Gulf South Conference

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.

Gulf South Conference
Gulf South Conference logo
DivisionDivision II
Sports fielded
  • 17
    • men's: 8
    • women's: 9
RegionSoutheastern United States
HeadquartersBirmingham, Alabama
CommissionerMatt Wilson (since 2014)
Gulf South Conference locations


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 (SLU) 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 SLU and Nicholls State in 1979.

The conference continued with seven teams until 1981, when the presidents admitted Valdosta State. West Georgia joined in 1983. Eight years of stability ended in 1991 when Tennessee–Martin and Troy State went Division I, briefly dropping the GSC back to seven members, before the beginning of an expansion resulting in ten new members: 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 would 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 was 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 planned to add an old friend back into the fold when Mississippi College submitted its application to rejoin Division II and was 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.

2010s realignmentEdit

Map of GSC school locations

Beginning with the 2011–12 academic year; Arkansas Tech University, University of Arkansas at Monticello, 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 began the multi-year transition process from the NAIA to NCAA.[4] Both universities began 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] The transition was a lengthy process; Mississippi College officially became a Division II candidate starting with the 2013–14 academic year, with the school becoming a full Division II member for 2016–17.[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]

The next change to the conference's membership was officially announced on December 6, 2016 when North Alabama was accepted to the Atlantic Sun Conference and would begin a transition to Division I sports in 2018.[10] In May 2020, affiliate member Florida Tech announced the discontinuation of their football program due to the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.[11]

Member schoolsEdit

Current membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Colors Joined
University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville, Alabama 1969 Public 9,988 Chargers           1993
Auburn University at Montgomery Montgomery, Alabama 1967 Public 5,188 Warhawks                2017
Christian Brothers University Memphis, Tennessee 1871 Private (Catholic) 1,968 Buccaneers           1996
Delta State University Cleveland, Mississippi 1924 Public 2,999 Statesmen & Lady Statesmen           1970
Lee University Cleveland, Tennessee 1918 Private (Church of God) 5,189 Flames           2013
Mississippi College Clinton, Mississippi 1826 Private (Baptist) 5,059 Choctaws           1972;
University of Montevallo Montevallo, Alabama 1896 Public 2,559 Falcons           1995;
Shorter University Rome, Georgia 1873 Private (Baptist) 1,520 Hawks           2012
Union University Jackson, Tennessee 1823 Private (Baptist) 3,172 Bulldogs           2012
Valdosta State University Valdosta, Georgia 1906 Public 11,270 Blazers           1981
University of West Alabama Livingston, Alabama 1835 Public 5,653 Tigers           1970
University of West Florida Pensacola, Florida 1963 Public 12,850 Argonauts           1994
University of West Georgia Carrollton, Georgia 1906 Public 13,238 Wolves           1983
  • Montevallo — lacrosse (W) was an affiliate member in 2015–2017.

Affiliate membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Colors Joined Sport Primary
North Greenville University Tigerville, South Carolina 1891 Private (Baptist) 2,428 Crusaders           2018 football Carolinas
Spring Hill College Mobile, Alabama 1830 Private (Catholic) 1,317 Badgers           2014 golf (W);
soccer (M);
soccer (W)
Southern Intercollegiate
Young Harris College Young Harris, Georgia 1886 Private (United Methodist) 1,415 Mountain Lions           2015 lacrosse (W) Peach Belt

Former membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Type Nickname Joined Left Current
Arkansas Tech University Russellville, Arkansas 1909 Public Wonder Boys & Golden Suns 1995 2011 Great American
University of Arkansas at Monticello Monticello, Arkansas 1910 Public Boll Weevils & Cotton Blossoms 1995 2011 Great American
University of Central Arkansas Conway, Arkansas 1907 Public Bears & Sugar Bears 1993 2006 Southland
Harding University Searcy, Arkansas 1924 Private (Churches of Christ) Bisons & Lady Bisons 2000 2011 Great American
Henderson State University Arkadelphia, Arkansas 1890 Public Reddies 1993 2011 Great American
Jacksonville State University Jacksonville, Alabama 1883 Public Gamecocks 1970 1993 Ohio Valley
Lincoln Memorial University Harrogate, Tennessee 1897 Private (Nonsectarian) Railsplitters 1992 2006 South Atlantic
Mississippi University for Women Columbus, Mississippi 1884 Public Owls (formerly Blues) 1993 2003 Independent
University of New Orleans New Orleans, Louisiana 1958 Public Privateers 2011 2012 Southland
Nicholls State University Thibodaux, Louisiana 1948 Public Colonels 1971 1979 Southland
University of North Alabama Florence, Alabama 1830 Public Lions 1970 2018 ASUN
Northwestern State University Natchitoches, Louisiana 1884 Public Demons 1971 1973 Southland
Ouachita Baptist University Arkadelphia, Arkansas 1886 Private (Baptist) Tigers 2000 2011 Great American
Southeastern Louisiana University Hammond, Louisiana 1925 Public Lions 1971 1979 Southland
Southern Arkansas University Magnolia, Arkansas 1909 Public Muleriders 1995 2011 Great American
University of Tennessee at Martin Martin, Tennessee 1927 Public Skyhawks 1970 1991 Ohio Valley
Troy State University Troy, Alabama 1887 Public Trojans 1970 1991 Sun Belt
  • Harding — soccer (M) was an affiliate member in 2011–12.
  • New Orleans — provisional member competed in baseball, cross country (M / W), golf (M / W), tennis (M / W), and volleyball.
  • Ouachita Baptist — soccer (M) was an affiliate member in 2011–12.

Former affiliate membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Type Nickname Joined Left Sport Current conference in GSC sport
Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, Florida 1958 Private (Nonsectarian) Panthers 2013 2019 Football dropped program

Membership timelineEdit

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

Conference venuesEdit

School Football Basketball
Stadium Capacity Arena Capacity
Alabama–Huntsville non-football school Spragins Hall 2,250
Auburn–Montgomery non-football school AUM Basketball Complex 2,670
Christian Brothers non-football school Canale Arena 1,000
Delta State McCool Stadium 8,000 Walter Sillers Coliseum 4,000
Lee non-football school Walker Arena 2,700
Mississippi College Robinson-Hale Stadium 8,500 A.E. Wood Coliseum 3,500
Montevallo non-football school Trustmark Arena 2,000
North Greenville Younts Stadium 5,000 football-only school
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 Admiral Fetterman Field 5,038 UWF Fieldhouse 1,180
West Georgia University Stadium 9,000 The Coliseum 6,790


The GSC sponsors competition in 8 men's sports and 9 women's sports. The conference begins sponsoring women's lacrosse and men's / women's track & field in the 2015–16 school year.[12][13]

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
Track & Field Outdoor  Y  Y
Volleyball  Y

Men's sponsored sports by schoolEdit

School Baseball Basketball Cross
Football Golf Soccer Tennis Track
& Field
Alabama–Huntsville  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 5
Auburn–Montgomery  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 5
Christian Brothers  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 7
Delta State  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 6
Lee  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 7
Mississippi College  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 8
Montevallo  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 7
Shorter  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 8
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  Y 7
West Georgia  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 5
Totals 13 13 12 8 10 11 10 7 84
Affiliate Members
Spring Hill  Y 1
North Greenville  Y 1

Women's sponsored sports by schoolEdit

School Basketball Cross
Golf Lacrosse Soccer Softball Tennis Track
& Field
Volleyball Total
Alabama–Huntsville  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 7
Auburn–Montgomery  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 6
Christian Brothers  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 8
Delta State  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 5
Lee  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 9
Mississippi College  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 7
Montevallo  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 9
Shorter  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 9
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  Y 8
Totals 13 13 7 4 13 13 11 8 12 94
Affiliate Members
Spring Hill  Y  Y 2
Young Harris  Y 1

Other sponsored sports by schoolEdit

School Men Women
Lacrosse Swimming
& Diving
& Field
Wrestling Swimming
& Diving
& Field
Alabama–Huntsville WCHA GLVC IND IND
Mississippi College IND IND
Montevallo GLVC IND IND
West Florida NSISC
  • — D-I sport

National championshipsEdit

Sport School Year(s)
Baseball Valdosta State 1979
Troy State 1986 • 1987
Jacksonville State 1990 • 1991
Delta State 2004
West Florida 2011
Men's Basketball North Alabama 1979 • 1991
Jacksonville State 1985
Women's Basketball Delta State 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1989 • 1990 • 1992
Southeastern Louisiana 1977
Football West Alabama 1971
Troy State 1984 • 1987
Mississippi College 1989
Jacksonville State 1992
North Alabama 1993 • 1994 • 1995
Delta State 2000
Valdosta State 2004 • 2007 • 2012 • 2018
West Florida 2019
Men's Golf Troy 1976 • 1977 • 1984
West Florida 2001 • 2008
Women's Golf Troy State 1984 • 1986 • 1989
Women's Gymnastics Jacksonville State 1984 • 1985
Men's Ice Hockey Alabama–Huntsville 1996 • 1998
Women's Soccer Christian Brothers 2002
West Florida 2012
Softball Valdosta State 2012
North Alabama 2016
Men's Tennis West Florida 2004 • 2005 • 2014 • 2017
Valdosta State 2006 • 2011
Men's Track & Field Outdoor Southeastern Louisiana 1975
Women's Volleyball North Alabama 2003
  • Valdosta State won 1979 baseball national championship prior to joining the GSC.
  • Mississippi College's 1989 football tournament participation and national championship were vacated by the NCAA Committee on Infractions for recruiting violations.
  • Ice Hockey is not a conference-sanctioned sport.


  1. ^ Pickle, David (March 9, 2011). "GAC becomes 23rd DII conference". National Collegiate Athletic Association. Archived from the original on December 22, 2011. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  2. ^ "GSC Admits UNO for Conference Membership". Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  3. ^ Daniels, Ed. "UNO Athletics to remain Division I in NCAA". Archived from the original on May 16, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  4. ^ Staff (July 11, 2011). "NCAA approves Union's application for NCAA Division II membership process". The Jackson Sun. Retrieved July 12, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "NCAA accepts Shorter's application for NCAA II membership process". Shorter University. July 12, 2011. Archived from the original on September 16, 2011. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  6. ^ "Florida Tech Football Accepts Invitation to Join Gulf South Conference". Florida Tech Athletics. 19 August 2011. Archived from the original on 9 October 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  7. ^ Staff (October 16, 2012). "Exciting Development for MC Sports". Clinton Courier. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  8. ^ "It's Time to be II". Mississippi College. Archived from the original on October 21, 2014. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  9. ^ "Division II Admits its 300th Member". NCAA. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  10. ^ "UNA Accepts ASUN Division I Invitation" (Press release). North Alabama Lions. December 6, 2016. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
  11. ^ Rogers, Eric; Neale, Rick (May 11, 2020). "Florida Tech cuts football program, announces layoffs due to COVID-19 impacts". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  12. ^ "GSC Adds Women's Lacrosse". Gulf South Conference. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  13. ^ "GSC Adds Men's and Women's Track & Field". Gulf South Conference. Retrieved August 13, 2015.

External linksEdit