985 2024 Leathernecks     Summit OVC

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 UniversityMissouri State UniversityIllinois State UniversityEastern Illinois University

Current members Former members Dual members (list additional conferences)

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, with 16 (10 of them outright).

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
South Dakota State 2 2022, 2023 3 2020
Southern Illinois 1 1983 1
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[14] 2017–2020
2. North Dakota State 33 Northern Iowa 2012–2014
3. South Dakota State 29 Ongoing 2022–present
4. North Dakota State 14 South Dakota State 2015–2016
5. Northern Iowa 13 Delaware 2006–2007
Western Kentucky 13 Auburn 2002–2003

FCS Record [15]

Consecutive conference wins

  1. North Dakota State, 19 (2017–2020)
  2. North Dakota State, 18 (2012–2014)
  3. South Dakota State, 16 (2022–present)


School 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 9,100
South Dakota State Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium 19,340
Southern Illinois Saluki Stadium 15,000
Youngstown State Stambaugh Stadium 20,630


  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 July 29, 2012.
  3. ^ "Universities plan new football conference". St. Joseph Gazette. St. Joseph, Missouri. Associated Press. July 9, 1985. p. 2G. Retrieved March 23, 2024 – via Google News.
  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. November 2, 2006. Archived from the original on January 15, 2008. Retrieved November 3, 2006.
  6. ^ "Gateway Eyes Dakotas For Expansion". ESPN. October 26, 2006. Retrieved November 19, 2006.
  7. ^ "Gateway Expands to Nine Members". Gateway Football Conference. March 7, 2007. Retrieved March 9, 2007.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Gateway Football Conference Changes Its Name". Gateway Football Conference. June 6, 2008. Archived from the original on November 21, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2008.
  9. ^ "North Dakota to Join Summit League, Missouri Valley Football Conference". Espn991.com. January 24, 2017. Archived from the original on March 20, 2017. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  10. ^ "Sources: North Dakota set to leave Big Sky Conference | Big Sky Conference". billingsgazette.com. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  11. ^ "Report: UND to join Summit League in 2018, MVFC in 2020". Argusleader.com. January 24, 2017. Retrieved April 23, 2017.[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. ^ "Leatherneck Athletics Moving to Ohio Valley Conference for All Sports". goleathernecks.com. Western Illinois Leathernecks. May 12, 2023. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  14. ^ "NDSU's 39-game winning streak ends with lopsided loss at Southern Illinois".
  15. ^ "North Dakota State University Athletics - Bison at Missouri State Saturday in Valley Football Game of the Week". Archived from the original on November 11, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.

Media related to Missouri Valley Football Conference at Wikimedia Commons