Mid-South Conference

The Mid-South Conference (MSC) is an athletic conference affiliated with the NAIA. Member institutions are located in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Mid-South Conference
Mid-South Conference logo
Members9 (12 in 2020; 22 for football)
Sports fielded
  • 23
    • men's: 11
    • women's: 10
RegionSouthern United States, Ohio
Region XI of the NAIA
HeadquartersLouisville, Kentucky
CommissionerEric Ward (since November 15, 2013)
Mid-South Conference locations

The Mid-South Conference has nine full members: Campbellsville, Cumberland (TN), Cumberlands (KY), Georgetown College (KY), Lindsey Wilson, Life, Pikeville, Shawnee State, and Thomas More. Seven of these members sponsor football; Life and Shawnee State do not.

The Mid-South Conference also has six associate members that compete primarily in other conferences. Faulkner, Kentucky Christian, Union and recently former member Bluefield are associate members of the MSC for football, Bethel is an associate member of the MSC for football and archery, and Reinhardt is an associate member of the MSC for football. This gave the conference 13 members for football. In the spring of 2016, the conference expanded to 20 members, adding the six football members of The Sun Conference, as well as Faulkner University for football,[1] On January 4, 2018, the conference added Keiser University for football,[2] and St. Thomas announced in July they would be joining the conference for football in 2019.[3] Another Sun Conference member, Florida Memorial in Miami Gardens, Florida is joining the MSC as an affiliate member for football in 2020, after re-adding the sport.[4] Also in 2020, Bethel is becoming a Mid-South full member, bringing track and field back to the MSC, and transferring all sports other than football and archery to the conference; additionally, Freed–Hardeman and Martin Methodist are joining Mid-South.[5]

In April 2018, Thomas More University (then Thomas More College), which had been an NAIA member before moving to NCAA Division III in 1990, announced that it had been formally invited to rejoin the NAIA effective in 2019–20 as a member of the Mid-South Conference. The school, while acknowledging that it was considering this move, denied published reports that it had accepted the invitation.[6] Thomas More eventually confirmed in July that it would join the Mid-South in 2019.[7]

The league is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, and the commissioner is Eric Ward.

Member schoolsEdit

Full membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined
Campbellsville University Campbellsville, Kentucky 1906 Private (Southern Baptist) 3,318 Tigers 1995
Cumberland University Lebanon, Tennessee 1842 Private (Nonsectarian) 1,345 Phoenix 1995,
University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg, Kentucky 1887 Private (Christian) 1,743 Patriots 1995
Georgetown College Georgetown, Kentucky 1829 Private (Southern Baptist) 1,400 Tigers 1995
Life University Marietta, Georgia 1974 Private (Nonsectarian) 2,800 Running Eagles 2014
Lindsey Wilson College Columbia, Kentucky 1903 Private (United Methodist) 2,677 Blue Raiders 2000
University of Pikeville Pikeville, Kentucky 1889 Private (Presbyterian) 1,156 Bears 2000
Shawnee State University Portsmouth, Ohio 1986 Public 4,300 Bears 2010
Thomas More University Crestview Hills, Kentucky 1921 Private (Catholic) 1,963 Saints 2019
  • Cumberland (TN) — left the Mid-South in 2002, and re-joined in 2012.

Future membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joining Current conference
Bethel University McKenzie, Tennessee 1842 Private (Cumberland Presbyterian) 2,975 Wildcats 2020 Southern States
Freed–Hardeman University Henderson, Tennessee 1869 Private/Churches of Christ 2,050+ Lions American Midwest
Martin Methodist College Pulaski, Tennessee 1870 Private (Methodist) 1,000 Red Hawks Southern States
  • Bethel (TN) — for archery and football, left the Mid-South after the 1996 fall season (1996–97 season); later re-joined in the 2003 fall season (2003–04 season). In the 2020 fall season (2020–21 season), Bethel is moving track & field back to the Mid-South after initially joining as an affiliate from 2007 to 2013, and transferring all other sports to the conference.

Affiliate membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Enrollment Nickname Joined Mid-South
Ave Maria University Ave Maria, Florida 2003 1,080 Gyrenes 2017 Football Sun Conference
Bluefield College Bluefield, Virginia 1922 793 Rams 2014–15 Football Appalachian
Faulkner University Montgomery, Alabama 1942 2,212 Eagles 2008–09 Football Southern States
Keiser University West Palm Beach, Florida 1977 16,760 Seahawks 2018 Football & Wrestling Sun Conference
Kentucky Christian University Grayson, Kentucky 1919 550 Knights 2009 Archery, Baseball, Football & Softball Appalachian
Point University West Point, Georgia 1937 1,450 Skyhawks 2017 Football Appalachian
St. Thomas University Miami Gardens, Florida 1961 4,674 Bobcats 2019 Football Sun Conference
Southeastern University Lakeland, Florida 1935 7000 Fire 2017 Football & Wrestling Sun Conference
St. Andrews University Laurinburg, North Carolina 1896 600 Knights 2017 Football Appalachian
Reinhardt University Waleska, Georgia 1883 1,057 Eagles 2013–14 Football Appalachian
Union College Barbourville, Kentucky 1879 1,350 Bulldogs 2002–03 Football Appalachian
Warner University Lake Wales, Florida 1968 1,037 Royals 2017 Football Sun Conference
Webber International University Babson Park, Florida 1927 616 Warriors 2017 Football Sun Conference

Future associate memberEdit

Institution Location Founded Enrollment Nickname Joining Mid-South
Florida Memorial University Miami Gardens, Florida 1879 1,784 Lions 2020 Football Sun Conference

Beginning with the 2017 season, The Sun Conference and Mid-South merged its football conferences into the largest football conference in college sports.[8][9] Edward Waters was previously a full member of the Sun Conference from 2006 to 2010 and a football affiliate member from 2014 to 2016 seasons. Edward Waters left after the 2018 football season. The divisions are divided below.

Former membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Nickname Joined Left Current
Bluefield College Bluefield, Virginia 1922 Rams 2012 2014 Appalachian
Lambuth University Jackson, Tennessee 1843 Eagles 1995 2006 Closed in 2011
North Greenville University Tigerville, South Carolina 1891 Crusaders 1995 2001 Carolinas
(NCAA Division II)
St. Catharine College St. Catharine, Kentucky 1873 Patriots 2008 2016 Closed in 2016
University of Rio Grande Rio Grande, Ohio 1876 RedStorm 2009 2014 River States
Union College Barbourville, Kentucky 1879 Bulldogs 1995 2002 Appalachian
University of Virginia's College at Wise Wise, Virginia 1954 Highland Cavaliers[a] 2010 2013 South Atlantic
(NCAA Division II)
West Virginia University
Institute of Technology
Montgomery, West Virginia[b] 1895 Golden Bears 2006 2012 River States
  1. ^ UVA–Wise dropped "Highland" from its athletic nickname in 2017.
  2. ^ WVU Tech's campus is now in Beckley, West Virginia, but was in Montgomery during the school's tenure in the Mid-South Conference.

Former affiliate membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Nickname Joined Left Mid-South
Belhaven University Jackson, Mississippi 1894 Blazers 1998–99 2014–15 football American Southwest
(NCAA Division III)
Edward Waters College Jacksonville, Florida 1866 Tigers 2017 2018 football Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
Cincinnati Christian University Cincinnati, Ohio 1924 Eagles 2015–16 2018-19 football Closed in 2019
Cumberland University Lebanon, Tennessee 1842 Bulldogs[a] 2002–03 2011–12 football Mid-South
Kentucky Wesleyan College Owensboro, Kentucky 1858 Panthers 2004–05 2005–06 football G-MAC
(NCAA Division II)
Lambuth University Jackson, Tennessee 1843 Eagles 2006–07 2009–10 football Closed in 2011
Shorter University Rome, Georgia 1873 Hawks 2005–06fb.
track & field
Gulf South Conference
(NCAA Division II)
University of Virginia's College at Wise Wise, Virginia 1954 Highland Cavaliers[b] 2002–03 2009–10 football South Atlantic
(NCAA Division II)
  1. ^ Cumberland changed its nickname from Bulldogs to Phoenix in 2016.
  2. ^ UVA–Wise dropped "Highland" from its athletic nickname in 2017.


Member teams compete in 23 sports: 11 men's, 10 women's and 2 mixed.

Conference sports
Sport Men's Women's Mixed
Archery  Y
Baseball  Y
Basketball  Y  Y
Bowling  Y  Y
Cheerleading  Y
Cross Country  Y  Y
Football  Y
Golf  Y  Y
Soccer  Y  Y
Softball  Y
Swimming  Y  Y
Tennis  Y  Y
Track & Field Outdoor  Y  Y
Volleyball  Y
Wrestling  Y

Football divisionsEdit


  1. ^ Wilson, Michael (February 25, 2016). "Local teams officially join Mid-South football conference". The Lakeland Ledger. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  2. ^ Evenson, Johyn (October 11, 2016). "Keiser University Athletics adds football starting in 2018". Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  3. ^ McPherson, Jordan (August 29, 2018). "This South Florida college will have a football team. And it'll start playing next year". Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  4. ^ "Football Joins Mid-South Conference As Affiliate Member". fmuathletics.com. October 15, 2019. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  5. ^ "Bethel, Freed-Hardeman and Martin Methodist Renew Rivalries with Mid-South Conference Move". Mid-South Conference. July 25, 2019. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  6. ^ Brown, Kyle; Weber, James (April 17, 2018). "Thomas More College approved to move to NAIA beginning in 2019". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  7. ^ Weber, James (July 24, 2018). "Thomas More College to join the NAIA in 2019". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  8. ^ "Mid-South Conference Creates Largest College Football Conference". The Sun Conference. February 25, 2016. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  9. ^ "Mid-South, Sun conferences unite for 20-team football league". Tennessean.com. February 25, 2016. Retrieved March 15, 2016.

External linksEdit