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Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference

The Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference was a women's-only college athletic conference which operated in the midwestern United States from its inception in 1982 to its absorption by the Missouri Valley Conference in 1992.

Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference
DivisionDivision I
CommissionerPatty Viverito



The Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference was founded in August 1982 as a women's-only conference.[1] The charter members consisted of Bradley University, Drake University, Eastern Illinois University, Illinois State University, Indiana State University, the University of Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois University, Southwest Missouri State University, Western Illinois University and Wichita State University.

In 1985, the Gateway added football (its only men's-sponsoring sport) with Eastern Illinois, Illinois State, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, Southwest Missouri State and Western Illinois as the charter members. Indiana State would join the league for that sport in the following year. For football, Eastern Illinois, Western Illinois, Northern Iowa and Southwest Missouri State previously competed in the Mid-Continent Conference, while Illinois State and Southern Illinois previously competed in the then-NCAA Division I-A Missouri Valley Conference, and Indiana State previously competed as an NCAA Division I-AA independent.

In 1992, the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference was merged into the Missouri Valley Conference. The league's football side was spun off into the standalone Gateway Football Conference, known since 2008 as the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The MVFC and MVC, although separate leagues, now share five members and operate out of the same offices in St. Louis.


Charter/final membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Primary
in Gateway
Bradley University Peoria, Illinois 1897 Private 6,100 Braves 1982 1992 Missouri Valley
Drake University Des Moines, Iowa 1881 Private 5,200 Bulldogs 1982 1992 Missouri Valley
Eastern Illinois University Charleston, Illinois 1895 Public 11,651 Panthers 1982 1992 Mid-Continent[n 1] OVC
Illinois State University Normal, Illinois 1857 Public 20,800 Redbirds 1982 1992 Missouri Valley
Indiana State University Terre Haute, Indiana 1865 Public 12,144 Sycamores 1982 1992 Missouri Valley
University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, Iowa 1876 Public 13,080 Panthers 1982 1992 Mid-Continent[n 1] Missouri Valley
Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Illinois 1869 Public 18,847 Salukis 1982 1992 Missouri Valley
Southwest Missouri State University[n 2] Springfield, Missouri 1905 Public 21,059 Bears (men's)
Lady Bears (women's)
1982 1992 Mid-Continent[n 1] Missouri Valley
Western Illinois University Macomb, Illinois 1895 Public 13,602 Leathernecks (men's)
Westerwinds (women's)[n 3]
1982 1992 Summit[n 4]
Wichita State University Wichita, Kansas 1895 Public 14,806 Shockers 1982 1992 Missouri Valley American
  1. ^ a b c The Mid-Continent Conference adopted its current name of The Summit League in 2007.
  2. ^ Southwest Missouri State University adopted its current name of Missouri State University in 2005.
  3. ^ Western Illinois did not adopt the nickname of "Leathernecks" for women's sports teams until 2009.
  4. ^ When Western Illinois joined, the conference now known as The Summit League was known as the Mid-Continent Conference.

Membership timelineEdit

American Athletic ConferenceMissouri Valley ConferenceWichita State UniversitySummit LeagueWestern Illinois UniversityMissouri Valley ConferenceSouthern Illinois University CarbondaleMissouri Valley ConferenceUniversity of Northern IowaMissouri Valley ConferenceMissouri State UniversityMissouri Valley ConferenceIndiana State UniversityMissouri Valley ConferenceIllinois State UniversityOhio Valley ConferenceSummit LeagueEastern Illinois UniversityMissouri Valley ConferenceDrake UniversityMissouri Valley ConferenceBradley University 

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference 1989–90 Basketball Media Guide. Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference. 1989. pp. 36 pages.