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Gulf South Conference

Gulf South Conference
Gulf South Conference logo
Established 1970
Association NCAA
Division Division II
Members 12
Sports fielded 15 (men's: 7; women's: 8)
Region Southeastern United States
Headquarters Birmingham, Alabama
Commissioner Matt Wilson (since 2014)
Website .org.gulfsouthconferencewww
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 1
    • 2010s realignment 1.1
  • Member schools 2
    • Current members 2.1
    • Affiliate members 2.2
    • Former members 2.3
    • Membership timeline 2.4
  • Conference venues 3
  • Sponsored sports 4
    • Men's sponsored sports by school 4.1
    • Women's sponsored sports by school 4.2
    • Other sponsored sports by school 4.3
  • National championships 5
    • Notes 5.1
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Originally known as the 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 (SELA) 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 SELA and Nicholls State in 1979.

The conference continued with seven teams until 1981, when the presidents admitted 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 will 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 is 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 hopes to officially add an old friend back into the fold when Mississippi College submitted its application to rejoin Division II and is 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.

Map of GSC school locations

2010s realignment

Beginning with the 2011–12 academic year, current GSC members University of Arkansas at Monticello, Arkansas Tech University, 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 will begin the multi-year transition process from the NAIA to NCAA.[4] Both universities will begin 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] There is a lengthy process involved as Mississippi College becomes part of the Division II candidacy starting with the 2013-14 academic year. The transition period will end with the 2016-17 season when Mississippi College will become a full Division II member.[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]

Member schools

Current members

Institution Location Founded Enrollment Nickname Colors Joined
University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville, Alabama 1969 7,900 Chargers           1993
Christian Brothers University Memphis, Tennessee 1871 1,720 Buccaneers           1996
Delta State University Cleveland, Mississippi 1924 4,392 Statesmen           1970
Lee University Cleveland, Tennessee 1918 4,922 Flames           2013
Mississippi College Clinton, Mississippi 1826 4,162 Choctaws           1972;
University of North Alabama Florence, Alabama 1830 7,244 Lions           1970
Shorter University Rome, Georgia 1873 3,500 Hawks           2012
Union University Jackson, Tennessee 1823 4,186 Bulldogs           2012
Valdosta State University Valdosta, Georgia 1906 12,898 Blazers           1981
University of West Alabama Livingston, Alabama 1835 5,157 Tigers           1970
University of West Florida Pensacola, Florida 1963 12,823 Argonauts           1994
University of West Georgia Carrollton, Georgia 1906 11,252 Wolves           1983
  • Mississippi College — left the GSC in 1996, and re-joined in 2014.[10]

Affiliate members

Institution Location Founded Enrollment Nickname Colors Joined Sport Primary
Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, Florida 1958 6,400 Panthers           2013 football Sunshine State
University of Montevallo Montevallo, Alabama 1896 3,000 Falcons           2015[A 1] lacrosse (W) Peach Belt
Spring Hill College Mobile, Alabama 1830 1,439 Badgers           2014 golf (W);
soccer (M);
soccer (W)
Southern Intercollegiate
Young Harris College Young Harris, Georgia 1886 1,120 Mountain Lions           2015 lacrosse (W) Peach Belt
  1. ^ Montevallo was a full member of the GSC from 1995–2009.

Former members

Institution Location Founded Nickname Joined Left Current
University of Arkansas at Monticello Monticello, Arkansas 1910 Boll Weevils
Cotton Blossoms
1995 2011 Great American
Arkansas Tech University Russellville, Arkansas 1909 Wonder Boys
Golden Suns
1995 2011 Great American
University of Central Arkansas Conway, Arkansas 1907 Bears
Sugar Bears
1993 2006 Southland
Harding University[F 1] Searcy, Arkansas 1924 Bisons 2000 2011 Great American
Henderson State University Arkadelphia, Arkansas 1890 Reddies 1993 2011 Great American
Jacksonville State University Jacksonville, Alabama 1883 Gamecocks 1970 1993 Ohio Valley
Lincoln Memorial University Harrogate, Tennessee 1897 Railsplitters 1992 2006 South Atlantic
Mississippi University for Women Columbus, Mississippi 1884 Blues 1993 2003 Dropped sports
University of Montevallo[F 2] Montevallo, Alabama 1896 Falcons 1995 2009 Peach Belt
University of New Orleans[F 3] New Orleans, Louisiana 1958 Privateers 2011 2012 Southland
Nicholls State University Thibodaux, Louisiana 1948 Colonels 1971 1979 Southland
Northwestern State University Natchitoches, Louisiana 1884 Demons 1971 1973 Southland
Ouachita Baptist University[F 4] Arkadelphia, Arkansas 1886 Tigers 2000 2011 Great American
Southeastern Louisiana University Hammond, Louisiana 1925 Lions 1971 1979 Southland
Southern Arkansas University Magnolia, Arkansas 1909 Muleriders
Lady Muleriders
1995 2011 Great American
University of Tennessee at Martin Martin, Tennessee 1927 Skyhawks 1970 1991 Ohio Valley
Troy University Troy, Alabama 1887 Trojans 1970 1991 Sun Belt
  1. ^ Harding men's soccer was an affiliate member in 2011–12.
  2. ^ Montevallo returned to the GSC as an associate member in women's lacrosse starting in 2015–16.
  3. ^ New Orleans was a provisional member in transition from D-I to D-II which competed in most sports (baseball, cross country (M/W), golf (M/W), tennis (M/W), and volleyball). However, the school announced intentions to remain D-I in March 2012.
  4. ^ Ouachita Baptist men's soccer was an affiliate member in 2011–12.

Membership timeline

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

Conference venues

School Football Basketball
Stadium Capacity Arena Capacity
Alabama–Huntsville non-football school Spragins Hall 2,250
Christian Brothers non-football school Canale Arena 1,000
Delta State Parker Field at McCool Stadium 8,000 Walter Sillers Coliseum 4,000
Florida Tech Pirate Stadium 4,980 football-only member
Lee non-football school Walker Arena 2,700
Mississippi College Robinson-Hale Stadium 8,500 A.E. Wood Coliseum 3,500
North Alabama Braly Municipal Stadium 14,215 Flowers Hall 3,900
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 Pensacola Bayfront Stadium (2016) UWF Fieldhouse 1,180
West Georgia University Stadium 9,000 The Coliseum 6,790

The GSC sponsors competition in 7 men's sports and 8 women's sports. The conference will begin sponsoring women's lacrosse in the 2015–16 school year.[11]

Conference sports
Sport Men's Women's
Baseball Y
Basketball Y Y
Cross Country Y Y
Football Y
Golf Y Y
Lacrosse Y
Soccer Y Y
Softball Y
Tennis Y Y
Volleyball Y

Men's sponsored sports by school

School Baseball Basketball Cross
Football Golf Soccer Tennis Total
Alabama–Huntsville Y Y Y Y Y 5
Christian Brothers Y Y Y Y Y Y 6
Delta State Y Y Y Y Y Y 6
Lee Y Y Y Y Y Y 6
Mississippi College Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 7
North Alabama Y Y Y Y Y Y 6
Shorter Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 7
Union Y Y Y Y Y 5
Valdosta State Y Y Y Y Y Y 6
West Alabama Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 7
West Florida Y Y Y Y Y Y 6
West Georgia Y Y Y Y Y 5
Totals 12 12 11 7 11 9 10 72
Affiliate Members
Florida Tech Y 1
Spring Hill College Y 1
  • West Florida — Football begins play in 2016.[12]

Women's sponsored sports by school

School Basketball Cross
Golf Lacrosse Soccer Softball Tennis Volleyball Total
Alabama–Huntsville Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 7
Christian Brothers Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 7
Delta State Y Y Y Y Y 5
Lee Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 7
Mississippi College Y Y Y Y Y Y 6
North Alabama Y Y Y Y Y Y 6
Shorter Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 8
Union Y Y Y Y Y Y 6
Valdosta State Y Y Y Y Y Y 6
West Alabama Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 7
West Florida Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 7
West Georgia Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 7
Totals 12 12 7 2 12 12 11 11 79
Affiliate Members
Montevallo Y 1
Spring Hill Y Y 2
Young Harris Y 1

Other sponsored sports by school

School Men Women Co-ed
Lacrosse Swimming
& Diving
& Field
& Field
Wrestling Equestrian Swimming
& Diving
& Field
& Field
Alabama–Huntsville WCHA IND IND PBC IND PBC
Christian Brothers IND IND
Mississippi College IND IND IHSA IND IND
North Alabama IND IND
West Alabama IND IND NIRA
West Florida IHSA NSISC
West Georgia IND
  • — D-I sport
  • NSISC — New South Intercollegiate Swim Conference

National championships

Sport School Year(s)
Baseball[NC 1] Delta State 2004
Jacksonville State 1990, 91
Troy State 1986, 87
West Florida 2011
Men's Basketball Jacksonville State 1985
North Alabama 1979, 91
Women's Basketball Delta State 1975, 76, 77 (AIAW), 89, 90, 92
Southeastern Louisiana 1977
Football[NC 2] Delta State 2000
Jacksonville State 1992
North Alabama 1993, 94, 95
Troy State 1984, 87
West Alabama 1971 (NAIA)
Valdosta State 2004, 07, 12
Men's Golf Troy 1976, 77, 84
West Florida 2001, 08
Women's Gymnastics Jacksonville State 1984, 85
Men's Ice Hockey[NC 3] Alabama–Huntsville 1996, 98
Women's Soccer Christian Brothers 2002
West Florida 2012
Softball Valdosta State 2012
Men's Tennis Valdosta State 2006, 11
West Florida 2004, 05, 14
Men's Outdoor Track and Field Southeastern Louisiana 1975 (NAIA)
Women's Volleyball North Alabama 2003


  1. ^ Valdosta State won a national championship in baseball in 1979 before joining the GSC.
  2. ^ Mississippi College's 1989 football tournament participation, along with its NCAA Division II national football championship, were vacated by the NCAA Committee on Infractions for recruiting violations.
  3. ^ Although not a conference-sanctioned sport, Alabama–Huntsville fields a men's ice hockey team. It won the Division II national championship in 1996 and 1998. After the NCAA discontinued Division II ice hockey championship, UAH moved to Division I for that sport and joined the College Hockey America conference. They competed as an independent after the demise of the CHA but joined the Western Collegiate Hockey Association prior to the 2013–14 season.


  1. ^ Pickle, David (March 9, 2011). "GAC becomes 23rd DII conference". National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  2. ^ "GSC Admits UNO for Conference Membership". Retrieved 22 June 2011. 
  3. ^ Daniels, Ed. "UNO Athletics to remain Division I in NCAA". Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Staff (July 11, 2011). "NCAA approves Union's application for NCAA Division II membership process".  
  5. ^ "NCAA accepts Shorter's application for NCAA II membership process".  
  6. ^ "Florida Tech Football Accepts Invitation to Join Gulf South Conference". Florida Tech Athletics. 19 August 2011. Archived from the original on 23 August 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  7. ^ Staff (October 16, 2012). "Exciting Development for MC Sports".  
  8. ^ "It's Time to be II". Mississippi College. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  9. ^ "Division II Admits its 300th Member". NCAA. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "GSC Adds Women's Lacrosse". Gulf South Conference. Retrieved August 23, 2015. 
  12. ^ "UWF Board of Trustees shows support for football team to start playing in 2016". UWF Athletics. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 

External links

  • Official website
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