Great South Athletic Conference

The Great South Athletic Conference (GSAC) was an intercollegiate athletic conference affiliated with the NCAA’s Division III. Member institutions were located nationwide, but was originally based in the southeastern United States.

Great South Athletic Conference
Great South Athletic Conference logo.jpg
ConferenceNCAA
Founded1999
Sports fielded
  • 6
    • men's: 0
    • women's: 6
DivisionDivision III
No. of teams5
HeadquartersDecatur, Georgia
RegionSoutheast
Locations
Location of teams in {{{title}}}

HistoryEdit

The Great South Athletic Conference was founded in 1999 as a group of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III member institutions from the Southeast with similar academic and athletic interests. Charter members included Fisk University, LaGrange College, Maryville College, Piedmont College and Stillman College. In 2002, Huntingdon College and women’s colleges Agnes Scott College and Wesleyan College were granted membership. In 2003, Spelman College and Wesleyan (Ga.) were admitted to the GSAC on a provisional basis and given full membership status in 2005. Salem College, a women’s school in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, became the conference’s eighth member for the 2009-10 season.[1] Covenant College, located on top of Lookout Mountain in northwest Georgia, joined the conference in spring 2010 and began playing in fall 2010,[2] while completing its requirements for NCAA Division III provisional status. Stillman, a charter member, dropped out of the conference following the 2001-02 season, now currently competing in the NCAA Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC); while Fisk, another charter member, dropped out of the conference following the 2005-06 season, to compete in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

Three schools (also charter members of the GSAC) left for the USA South Athletic Conference beginning with the 2012–13 season: Piedmont,[3] LaGrange[4] and Maryville. Pine Manor College[5] and Trinity Washington University[6] joined the conference in the 2012–13 season to replace those schools. Due to the lack of men's athletic programs in the GSAC, the conference stopped sponsoring men's sports championships at the end of the 2011–12 season.

On May 10, 2012, Covenant College and Huntingdon College announced plans to leave the Great South and join USA South Athletic Conference beginning in the 2013–14 season. In the 2012–13 season, the Covenant and Huntingdon women's sports competed as full members of the GSAC, while their men's sports competed as NCAA Division III independents.

On November 1, 2012, Spelman College announced that they would be dropping all intercollegiate sports at the end of the 2012–13 academic year.[7]

On January 14, 2013, the GSAC announced that Mills College, Finlandia University, and the University of Maine at Presque Isle would join the GSAC in the 2013–14 season.[8] Finlandia and Maine–Presque Isle are co-educational colleges. The women's sports joined the GSAC, while the men's sports at the two schools remained Division III Independents.

On May 6, 2015, the USA South Athletic Conference announced that Agnes Scott College, Salem College, and Wesleyan College would be leaving the GSAC and joining the USA South beginning in the 2016-2017 season.[9]

On June 11, 2015, the GSAC announced that Mount Mary University and UC Santa Cruz would be joining the conference in women's soccer, volleyball, women's basketball, softball (Mount Mary only) and tennis (UC Santa Cruz only). The move was made effective immediately. Both schools were formerly affiliate members, playing tennis in the GSAC since 2013.

Following the move of Agnes Scott, Salem, and Wesleyan to the USA South, the GSAC dissolved in the summer of 2016. The GSAC held its last conference championships in April 2016.

Chronological timelineEdit

  • 1999 - The Great South Athletic Conference (GSAC) was founded. Charter members included Fisk University, LaGrange College, Maryville College, Piedmont College and Stillman College, effective beginning the 1999-2000 academic year.
  • 2002 - Stillman left the GSAC to join the Division II ranks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), effective after the 2001-02 academic year.
  • 2002 - Agnes Scott College and Huntingdon College joined the GSAC, effective in the 2002-03 academic year.
  • 2003 - Spelman College and Wesleyan College joined the GSAC as provisional members, effective in the 2003-04 academic year.
  • 2006 - Fisk left the GSAC to join the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as an Independent (which would later join the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC), effective beginning the 2010-11 academic year), effective after the 2005-06 academic year.
  • 2009 - Salem College joined the GSAC, effective in the 2009-10 academic year.
  • 2010 - Covenant College joined the GSAC, effective in the 2010-11 academic year.
  • 2012 - LaGrange, Maryville and Piedmont left the GSAC to join the USA South Athletic Conference (USA South), effective after the 2011-12 academic year.
  • 2012 - Due to lack of finding possible candidate schools with men's athletics programs, the GSAC was forced to drop men's sports, thus becoming a women's sports athletic conference, effective in the 2012-13 academic year. Co-ed schools Covenant and Huntingdon remained in the GSAC for women's sports, while their men's sports went to compete as NCAA D-III Independents.
  • 2012 - Pine Manor College and Trinity Washington University joined the GSAC, effective in the 2012-13 academic year.
  • 2012 - Finlandia University joined the GSAC as an affiliate member for softball, effective in the 2013 spring season (2012-13 academic year).
  • 2013 - Three institutions left the GSAC to join their respective new home primary conferences: Covenant and Huntingdon to align with their respective men's athletics programs and join the USA South, and Spelman to discontinue its athletic program as the school announced that it would close, all effective after the 2012-13 academic year.
  • 2013 - The University of Maine at Presque Isle (Maine–Presque Isle or UMPI) and Mills College (with Finlandia upgrading to join for all sports) joined the GSAC, effective in the 2013-14 academic year. Only Finlandia and Maine–Presque Isle (UMPI) were the co-educational schools who's men's sports still competed as NCAA D-III Independents.
  • 2013 - Rust College joined the GSAC as an affiliate member for softball, effective in the 2014 spring season (2013-14 academic year).
  • 2014 - Mount Mary University and the University of California at Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz or UCSC) joined the GSAC as affiliate members for women's tennis, effective in the 2015 spring season (2014-15 academic year).
  • 2015 - Maine–Presque Isle (UMPI) and Trinity Washington left the GSAC to become NCAA D-III Independents, effective after the 2014-15 academic year.
  • 2015 - Rust left the GSAC as an affiliate member for softball, effective after the 2015 spring season (2014-15 academic year).
  • 2015 - Mount Marty and UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) had upgraded to join the GSAC for all sports, effective in the 2015-16 academic year.
  • 2016 - The GSAC ceased operations as an athletic conference, effective after the 2015-16 academic year; as many schools left to join their respective new home primary conferences, effective beginning the 2016-17 academic year: Agnes Scott, Salem (N.C.) and Wesleyan (Ga.) joined the USA South; while Finlandia, Mills, Mount Marty, Pine Manor and UC Santa Cruz returned to become NCAA D-III Independents.

Member schoolsEdit

Full membersEdit

Final membersEdit

The GSAC had eight final full members before the conference dissolved, all but one were private schools:

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Subsequent
conference
Current
conference
Agnes Scott College[a] Decatur, Georgia 1889 Presbyterian
(PCUSA)
914 Scottish Terriers 2002 2016 USA South
(2016–22)
C.C. of the South (CCS)
(2022–present)
Finlandia University[b][c][d] Hancock, Michigan 1896 Lutheran ELCA 507 Lions 2013 2016 D-III Independent
(2016–17)
American (ACAA)
(2017–20)
Coast to Coast (C2C)
(2020–present)
Mills College[a] Oakland, California 1854 Nonsectarian 1,345 Cyclones 2013 2016 various[e] N/A[f]
Mount Mary University[a][g] Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1913 Catholic
(SSND)
1,209 Blue Angels 2015 2016 D-III Independent
(2016–18)
American (ACAA)
(2018–20)
Coast to Coast (C2C)
(2020–present)
Pine Manor College[b][h] Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 1911 Nonsectarian N/A Gators 2012 2016 various[i] N/A[j]
Salem College[a] Winston-Salem, North Carolina 1772 Moravian 565 Spirits 2009 2016 USA South
(2016–present)
University of California, Santa Cruz[b][g] Santa Cruz, California 1965 Public 19,700 Banana Slugs 2015 2016 D-III Independent
(2016–19)
American (ACAA)
(2019–20)
Coast to Coast (C2C)
(2020–present)
Wesleyan College[a] Macon, Georgia 1839 United
Methodist
550 Wolves 2003 2016 USA South
(2016–22)
C.C. of the South (CCS)
(2022–present)
Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e This institution is a women's college, therefore it does not compete in men's sports.
  2. ^ a b c This institution is a co-educational college. Co-educational colleges competed in both men's and women's competitions until the end of the 2011–12 school year. From 2012–13 until 2015–16, all schools competed only in women's competitions in the GSAC.
  3. ^ During their tenure in the GSAC for women's sports, their men's programs competed as NCAA D-III Independents.
  4. ^ Finlandia was an associate member of the GSAC for softball during the 2013 spring season (2012–13 school year).
  5. ^ Mills had joined the following subsequent conferences: as an NCAA D-III Independent during the 2016–17 school year; the American Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) from 2017–18 to 2019–20; and the Coast to Coast Athletic Conference (C2C) from 2020–21 to 2021–22.
  6. ^ Mills was merged into Northeastern University in 2022 to become a research institution; therefore it discontinued its athletics program after the 2021–22 school year.
  7. ^ a b UC Santa Cruz and Mount Mary were affiliate members of the GSAC for women's tennis during the 2015 spring season (2014–15 school year).
  8. ^ This institution is a former women's college, which would later turn into a co-educational college (Pine Manor from 2014–15 until absorption by Boston College in 2021).
  9. ^ Pine Manor had joined the following subsequent conferences: as an NCAA D-III Independent during the 2016–17 school year; the American Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) from 2017–18 to 2019–20; and the Coast to Coast Athletic Conference (C2C) during the 2020–21 school year.
  10. ^ Pine Manor was merged into Boston College in 2021; therefore the school discontinued its athletics program and later closed.

Former membersEdit

The GSAC had ten other former full members during the conference's existence, all but one were private schools:

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Subsequent
conference
Current
conference
Covenant College[a][b] Lookout Mountain, Georgia 1955 Presbyterian
(PCA)
1,282 Scots &
Lady Scots
2010 2013 USA South
(2013–22)
C.C. of the South (CCS)
(2022–present)
Fisk University[a] Nashville, Tennessee 1866 U.C.C. 910 Bulldogs 1999 2006 D-III Independent
(2006–09)
NAIA Independent
(2009–10; 2014–21)
Gulf Coast (GCAC)[c]
(2010–14; 2021–present)
Huntingdon College[a][b] Montgomery, Alabama 1854 United
Methodist
900 Hawks 2002 2013 USA South
(2013–22)
C.C. of the South (CCS)
(2022–present)
LaGrange College[a] LaGrange, Georgia 1831 United
Methodist
1,137 Panthers 1999 2012 USA South
(2012–22)
C.C. of the South (CCS)
(2022–present)
University of Maine at Presque Isle[a][d] Presque Isle, Maine 1903 Public 1,469 Owls 2013 2015 D-III Independent
(2015–17)
American (ACAA)
(2017–18)
North Atlantic (NAC)
(2018–present)
Maryville College[a] Maryville, Tennessee 1819 Presbyterian
(PCUSA)
1,103 Scots 1999 2012 USA South
(2012–22)
C.C. of the South (CCS)
(2022–present)
Piedmont College[a] Demorest, Georgia 1897 U.C.C. &
N.A.C.C.C.
2,640 Lions 1999 2012 USA South
(2012–22)
C.C. of the South (CCS)
(2022–present)
Spelman College[e] Atlanta, Georgia 1881 Nonsectarian N/A Jaguars 2004 2012 N/A[f]
Stillman College[a] Tuscaloosa, Alabama 1876 Presbyterian
(PCUSA)
1,000 Tigers 1999 2002 Southern (SIAC)[g]
(2002–16)
NAIA Independent
(2016–18)
Southern States (SSAC)[c]
(2018–present)
Trinity Washington University[e] Washington, D.C. 1897 Catholic
(SNDdeN)
2,100 Tigers 2012 2015 D-III Independent
(2015–present)
Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h This institution is a co-educational college. Co-educational colleges competed in both men's and women's competitions until the end of the 2011–12 school year. From 2012–13 until 2015–16, all schools competed only in women's competitions in the GSAC.
  2. ^ a b Covenant and Huntingdon remained in the GSAC for women's sports during the 2012–13 school year, while their men's sports competed as NCAA D-III Independents, before joining the USA South Athletic Conference (USA South) since the 2013–14 school year.
  3. ^ a b Currently an NAIA athletic conference.
  4. ^ During their tenure in the GSAC for women's sports, their men's programs competed as NCAA D-III Independents.
  5. ^ a b This institution is a women's college, therefore it does not compete in men's sports.
  6. ^ Spelman dropped its athletics program after the 2012–13 school year.
  7. ^ Currently an NCAA Division II athletic conference.

Former affiliate membersEdit

The GSAC had one former affiliate member that did not later become a full member during the conference's existence, which was also a private school:

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Left GSAC
sport
Primary
conference
Rust College Holly Springs, Mississippi 1866 United
Methodist
900 Bearcats 2013–14 2014–15 softball Gulf Coast (GCAC)[a][b]
Notes
  1. ^ Currently an NAIA athletic conference.
  2. ^ During their tenure as an affiliate member of the GSAC, Rust's primary home conference was being an NCAA D-III Independent until the 2014–15 school year.

Membership timelineEdit

Coast to Coast Athletic ConferenceAmerican Collegiate Athletic AssociationNCAA Division III independent schoolsUniversity of California, Santa CruzCoast to Coast Athletic ConferenceAmerican Collegiate Athletic AssociationNCAA Division III independent schoolsMount Mary UniversityRust CollegeCoast to Coast Athletic ConferenceAmerican Collegiate Athletic AssociationNCAA Division III independent schoolsMills CollegeNorth Atlantic ConferenceAmerican Collegiate Athletic AssociationNCAA Division III independent schoolsUniversity of Maine at Presque IsleCoast to Coast Athletic ConferenceAmerican Collegiate Athletic AssociationNCAA Division III independent schoolsFinlandia UniversityNCAA Division III independent schoolsTrinity Washington UniversityCoast to Coast Athletic ConferenceAmerican Collegiate Athletic AssociationNCAA Division III independent schoolsPine Manor CollegeCollegiate Conference of the SouthUSA South Athletic ConferenceCovenant CollegeUSA South Athletic ConferenceSalem CollegeCollegiate Conference of the SouthUSA South Athletic ConferenceWesleyan CollegeSpelman CollegeCollegiate Conference of the SouthUSA South Athletic ConferenceHuntingdon CollegeCollegiate Conference of the SouthUSA South Athletic ConferenceAgnes Scott CollegeSouthern States Athletic ConferenceNAIA independent schoolsSouthern Intercollegiate Athletic ConferenceStillman CollegeCollegiate Conference of the SouthUSA South Athletic ConferencePiedmont CollegeCollegiate Conference of the SouthUSA South Athletic ConferenceMaryville CollegeCollegiate Conference of the SouthUSA South Athletic ConferenceLaGrange CollegeGulf Coast Athletic ConferenceNAIA independent schoolsGulf Coast Athletic ConferenceNAIA independent schoolsNCAA Division III independent schoolsFisk University

SportsEdit

From the 2012–13 to 2015–16 academic years, the GSAC sponsored intercollegiate athletic competition in women's sports only: basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis, golf, and volleyball.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Salem becomes newest GSAC member". Great South Athletic Conference. May 13, 2009. Retrieved May 14, 2009.
  2. ^ Branton, B.B. (April 8, 2010). "Covenant College Joins Great South Athletic Conference". The Chattanoogan. John Wilson. Archived from the original on April 11, 2010. Retrieved May 31, 2010.
  3. ^ McCormack, Timmy (April 11, 2011). "Piedmont College Announces Plan To Join USA South Athletic Conference". Piedmont College Athletics. Archived from the original on August 24, 2011. Retrieved April 25, 2011.
  4. ^ "LaGrange College accepts invitation to join USA South Athletic Conference". LaGrange Panthers. April 21, 2011. Retrieved April 25, 2011.
  5. ^ "Pine Manor College Joins GSAC". Great South Athletic Conference. August 27, 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  6. ^ "Trinity Washington University Joins GSAC". Great South Athletic Conference. September 7, 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  7. ^ "Spelman eliminates athletics in favor of campus-wide wellness initiative". Inside Higher Ed. November 1, 2012. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  8. ^ "GSAC Adds Finlandia University, the University of Maine at Presque Isle and Mills College". Great South Athletic Conference. January 14, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
  9. ^ "Agnes Scott, Salem and Wesleyan Set to Join USA South". May 6, 2015. Retrieved May 18, 2015.