Missouri Valley Football Conference

The Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC), formerly the Gateway Football Conference, is a collegiate athletic conference which operates in the Midwestern United States. It participates in the NCAA's Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) as a football-only conference.

Missouri Valley Football Conference
Missouri Valley Football Conference logo
Established1982 (chartered)[1]
1985 (began football)
DivisionDivision I
Sports fielded
  • 1 (football)
    • men's: 1
    • women's: 0
Former namesGateway Football Conference (1992–2008)
Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference (1982–1992)
HeadquartersSt. Louis, Missouri
CommissionerPatty Viverito (since 1982)
Missouri Valley Football Conference locations


Gateway Conference logo

The Missouri Valley Football Conference has a complex history that involves three other conferences:

In 1985, the MVC stopped sponsoring football. At that time, the two remaining I-AA members from the MVC (Illinois State and Southern Illinois) joined Eastern Illinois, Northern Iowa, Southwest Missouri State, and Western Illinois from the AMCU and together became a football conference under the Gateway's auspices.[3] Indiana State, which had left MVC football after the 1981 season to become a Division I-AA independent while remaining a full MVC member, would join the next year.[4]

In 1992, when the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference merged with the MVC,[1] the football conference kept the Gateway charter, with a minor name change to Gateway Football Conference. After Eastern Illinois joined the Ohio Valley Conference for football in 1995, Youngstown State joined in 1997 and was followed by Western Kentucky University in 2001. Southwest Missouri State changed its name to Missouri State in 2005.

Western Kentucky moved to the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS; formerly Division I-A) after the 2006 season.[5] Left with seven members for the 2007 season, Great West Football Conference members North Dakota State and South Dakota State[6] were invited to join the conference beginning with the 2008 season.[7] Subsequently, the Gateway Football Conference changed its name to the Missouri Valley Football Conference in June 2008. This change aligned the conference with the Missouri Valley Conference, a conference in which five of the nine Missouri Valley Football schools were (and still are) all-sports members. The conferences continue to share the "Missouri Valley" name, and space in the same building in St. Louis, but remain separate administratively.[8]

The University of South Dakota joined as the 10th member in 2012. The University of North Dakota will join as the 11th member in 2020. This will bring back the yearly rivalries between North Dakota and both North Dakota State and South Dakota, as well as establishing a potential rivalry with South Dakota State.[9][10][11]

Member schoolsEdit

Missouri State
North Dakota State
North Dakota
Northern Iowa
South Dakota
South Dakota State
Southern Illinois
Western Illinois
Youngstown State
Locations of Missouri Valley Football Conference Members
 Horizon League member
 Missouri Valley Conference member
 Summit League member

Current membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Enrollment Joined Nickname Primary
the MVFC
Indiana State University Terre Haute, Indiana 1865 12,531 1986 Sycamores Missouri Valley Missouri Valley
Illinois State University Normal, Illinois 1857 20,272 1985 Redbirds
Missouri State University Springfield, Missouri 1905 26,000 1985 Bears Summit League
University of North Dakota Grand Forks, North Dakota 1883 13,581 2020 Fighting Hawks Summit League
North Dakota State University Fargo, North Dakota 1890 14,629 2008 Bison Summit League
University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, Iowa 1876 12,159 1985 Panthers Missouri Valley
University of South Dakota Vermillion, South Dakota 1862 10,284 2012 Coyotes Summit League
South Dakota State University Brookings, South Dakota 1881 12,725 2008 Jackrabbits
Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Illinois 1869 17,964 1985 Salukis Missouri Valley Missouri Valley
Western Illinois University Macomb, Illinois 1899 13,600 1985 Leathernecks Summit League Summit League
Youngstown State University Youngstown, Ohio 1908 14,483 1997 Penguins Horizon

Former membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Left Nickname Primary
Eastern Illinois University Charleston, Illinois 1895 Public 11,651 1985 1995 Panthers Summit League OVC
Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, Kentucky 1906 Public 21,048 2001 2007 Hilltoppers Sun Belt C-USA

Membership timelineEdit

University of North DakotaUniversity of South DakotaSouth Dakota State UniversityNorth Dakota State UniversityWestern Kentucky UniversityYoungstown State UniversityIndiana State UniversityWestern Illinois UniversitySouthern Illinois UniversityUniversity of Northern IowaMissouri State UniversityIllinois State UniversityEastern Illinois University

Conference championsEdit

Conference titles by schoolEdit

School Championships Championship Years
Northern Iowa
1985, 1987, 1990†, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995†, 1996, 2001, 2003†, 2005‡, 2007, 2008†, 2010, 2011
North Dakota State
2011†, 2012, 2013, 2014†, 2015†, 2016†, 2017, 2018, 2019
Southern Illinois
2003†, 2004, 2005‡, 2008†, 2009
Western Illinois
1988, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002†
Illinois State
1999, 2014†, 2015
Missouri State
1989, 1990†
Eastern Illinois*
1986, 1995†
Youngstown State
2005‡, 2006
South Dakota State
Western Kentucky*
Indiana State
South Dakota
North Dakota

2-way tie for conference championship
3-way tie for conference championship
* Team no longer in conference

NCAA Football Championship Subdivision national championshipsEdit

Team Titles Title Years Finals Runner-up
North Dakota State 8 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 8
Youngstown State 4 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997 7 1992, 1999, 2016
Southern Illinois 1 1983 1
WKU 1 2002 1
Northern Iowa 0 1 2005
Illinois State 0 1 2014

Now a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).


Overall winning streaksEdit

# Team Streak Spoiler Season(s)
1. North Dakota State 37 Ongoing 2017–
2. North Dakota State 33 † Northern Iowa 2012–2014
3. North Dakota State 14 South Dakota State 2015–2016
4. Northern Iowa 13 Delaware 2006–2007
Western Kentucky 13 Auburn 2002–2003

FCS Record [12]

Consecutive conference winsEdit

  1. North Dakota State, 18 (2012–2014)
  2. North Dakota State, 18 (2017–)


Team Stadium Capacity
Illinois State Hancock Stadium 13,391
Indiana State Memorial Stadium 12,764
Missouri State Plaster Sports Complex 17,500
North Dakota Alerus Center 12,283
North Dakota State Fargodome 19,000
Northern Iowa UNI-Dome 16,324
South Dakota DakotaDome 10,000
South Dakota State Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium 19,340
Southern Illinois Saluki Stadium 15,000
Western Illinois Hanson Field 17,168
Youngstown State Stambaugh Stadium 20,630


  1. ^ a b c "This is the Missouri Valley Conference". Missouri Valley Conference. Archived from the original on September 15, 2015. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
  2. ^ "Gateway Conference Adding Six Teams in Men's Football". Los Angeles Times. St. Louis, Missouri. August 25, 1985. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  3. ^ "Universities plan new football conference". Carbondale, Illinois: St. Joseph Gazette. July 9, 1985. p. 2G. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  4. ^ "Indiana State Historical Data". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  5. ^ "WKU Regents Approve Move To Division 1-A (sic) Football". Western Kentucky University. 2006-11-02. Archived from the original on 2008-01-15. Retrieved 2006-11-03.
  6. ^ "Gateway Eyes Dakotas For Expansion". ESPN. 2006-10-26. Retrieved 2006-11-19.
  7. ^ "Gateway Expands to Nine Members". Gateway Football Conference. 2007-03-07. Retrieved 2007-03-09.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Gateway Football Conference Changes Its Name". Gateway Football Conference. 2008-06-06. Retrieved 2008-06-07.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "North Dakota to Join Summit League, Missouri Valley Football Conference". Espn991.com. 2017-01-24. Archived from the original on 2017-03-20. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
  10. ^ "Sources: North Dakota set to leave Big Sky Conference | Big Sky Conference". billingsgazette.com. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
  11. ^ "Report: UND to join Summit League in 2018, MVFC in 2020". Argusleader.com. 2017-01-24. Retrieved 2017-04-23.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-11-11. Retrieved 2018-11-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit