Missouri Valley Football Conference
Established1982 (chartered)[1]
1985 (began football)
DivisionDivision I FCS
Sports fielded1 (football) (men's: 1; women's: 0)
Former namesGateway Collegiate Athletic Conference (1982–1992)
Gateway Football Conference (1992–2008)
HeadquartersSt. Louis, Missouri
CommissionerPatty Viverito (since 1982)

The Missouri Valley Football Conference (formerly the Gateway Football Conference) is a college 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.


File:GatewayFootballConference 1.png

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

  • Missouri Valley Conference (MVC): A long-established conference, in existence since 1907, that sponsored football until 1985. In its last years as a football conference, it was a hybrid league that included teams in NCAA Divisions I-A (today's FBS) and I-AA (now FCS).
  • Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference (Gateway): A women's sports conference founded in 1982 by MVC member schools.[1][2]
  • Association of Mid-Continent Universities (AMCU): An all-sports conference, also founded in 1982, that sponsored football at the I-AA level through the 1984 season. The AMCU had absorbed the Mid-Continent Athletic Association, a football-only league founded in 1978. (After dropping football, the AMCU later became the Mid-Continent Conference, and is now The Summit League.)

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 in 2001. Southwest Missouri State changed its name to Missouri State in 2005. The Gateway changed its name to the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2008.

On November 2, 2006, Western Kentucky's Board of Regents approved a proposal by the school's president to upgrade the football program to the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS; formerly Division I-A). The Hilltoppers left the GFC after the 2006 season, went through the two-year "reclassification" period mandated by the NCAA for schools moving from the FCS to the FBS, and became a football member of its all-sports conference, the Sun Belt Conference, in 2009.[5]

Due to Western Kentucky's move, the Gateway was left with 7 members for the 2007 season. However, Great West Football Conference members North Dakota State and South Dakota State were asked to submit information about themselves and to attend the conference presidents' meeting.[6] On March 7, 2007, the conference announced that both schools would join the conference beginning with the 2008 season.[7]

On June 6, 2008, the Gateway Football Conference changed its name to the Missouri Valley Football Conference, effective immediately. This change aligns the conference with the Missouri Valley Conference, a conference in which five of the nine Missouri Valley Football schools participate. The conferences will share the "Missouri Valley" name but will remain separate administratively.[8]

On November 4, 2010, the University of South Dakota was invited as the 10th member. This renewed an in-state rivalry with fellow MVFC member South Dakota State.

Member schoolsEdit

Current membersEdit

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Nickname Primary
the MVFC
Illinois State University Normal, Illinois 1857 Public 20,762 1985 Redbirds Missouri Valley
Indiana State University Terre Haute, Indiana 1865 Public 11,120 1986 Sycamores Missouri Valley
Missouri State University Springfield, Missouri 1905 Public 23,092 1985 Bears Summit Missouri Valley
North Dakota State University Fargo, North Dakota 1890 Public 14,189 2008 Bison Summit
University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, Iowa 1876 Public 13,201 1985 Panthers Summit Missouri Valley
University of South Dakota Vermillion, South Dakota 1862 Public 10,151 2012 Coyotes Summit
South Dakota State University Brookings, South Dakota 1881 Public 12,816 2008 Jackrabbits Summit
Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Illinois 1869 Public 19,800 1985 Salukis Missouri Valley
Western Illinois University Macomb, Illinois 1899 Public 13,600 1985 Leathernecks Summit
Youngstown State University Youngstown, Ohio 1908 Public 12,585 1997 Penguins Summit Horizon

Former membersEdit

Institution Location Joined Left Nickname Primary
Eastern Illinois University Charleston, Illinois 1985-86 1995-96 Panthers Summit OVC
Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, Kentucky 2001-02 2006-07 Hilltoppers Sun Belt

Membership timelineEdit

University 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


  • 1985: Northern Iowa (5-0)
  • 1986: Eastern Illinois (5-1)
  • 1987: Northern Iowa (6-0)
  • 1988: Western Illinois (6-0)
  • 1989: Missouri State (5-1)
  • 1990: Missouri State & Northern Iowa (5-1)
  • 1991: Northern Iowa (5-1)
  • 1992: Northern Iowa (5-1)
  • 1993: Northern Iowa (5-1)
  • 1994: Northern Iowa (6-0)
  • 1995: Eastern Illinois & Northern Iowa (5-1)
  • 1996: Northern Iowa (6-0)
  • 1997: Western Illinois (6-0)
  • 1998: Western Illinois (5-1)
  • 1999: Illinois State (6-0)
  • 2000: Western Illinois (5-1)
  • 2001: Northern Iowa (6-1)
  • 2002: Western Illinois & Western Kentucky (6-1)
  • 2003: Northern Iowa & Southern Illinois (6-1)
  • 2004: Southern Illinois (7-0)
  • 2005: Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, & Youngstown State (5-2)
  • 2006: Youngstown State (6-1)
  • 2007: Northern Iowa (6-0)
  • 2008: Southern Illinois & Northern Iowa (7-1)
  • 2009: Southern Illinois (8-0)
  • 2010: Northern Iowa (6-2)
  • 2011: North Dakota State (7-1) & Northern Iowa (7-1)
  • 2012: North Dakota State (7-1)

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
Southern Illinois <center>5 2003. 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009
Western Illinois <center>5 1988, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002
Missouri State <center>2 1989, 1990
Eastern Illinois <center>2 1986, 1995
North Dakota State <center>2 2011, 2012
Youngstown State <center>2 2005, 2006
Illinois State <center>1 1999
Western Kentucky <center>1 2002
Indiana State <center>0 N/A
South Dakota State <center>0 N/A
South Dakota <center>0 N/A

Most national championshipsEdit

Team Titles Title Years Finals Runner-up
Youngstown State 4 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997 6 1992, 1999
North Dakota State 2 2011, 2012 2
Southern Illinois 1 1983 1
Western Kentucky^ 1 2002 1
Northern Iowa 0 1 2005

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


School Football Stadium Capacity
Illinois State Hancock Stadium 15,000
Indiana State Memorial Stadium 12,764
Missouri State Plaster Sports Complex 16,300
North Dakota State Fargodome 19,500
Northern Iowa UNI-Dome 17,000
South Dakota DakotaDome 10,000
South Dakota State Coughlin–Alumni Stadium 15,000
Southern Illinois Saluki Stadium 15,276
Western Illinois Hanson Field 17,168
Youngstown State Stambaugh Stadium 20,630


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "This is the Missouri Valley Conference". Missouri Valley Conference. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
  2. "Gateway Conference Adding Six Teams in Men's Football" (in English). St. Louis, Missouri: Los Angeles Times. August 25, 1985. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  3. "Universities plan new football conference" (in Carbondale, Illinois). St. Joseph Gazette. July 9, 1985. p. 2G. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  4. "Indiana State Historical Data". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  5. "WKU Regents Approve Move To Division 1-A (sic) Football". Western Kentucky University. 2006-11-02. 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.
  8. "Gateway Football Conference Changes Its Name". Gateway Football Conference. 2008-06-06. Retrieved 2008-06-07.

External linksEdit

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Missouri Valley Football Conference.
The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with American Football Database, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.