Heart of America Athletic Conference

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The Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC or The Heart)[1] is a college athletic conference affiliated with the NAIA. Member institutions are located in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska in the United States.

Heart of America Athletic Conference
The Heart
Heart of America Athletic Conference logo
Sports fielded
  • 19
    • men's: 10
    • women's: 9
RegionWest North Central
HeadquartersOverland Park, Kansas
CommissionerLori Thomas (since 2014)
Heart of America Athletic Conference locations


The HAAC's earliest ancestor was the Missouri College Athletic Union, which was formed in 1924 when the Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association (now the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association) split in two. The old MIAA's private schools formed the Athletic Union, while the state teachers' colleges stayed in the MIAA.[2] It was reorganized as the HAAC in 1971 when it began admitting schools outside Missouri. However, the HAAC does not presently claim the Athletic Union's history as its own.

In early 2014, Grand View University and William Penn University were announced as members for the 2015–16 school year.[3] In April 2015, Clarke University and Mount Mercy University were also announced as members for the 2016–17 school year.[4] In October 2019, Park University was approved for HAAC membership and joined in the 2020–21 school year.[5]

The current commissioner of the conference is Lori Thomas. Thomas, the first female commissioner in NAIA history, began her term in 2014,[6] succeeding Larry Lady who retired after 22 years as commissioner.[citation needed]

Member schoolsEdit

Current membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined
Baker University Baldwin City, Kansas 1858 Private/Methodist 989 Wildcats 1971
Benedictine College Atchison, Kansas 1858 Private/Catholic 2,189 Ravens 1991
Central Methodist University Fayette, Missouri 1854 Private/Methodist 1,094 Eagles 1971;
Clarke University Dubuque, Iowa 1843 Private/Catholic 1,075 Pride 2016
Culver–Stockton College Canton, Missouri 1853 Private/Disciples of Christ 1,066 Wildcats 1980
Evangel University Springfield, Missouri 1955 Private/Assemblies of God 1,958 Valor 1987
Graceland University Lamoni, Iowa 1895 Private/Community of Christ 2,301 Yellowjackets 1971
Grand View University Des Moines, Iowa 1896 Private/Lutheran (ELCA) 1,988 Vikings 2015
MidAmerica Nazarene University Olathe, Kansas 1966 Private/Nazarene 1,884 Pioneers 1980
Missouri Valley College Marshall, Missouri 1889 Private/Presbyterian 1,728 Vikings 1971
Mount Mercy University Cedar Rapids, Iowa 1928 Private/Catholic 1,877 Mustangs 2016
Park University Parkville, Missouri 1875 Private/Nonsectarian 2,340 Pirates 2020
Peru State College Peru, Nebraska 1865 Public 2,422 Bobcats 2011
William Penn University Oskaloosa, Iowa 1873 Private/Quakers 1,550 Statesmen &
Lady Statesmen

Affiliate membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined HAAC
Dickinson State University Dickinson, North Dakota 1918 Private 1,392 Blue Hawks 2017-18 men's wrestling NSAA
Iowa Wesleyan University Mount Pleasant, Iowa 1842 Private 700 Tigers 2021-22 men's wrestling
women's wrestling
Missouri Baptist University Creve Coeur, Missouri 1957 Private 5,309 Spartans 2020-21 men's volleyball American Midwest
St. Ambrose University Davenport, Iowa 1882 Private 3,607 Fighting Bees 2021-22 men's wrestling Chicagoland
University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis St. Louis, Missouri 1864 Private 1,350 Eutectic 2020-21 men's volleyball American Midwest
Waldorf University Forest City, Iowa 1903 Private 4,500 Warriors 2020-21 men's wrestling
women's wrestling

Former membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Type Nickname Joined Left Current
Avila University Kansas City, Missouri 1916 Private Eagles 2000 2018 Kansas
College of Emporia Emporia, Kansas 1882 Private Fighting Presbies 1971 1974 Closed in 1974
Lindenwood University St. Charles, Missouri 1827 Private Lions 1996 2011 Great Lakes Valley
Ottawa University Ottawa, Kansas 1865 Private Braves 1971 1981 Kansas
Tarkio College Tarkio, Missouri 1883 Private Owls 1971 1992 Closed in 1992
William Jewell College Liberty, Missouri 1849 Private Cardinals 1971 2011 Great Lakes Valley

Membership timelineEdit

 Full member (all sports)   Full member (non-football) 


Conference sports
Sport Men's Women's
Baseball  Y
Basketball  Y  Y
Cross Country  Y  Y
Football  Y
Golf  Y  Y
Soccer  Y  Y
Softball  Y
Tennis  Y  Y
Track & Field Indoor  Y  Y
Track & Field Outdoor  Y  Y
Volleyball  Y
Wrestling  Y

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Heart of America Athletic Conference Athletics News". Haacsports.com. May 7, 2015. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  2. ^ MIAA Archived July 9, 2012, at archive.today
  3. ^ "Heart of America Conference adds two Iowa members | The Kansas City Star". Kansascity.com. January 10, 2014. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  4. ^ "Heart of America Athletic Conference Athletics News". Haacsports.com. April 2, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  5. ^ "Park set to join Heart of America in 2020". Victory Sports Network. October 9, 2019. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  6. ^ "About us". Heart of America Athletic Conference. 2015. Archived from the original on July 22, 2015.

External linksEdit