Southland Conference
FormerlySouthland Football League (1996–2002, football-only)
CommissionerChris Grant (since 2022)
Sports fielded
  • 18
    • men's: 8
    • women's: 10
DivisionDivision I
No. of teams10
HeadquartersFrisco, Texas
RegionWest South Central
Location of teams in

The Southland Conference, abbreviated as SLC, is a collegiate athletic conference which operates in the South Central United States (specifically Texas and Louisiana). It participates in the NCAA's Division I for all sports; for football, it participates in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The Southland sponsors 18 sports, 10 for women and eight for men, and is governed by a presidential Board of Directors and an Advisory Council of athletic and academic administrators. Chris Grant became the Southland's seventh commissioner on April 5, 2022.[1] From 1996 to 2002, for football only, the Southland Conference was known as the Southland Football League.[2]

The conference's offices are located in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas. According to a press release from April 11, 2022, the conference was to undergo a rebrand in 2022 that included a new name and logo.[3] The rebranding was unveiled in March 2023, with a new logo but no change to the conference name.[4]


Chronological timeline

Southland Conference
Location of Southland members: full

Founded in 1963, its members were Abilene Christian College (now Abilene Christian University; departed in 1973 for NCAA Division II, but moved to Division I and rejoined the Southland in 2013), Arkansas State College (now Arkansas State University; departed in 1987, now a member of the Sun Belt Conference), Arlington State College (now The University of Texas at Arlington, departed in 2012 and now in the Western Athletic Conference),[5] Lamar State College of Technology (now Lamar University; departed in 1987, rejoined in 1999, left again in 2021, returned in 2022),[6] and Trinity University (departed in 1972, now participating in NCAA Division III).

Since its founding, the Southland Conference has been the home for 18 college and university all-sports programs (see membership timeline below). In addition, the conference has also been home to some schools for one sport only. In the case of football, Troy University fielded a team from 1996 to 2000 and Jacksonville State University did so from 1997 to 2002. This has also been the case for some Olympic sports like men's tennis, in which the University of Texas–Pan American (UTPA) and the University of New Orleans (UNO) fielded teams as affiliate members before 2013, when UTPA joined the WAC and UNO became a full Southland member.

The Southland underwent major turmoil in 2021, losing five members. On January 14, the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) announced that four Southland members—Abilene Christian, Lamar, Sam Houston, and Stephen F. Austin—would join that conference in July 2022.[7] Within a week, the Southland expelled those four schools, leading the WAC to move their entry up to July 2021.[8][9] A fifth member, Central Arkansas, announced on January 29 that it would join the ASUN Conference effective that July.[10] At the time, the ASUN was a non-football conference, but soon entered into a football partnership with the WAC that gave Central Arkansas and two other incoming ASUN members a football home until an ASUN football league was established.[11]

The Southland began the process of rebuilding its core membership in September 2021, announcing that Texas A&M University–Commerce would start a transition from NCAA Division II and join the conference in July 2022.[12] The SLC also announced a football scheduling alliance with the Ohio Valley Conference, another FCS league that had experienced major membership losses during the early-2020s realignment cycle, for the 2022 and 2023 seasons.[13] However, shortly after A&M–Commerce was announced as a future member, the SLC was set to experience further attrition when the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) announced that it would leave for the WAC after the 2021–22 school year.[14] Ultimately, however, this did not come to pass, as UIW announced it would be staying in the SLC only 7 months after announcing its departure.[15] McNeese was also courted by the WAC, and also flirted with a move to Conference USA, but eventually stayed in the SLC. According to the American Press, the daily newspaper of McNeese's home of Lake Charles, Louisiana, McNeese became "the de facto lead school in the league". It will host the SLC's football media day through at least the 2026 season, as well as the conference tournaments in men's and women's basketball, baseball, and softball through 2026.[16]

More recently, Lamar announced it would return to the SLC effective in 2023–24.[17] In addition, on April 11, 2022 the conference announced in a press release that it had partnered with Troika Media Group to institute a rebrand to be implemented before the end of the calendar year. The release stated that the rebrand would include, among other things, a new name for the conference.[18] On July 11, 2022, Lamar and the Southland Conference announced Lamar's accelerated return to the SLC effective immediately.[19] The following day saw the SLC lose two of its women's golf associates when the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Northeast Conference (NEC) announced a partnership for baseball and men's and women's golf that saw all MEAC schools that sponsored those sports become NEC associates. Accordingly, Delaware State and Maryland Eastern Shore, which had joined SLC women's golf just a year earlier, moved that sport to the NEC.[20]

Member schools

Current full members

Institution Location Founded Joined Type Enrollment Endowment
Nickname Colors
Houston Christian University[a] Houston, Texas 1960 2013 Private 4,257[22] $90.6 Huskies    
University of the Incarnate Word San Antonio, Texas 1881 2013 Private 9,191[23] $143.8 Cardinals      
Lamar University Beaumont, Texas 1923 1963;
Public 17,044[25] $131 Cardinals/Lady Cardinals    
McNeese State University Lake Charles, Louisiana 1939 1972 Public 7,648[26] $118 Cowboys/Cowgirls    
University of New Orleans New Orleans, Louisiana 1958 2013 Public 8,151[27] $74.7 Privateers      
Nicholls State University Thibodaux, Louisiana 1948 1991 Public 6,366[28] $30 Colonels    
Northwestern State University Natchitoches, Louisiana 1884 1987 Public 10,979[29] $18 Demons/Lady Demons      
Southeastern Louisiana University Hammond, Louisiana 1925 1997 Public 13,492[30] $34 Lions/Lady Lions    
Texas A&M University–Commerce Commerce, Texas 1889 2022 Public 12,385[31] $22 Lions    
Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi Corpus Christi, Texas 1947 2006 Public 12,174[32] $24.7 Islanders      

Associate members

The Southland added four associate members in golf effective with the 2021–22 school year. One school joined in men's golf only, two in women's golf only, and one in both.[33][34] A fifth school joined at the same time for both men's and women's tennis,[35] and two more schools joined in July 2022, one for men's and women's golf and tennis and the other for beach volleyball.[36][37] However, as noted previously, two of these schools left a year later when their full-time home of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference entered into a women's golf partnership with the Northeast Conference. The Southland Conference announced UIC joining the conference as an affiliate in men's tennis for the 2022–23 season on July 14.[38] San Jose State was added as a multi-year beach volleyball affiliate beginning with the 2023 season (2022–23 school year).[39] UIC would only spend one season in SLC men's tennis, moving that sport to the Mid-American Conference in July 2023.[40]

Institution Nickname Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Current
Augusta University Jaguars Augusta, Georgia 1828 Public 9,274 2021–
Peach Belt
(NCAA Division II)
Men's golf
Women's golf
Boise State University Broncos Boise, Idaho 1932 Public 22,064 2022–23 Mountain West Beach volleyball
Bryant University Bulldogs Smithfield, Rhode Island 1863 Private 3,751 2022–23 America East Men's golf
Women's golf
Men's tennis
Women's tennis
Francis Marion University Patriots Florence, South Carolina 1970 Public 4,187 2021–22 Carolinas
(NCAA Division II)
Men's golf
New Jersey Institute of Technology Highlanders Newark, New Jersey 1881 Public 11,901 2021–22 America East Men's tennis
Women's tennis
San Jose State University Spartans San Jose, California 1857 Public 33,848 2022–23 Mountain West Beach Volleyball

Former full members

School names and nicknames listed here reflect those in use in each institution's final school year of Southland Conference membership.

Institution Location Founded Joined Left Type Nickname Colors Current
Abilene Christian University Abilene, Texas 1906 1963;
Private Wildcats     WAC[c]
Arkansas State University Jonesboro, Arkansas 1909 1963 1987 Public Indians[d]     Sun Belt
University of Central Arkansas Conway, Arkansas 1907 2006 2021 Public Bears/Sugar Bears     ASUN[c]
Louisiana Tech University Ruston, Louisiana 1894 1971 1987 Public Bulldogs
Lady Techsters
Northeast Louisiana University Monroe, Louisiana 1931 1982 2006 Public Indians[e]     Sun Belt
University of North Texas Denton, Texas 1890 1982 1996 Public Mean Green     The American
Oral Roberts University Tulsa, Oklahoma 1963 2012 2014 Private Golden Eagles       Summit League
University of Southwestern Louisiana[f] Lafayette, Louisiana 1898 1971 1982 Public Ragin' Cajuns     Sun Belt
Sam Houston State University Huntsville, Texas 1879 1987 2021 Public Bearkats     CUSA
Stephen F. Austin State University Nacogdoches, Texas 1923 1987 2021 Public Lumberjacks/Ladyjacks     WAC[c]
Texas State University[g] San Marcos, Texas 1899 1987 2012 Public Bobcats     Sun Belt
University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, Texas 1895 1963 2012 Public Mavericks       WAC
University of Texas at San Antonio San Antonio, Texas 1969 1991 2012 Public Roadrunners       The American
Trinity University San Antonio, Texas 1869 1963 1972 Private Tigers     SCAC
(NCAA Division III)
  1. ^ As of September 2022, Houston Baptist University's name transitioned to "Houston Christian University" and will play under that name, including the shorthand "Houston Christian" effective immediately.[21]
  2. ^ Lamar departed in 1987, rejoined in 1999, left again in 2021, returned in 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Abilene Christian, Central Arkansas, and Stephen F. Austin play football in the United Athletic Conference, a football-only partnership between the ASUN and WAC.
  4. ^ Arkansas State changed its nickname to Red Wolves after leaving the Southland Conference.
  5. ^ Louisiana–Monroe changed its nickname to Warhawks after leaving the Southland Conference.
  6. ^ Southwestern Louisiana changed its institutional name to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1999, after leaving the Southland Conference. Still later, the school changed its athletic branding to "Louisiana", with no city identifier.
  7. ^ Texas State dropped its city of San Marcos from its institutional name in 2013, a year after leaving the Southland Conference.

Former associate members

Institution Nickname Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Left Current
Current conference
in former
SLC sport(s)
Centenary College of Louisiana[a] Gentlemen Shreveport, Louisiana 1825 Private/United Methodist 500 2000–01 2002–03 SCAC
(NCAA Division III)[41]
N/A men's tennis
Delaware State University Hornets Dover, Delaware 1891 Public[b]
5,054 2021–22 2021–22 MEAC NEC Women's golf
Jacksonville State University Gamecocks Jacksonville, Alabama 1883 Public 9,490 1997–98 2002–03 CUSA football
University of Illinois Chicago Flames Chicago, Illinois 1859 Public 34,199 2022–23 2023–24 Missouri Valley MAC Men's tennis
University of Southwestern Louisiana[c] Ragin' Cajuns Lafayette, Louisiana 1898 Public 16,885 1982–83 1986–87 Sun Belt women's sports
University of Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks Princess Anne, Maryland 1886 Public 2,888 2021–22 2021–22 MEAC NEC Women's golf
University of New Orleans Privateers New Orleans, Louisiana 1958 Public 9,825 2012–13 2012–13 Southland men's tennis
Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi Islanders Corpus Christi, Texas 1947 Public 9,600 2003–04 2005–06 Southland men's tennis
University of Texas–Pan American[d] Broncs[e] Edinburg, Texas[f] 1927 Public 17,048 2000–01 2012–13 WAC men's tennis
Troy State University[g] Trojans Troy, Alabama 1887 Public 29,689 1996–97 2000–01 Sun Belt football
  1. ^ Centenary no longer sponsors men's tennis.
  2. ^ Delaware State is officially chartered as a "privately-governed, state-assisted" institution. This status is broadly similar to that of New York State's statutory colleges, most of which are housed at Cornell University, or institutions in Pennsylvania's Commonwealth System of Higher Education.
  3. ^ Currently known as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and branded athletically as Louisiana.
  4. ^ Texas–Pan American (UTPA) ceased to exist at the start of the 2015–16 school year, when it merged with the nearby University of Texas at Brownsville to create the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV).[42]
  5. ^ Nearly a year before the merger, the University of Texas System announced that UTRGV would directly inherit the UTPA athletic program.[43] The new nickname of Vaqueros was announced in November 2014.[44]
  6. ^ The UTRGV athletic program continues to be based at the former UTPA main campus in Edinburg.
  7. ^ Currently known as Troy University.

Membership timeline

Texas A&M University–CommerceUniversity of New OrleansUniversity of the Incarnate WordHouston Christian UniversityHouston Christian UniversityOral Roberts UniversityTexas A&M University–Corpus ChristiUniversity of Central ArkansasSoutheastern Louisiana UniversityJacksonville State UniversityTroy UniversityNicholls State UniversityUniversity of Texas at San AntonioStephen F. Austin State UniversitySam Houston State UniversityNorthwestern State UniversityTexas State UniversityUniversity of Louisiana at MonroeUniversity of North TexasMcNeese State UniversityLouisiana Tech UniversityUniversity of Louisiana at LafayetteUniversity of Texas at ArlingtonLamar UniversityLamar UniversityArkansas State UniversityAbilene Christian UniversityAbilene Christian UniversityTrinity University (Texas)

Full members Full members (non-football) Associate members (football only)

1. - Southwestern Louisiana became the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (Louisiana–Lafayette, now athletically branded as simply Louisiana) in 1999.
2. - Northeast Louisiana became the University of Louisiana at Monroe (Louisiana–Monroe) in 1999.


The Southland Conference sponsors championship competition in eight men's and 10 women's NCAA sanctioned sports.[45] The most recently added sport is beach volleyball, with SLC competition starting in 2019–20.[46]

Teams in Southland Conference competition
Sport Men's Women's
Beach Volleyball
Cross Country
Track and Field (Indoor)
Track and Field (Outdoor)
Volleyball (Indoor)

Men's sponsored sports by school

School Baseball Basketball Cross Country Football Golf Tennis Track & Field
Track & Field
Total Southland Sports
Houston Christian Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes 7
Incarnate Word Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 8
Lamar Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 8
McNeese Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes 7
New Orleans Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes 7
Nicholls Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No 6
Northwestern State Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes 6
Southeastern Louisiana Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes 7
Texas A&M–Commerce No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes 6
Texas A&M–Corpus Christi Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes 6
Affiliate members
Augusta Yes 1
Bryant Yes Yes 2
Francis Marion Yes 1
NJIT Yes 1
Totals 9 10 10 8 8+3 5+2 9 9 68+5

Men's varsity sports not sponsored by the Southland Conference which are played by SLC schools:

School Soccer Swimming &
Houston Christian OVC No No
Incarnate Word OVC MPSF MPSF


Women's sponsored sports by school

School Basketball Beach Volleyball Cross Country Golf Soccer Softball Tennis Track & Field
Track & Field
Volleyball Total Southland Sports
Houston Christian Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes 9
Incarnate Word Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 9
Lamar Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 9
McNeese Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 9
New Orleans Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes 7
Nicholls Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 9
Northwestern State Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 8
Southeastern Louisiana Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 9
Texas A&M–Commerce Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes 8
Texas A&M–Corpus Christi Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 10
Affiliate members
Augusta Yes 1
Boise State Yes 1
Bryant Yes Yes 2
NJIT Yes 1
San Jose State Yes 1
Totals 10 5+2 10 6+2 9 9 8+2 10 10 10 87+6

Women's varsity sports not sponsored by the Southland Conference which are played by SLC schools:

School Swimming &
Incarnate Word MPSF MPSF


Former and current players from the Southland that would go on to star in the National Football League include Gary Barbaro, Mike Barber, Fred Barnett, Bill Bergey, Derrick Blaylock, Bubby Brister, Ray Brown, Roger Carr, Mark Carrier, Larry Centers, Bruce Collie, Keith Davis, Fred Dean, Jackie Harris, Stan Humphries, Buford Jordan, Wade Key, Josh McCown, Tim McKyer, Jeff Novak, Kavika Pittman, Mike Quinn, Billy Ryckman, Ricky Sanders, Eugene Seale, Rafael Septién, Terrance Shaw, Marcus Spears, Chad Stanley, Pat Tilley, Jeremiah Trotter, Marvin Upshaw, Lardarius Webb and Spergon Wynn. The Southland was instrumental in founding the Independence Bowl, and the Southland champion served as the automatic home team for that bowl from 1976–1980.[47] On May 21, 2014, the Southland Conference approved the use of instant replay at all its home games becoming the first FCS league to fully commit to having all games utilize instant replay.[48][49]

Men's basketball

Among notable NBA stars attending Southland Conference schools include Karl Malone (Louisiana Tech), Joe Dumars (McNeese), Jeff Foster (Southwest Texas State, now known as Texas State), and Andrew Toney (Southwestern Louisiana, now known as Louisiana).

Women's basketball

Former member Louisiana–Monroe (then Northeast Louisiana) advanced to the 1985 NCAA Women's Final Four.


Spending and revenue

Total revenue includes ticket sales, contributions and donations, rights/licensing, student fees, school funds and all other sources including TV income, camp income, food and novelties. Total expenses includes coaching/staff, scholarships, buildings/ground, maintenance, utilities and rental fees and all other costs including recruiting, team travel, equipment and uniforms, conference dues and insurance costs.

Conference Rank (2021) National Rank (2021) Institution 2021 Total Revenue from Athletics[50] 2021 Total Expenses on Athletics[50]
1 146 Incarnate Word $25,602,166 $18,416,698
2 228 Lamar $17,191,448 $16,715,540
3 233 Houston Christian $16,886,685 $16,886,685
4 282 Southeastern Louisiana $12,931,768 $12,931,768
5 293 Texas A&M Commerce $12,456,510 $12,369,254
6 302 McNeese $11,966,973 $11,966,973
7 307 Texas A&M Corpus Christi $11,498,700 $11,498,700
8 331 Nicholls $9,282,352 $9,282,352
9 335 Northwestern State $8,510,436 $8,510,436
10 343 New Orleans $6,828,362 $6,828,362
Note 1 - Data from U.S. Department of Education Equity in Athletics Data Analysis Cutting Tool Database. Ranking based on revenue position in selection of records using NCAA Division I-FBS, NCAA Division I-FCS, and NCAA Division I without football criteria. (348 records were retrieved.) OPE Equity in Athletics Data Analysis Cutting Tool used in order to provide ranking for private institutions in the conference.
Note 2 - Texas A&M Commerce not in Division I dataset for 2020. Position is based on a "would be" assumption.
Note 3 - Non football programs
Note 4 - Reporting period is from midyear 2020 to midyear 2021


School Football stadium Capacity Soccer stadium Capacity Basketball arena Capacity Baseball stadium Capacity Softball stadium Capacity
Houston Christian Husky Stadium 5,000[51] Sorrels Field 500 Sharp Gymnasium 1,000 Husky Field 500[52] Husky Field 300
Incarnate Word Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium 6,000 Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium 6,000 McDermott Convocation Center 2,000 Sullivan Field 1,000 H-E-B Field 250
Lamar Provost Umphrey Stadium 16,000 Lamar Soccer Complex 500 Montagne Center 10,080 Vincent–Beck Stadium 3,500 Lamar Softball Complex 500[53]
McNeese Cowboy Stadium 17,410 Cowgirl Field 300 The Legacy Center 4,242[54] Joe Miller Ballpark 2,000 Joe Miller Field at Cowgirl Diamond 1,200
New Orleans Non-football school Non-soccer school Lakefront Arena 8,785[55] Maestri Field at Privateer Park 2,900[56] Non-softball school
Nicholls Manning Field at John L. Guidry Stadium 10,500 Thibodaux Regional Sports Complex[57] 1,000 Stopher Gymnasium 3,800 Ben Meyer Diamond at Ray E. Didier Field 2,100 Swanner Field at Geo Surfaces Park 500
Northwestern State Harry Turpin Stadium 15,971 Lady Demon Soccer Complex 1,000 Prather Coliseum 3,400 H. Alvin Brown–C. C. Stroud Field 1,200 Lady Demon Diamond 1,000[58]
Southeastern Louisiana Strawberry Stadium 7,408 Southeastern Soccer Complex 1,000 University Center 7,500 Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field 2,500 North Oak Park 500
Texas A&M–Commerce Ernest Hawkins Field at Memorial Stadium 11,582 Lion Soccer Field 500 Texas A&M–Commerce Field House 3,055 Non-baseball school John Cain Family Softball Complex 800
Texas A&M–Corpus Christi Non-football school Dr. Jack Dugan Soccer & Track Stadium 1,000 American Bank Center 8,000 Chapman Field 750 Chapman Field 200



Southland Conference Television Network

The Conference began its own syndicated broadcast entity in 2008, the Southland Conference Television Network. It aired in over 25 markets in the league's four-state region, plus on national networks such as Fox College Sports, ESPN GamePlan, and ESPN3. In 2008-09, the network featured 35 broadcasts, and over 30 in each of the next four seasons.

For 2013 and 2014, the syndicated network was restricted to only regular season football games. The remainder of the schedule was available on ESPN3 or regional sports networks, including regular season and tournament basketball as well as championships in soccer, volleyball, softball and baseball. ESPN3 also carried an exclusive package of football games beyond the syndicated network's schedule.

SLCTV dissolved on July 1, 2015. Beginning with the 2015–16 school year, the Southland Conference entered into an agreement with the American Sports Network to syndicate and televise selected games,[60] while also continuing its association with ESPN3.[61] A separate deal will allow for Louisiana-based Cox Sports Television to air select games.[62]

After ASN folded following the 2016–17 academic year, the Southland announced a television agreement with Eleven Sports.[63] During 2017-18, conference-controlled games aired on ESPN3, Eleven Sports, Fox Sports Southwest and Cox Sports Television. For 2018-19, ESPN productions began to be split between ESPN3 and ESPN+ platforms. On October 8, 2020, the Southland Conference announced a multi-year extension through the 2024–25 academic year as well as an expansion of its media rights agreement with ESPN.[64]


Institution University System Endowment[65][66] U.S. News
Houston Christian University Not Applicable $111,000,000[68] 61
(Regional: West)
(Larger Programs)
University of the Incarnate Word Not Applicable $143,800,000[69] 263
(Professional Universities)
Lamar University Texas State University System $131,000,000[70][71] RNP
(Professional Universities)
McNeese State University University of Louisiana System $19,900,000[72] 98
(Regional: South)
(Larger Programs)
University of New Orleans University of Louisiana System $22,100,000[73] 202
(High Research)
Nicholls State University University of Louisiana System $8,190,000[74] 88
(Regional: South)
(Medium Programs)
Northwestern State University University of Louisiana System $16,400,000[75] 88
Regional: South)
(Larger Programs)
Southeastern Louisiana University University of Louisiana System $18,100,000[76] 93
(Regional: South)
(Larger Programs)
Texas A&M University–Commerce Texas A&M University System $30,200,000[77] RNP
(Professional Universities)
Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi Texas A&M University System $20,100,000[78] RNP
(High Research)


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