Ohio Valley Conference
(OVC)
Established1948
AssociationNCAA
DivisionDivision I FCS
Members12
Sports fielded17 (men's: 8; women's: 9)
RegionMidwest and South
HeadquartersBrentwood, Tennessee
CommissionerBeth DeBauche (since 2009)
Websiteovcsports.com
Locations

The Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) is a college athletic conference which operates in the midwestern and southeastern United States. It participates in Division I of the NCAA; the conference's football programs compete in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS; formerly known as Division I-AA), the lower of two levels of Division I football competition. The OVC has 12 members, 9 of which compete in football in the conference.

History[edit | edit source]

Primary source : [1]

The Ohio Valley Conference can trace its roots to 1941 when Murray State athletic director Roy Stewart, Eastern Kentucky athletic director Charles "Turkey" Hughes, and Western Kentucky public relations director Kelly Thompson first formulated the idea of establishing a regional athletics conference. The plan was put on hold due to World War II, but it was resurrected after the conclusion of the war. In 1948, the three schools joined with Louisville, Morehead State, and Evansville to form the Ohio Valley Conference. While many collegiate conferences are struggling today with the question of whether their policies and rules should be determined by the athletic departments or by the institutional heads, from the very beginning, the OVC has been run by the presidents of its member schools.

Historically, the OVC was a pioneer in racial desegregation with Morehead State signing the conference's first black athlete, Marshall Banks, in 1958. The rest of the OVC soon followed in Morehead State's wake. Today, the OVC is unique among NCAA Division I conferences in that it includes one historically black university, Tennessee State University, in a conference that otherwise consists of institutions that are not traditionally black. All other HBCUs in NCAA Division I are members of either the MEAC or SWAC, conferences made up entirely of HBCUs.

The OVC has also been a leader in advancement of sports opportunities fore women. The conference began adding championship competitions for women in 1977 several years after the AIAW began sponsoring national championships for women, but seven years before the NCAA was ready to move into the field. Since 2009, the OVC has been led by Commissioner Beth DeBauche, one of only five female commissioners for the twenty-four Division I conferences.[2]

Athletic rivalries, especially when competitors are in relatively close proximity, can generate problems with fan behavior, and the conference leadership struggled with controlling the issue for many years. When the national debate on the problem reached its apex in the mid-1990s, the OVC unveiled the national first of its kind "Sportsmanship Statement” in 1995, stating the conference's policy on, "... principles of fair play, ethical conduct and respect for one's opponent." Since then, the OVC has also introduced individual, team (for each sport), and institutional sportsmanship awards.

Founded by six schools, the expansions of 2007 and 2011 have brought the Ohio Valley Conference membership to twelve schools, the most in its history.

OVC Digital Network[edit | edit source]

In August, 2012, the OVC announced that it had launched the OVC Digital Network as a replacement for and improvement over the conference's former efforts to provide streaming video coverage of many athletic events that it had been in place since 2006.[3]

Member schools[edit | edit source]

File:OhioValleyLocations.png

Locations of current Ohio Valley Conference full member institutions.

Full members[edit | edit source]

Institution Location
(Population)
Founded Type Enrollment Joined Football
Member?
Nickname
East Division
Belmont University Nashville, Tennessee
(619,626)
1890 Private/
Non-denominational
6,647[4] 2012 No Bruins
Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, Kentucky
(30,008)
1906 Public 16,183 1948 Yes Colonels (men's)
Lady Colonels (women's)
Jacksonville State University Jacksonville, Alabama
(12,548)
1883 Public 9,504 2003 Yes Gamecocks
Morehead State University Morehead, Kentucky
(5,914)
1922 Public 9,509 1948 NoNote Eagles
Tennessee State University Nashville, Tennessee
(619,626)
1912 Public 10,450 1986 Yes Tigers (men's)
Lady Tigers (women's)
Tennessee Technological University Cookeville, Tennessee
(27,648)
1912 Public 9,217 1949 Yes Golden Eagles
West Division
Austin Peay State University Clarksville, Tennessee
(132,929)
1927 Public 9,192 1962 Yes Governors (men's)
Lady Govs (women's)
Eastern Illinois University Charleston, Illinois
(21,039)
1895 Public 11,651 1996 Yes Panthers
Murray State University Murray, Kentucky
(17,741)
1922 Public 10,832 1948 Yes Racers
Southeast Missouri State University Cape Girardeau, Missouri
(37,525)
1873 Public 9,615 1991 Yes Redhawks
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Edwardsville, Illinois
(24,047)
1957 Public 14,055 2008 No Cougars
University of Tennessee at Martin Martin, Tennessee
(10,515)
1927 Public 7,913[5] 1992 Yes Skyhawks

Note = Morehead State's football team competes in the Pioneer Football League, a Division I FCS football-only conference whose members choose not to offer athletic scholarships for football.

Associate members[edit | edit source]

Institution Location
(Population)
Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Primary Conference OVC Sport
Columbus State University[6] Columbus, Georgia
(189,885)
1958 Public 8,298 Cougars Peach Belt Rifle

Former members[edit | edit source]

Institution Location
(Population)
Nickname Joined Left New Conference Current Conference Classification
University of Akron Akron, Ohio
(199,110)
Zips 1980 1987 NCAA D-I Independent Mid-American (MAC) Division I FBS
East Tennessee State University Johnson City, Tennessee
(63,152)
Buccaneers 1958 1978 SoCon Atlantic Sun (A-Sun) Division I Non-football
University of Evansville Evansville, Indiana
(117,429)
Purple Aces 1948 1952 ICC
(NCAA Division II)
Missouri Valley Division I Non-football
University of Louisville Louisville, Kentucky
(746,906)
Cardinals 1948 1949 NCAA Independent Big East (ACC in 2014) Division I FBS
Marshall University Huntington, West Virginia
(49,253)
Thundering Herd 1949 1952 NCAA Independent2 C-USA Division I FBS
Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro, Tennessee
(108,755)
Blue Raiders 1952 2000 Sun Belt (C-USA in 2014) Division I FBS
Samford University Homewood, Alabama
(25,167)
Bulldogs 2003 2008 Southern Division I FCS
Western Kentucky University1 Bowling Green, Kentucky
(58,067)
Hilltoppers 1948 1982 Sun Belt Division I FBS
Youngstown State University Youngstown, Ohio
(66,982)
Penguins 1981 1988 Mid-Continent
NCAA I-AA Independent (football)
Horizon
MVFC (football)
Division I FCS

[7]

Notes
  1. Western Kentucky rejoined the OVC for football only from the 1999–2000 to the 2000–01 academic seasons.
  2. Marshall left the OVC to become an Independent for 1 year prior to joining the Mid-American Conference (MAC).

Membership timeline[edit | edit source]

Columbus State UniversityBelmont UniversitySouthern Illinois University EdwardsvilleJacksonville State UniversitySamford UniversityEastern Illinois UniversityUniversity of Tennessee at MartinSoutheast Missouri State UniversityTennessee State UniversityYoungstown State UniversityUniversity of AkronAustin Peay State UniversityEast Tennessee State UniversityMiddle Tennessee State UniversityTennessee Technological UniversityMarshall UniversityMurray State UniversityEastern Kentucky UniversityMorehead State UniversityWestern Kentucky UniversityUniversity of EvansvilleUniversity of Louisville

Purple = Full member
Magenta = Full member except football
Orange = Associate member for football only
Green = Associate for sport other than football

Comments:[edit | edit source]
  • Morehead State's football team competes in the Pioneer Football League], a Division I FCS football-only conference whose members choose not to offer athletic scholarships for football.
  • Austin Peay's football team left the OVC after the 1996 season to compete as an independent. After four seasons as an independent, the team joined the Pioneer Football League in 2001, and remained there through the 2005 season. Austin Peay then returned to scholarship football, spending the 2006 season as an independent before reentering OVC football competition in 2007.

Sports offered[edit | edit source]

The Ohio Valley Conference currently offers championship competition in eighteen NCAA sanctioned sports, eight for men, nine for women, and rifle for men's, women's, and coed teams.[8] Columbus State is an Associate member for rifle.

Teams in OVC competition
Sport Men's Women's Mixed
Baseball
11
-
-
Basketball
12
12
-
Cross Country
12
12
-
Football
9
-
-
Golf
11
10
-
Rifle
0
1
5
Soccer
-
11
-
Softball
-
12
-
Tennis
11
11
-
Track and Field (Indoor)
6
10
-
Track and Field (Outdoor)
7
11
-
Volleyball
-
12
-

Men's sponsored sports by school:[edit | edit source]

School Baseball Basketball Cross Country Football Golf Rifle* Tennis Track & Field
(Indoor)
Track & Field
(Outdoor)
Total OVC Sports
Austin Peay
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxN
13pxY
13pxN
13pxN
6
Belmont
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxN
13pxY
13pxN
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
7
Eastern Illinois
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxN
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
8
Eastern Kentucky
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxN
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
8
Jacksonville State
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY*
13pxY
13pxN
13pxN
7
Morehead State
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxN
13pxY
13pxY*
13pxY
13pxN
13pxY
7
Murray State
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY*
13pxY
13pxN
13pxN
7
Southeast Missouri
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxN
13pxN
13pxN
13pxY
13pxY
6
SIU Edwardsville
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxN
13pxY
13pxN
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
7
Tennessee State
13pxN
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxN
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
7
Tennessee Tech
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxN
13pxY
13pxN
13pxN
6
UT-Martin
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY*
13pxY
13pxN
13pxN
8
Totals
11
12
12
9
11
5
11
6
7
84
  • * = Rifle is technically a men's sport, but men's, women's, and coed teams all compete against each other. All competing OVC schools have coed teams, and Tennessee-Martin has both a women's and a coed team.


Men's varsity sports not sponsored by the Ohio Valley Conference which are played by OVC schools:

School Soccer Swimming & Diving Rodeo* Wrestling
Belmont Independent
---
---
---
Eastern Illinois Summit League Summit League
---
---
Murray State
---
---
NIRA*
---
SIU Edwardsville Missouri Valley
---
---
Southern
UT-Martin
---
---
NIRA*
---
  • * = Rodeo is sanctioned by the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA), not the NCAA.


Women's sponsored sports by school:[edit | edit source]

School Basketball Cross Country Golf Rifle* Soccer Softball Tennis Track & Field
(Indoor)
Track & Field
(Outdoor)
Volleyball Total OVC Sports
Austin Peay
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxN
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
9
Belmont
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxN
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
9
Eastern Illinois
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxN
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
9
Eastern Kentucky
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxN
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
9
Jacksonville State
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY*
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
10
Morehead State
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY*
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxN
13pxY
13pxY
9
Murray State
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY*
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
10
Southeast Missouri
13pxY
13pxY
13pxN
13pxN
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
8
SIU Edwardsville
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxN
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
9
Tennessee State
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxN
13pxN
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
8
Tennessee Tech
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxN
13pxY
13pxY
13pxN
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
8
UT-Martin
13pxY
13pxY
13pxN
13pxY*
13pxY
13pxY
13pxY
13pxN
13pxN
13pxY
8
Totals
12
12
10
6
11
12
11
10
11
12
107
  • * = Rifle is technically a men's sport, but men's, women's, and coed teams all compete against each other. All competing OVC schools have coed teams, and Tennessee-Martin has both a women's and a coed team.


Women's varsity sports not sponsored by the Ohio Valley Conference which are played by OVC schools:

School Swimming & Diving Rugby Rodeo* Gymnastics Equestrian
Eastern Illinois Summit League Independent
---
---
---
Murray State
---
---
NIRA*
---
---
Southeast Missouri
---
---
---
Independent
---
UT-Martin
---
---
NIRA*
---
Independent
  • * = Rodeo is sanctioned by the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA), not the NCAA.

Conference champions[edit | edit source]

Football conference champions[edit | edit source]

This is a list of the champions since 2000. For the complete history, see List of Ohio Valley Conference football champions.

Year Regular Season Champion Record FCS Championship Result
2000 Western Kentucky 7–0 Quarterfinals
2001 Eastern Illinois 6–1 First Round
2002 Eastern Illinois
Murray State
5–1 First Round
2003 Jacksonville State 7–1 First Round
2004 Jacksonville State 7–1 First Round
2005 Eastern Illinois 8–0 First Round
2006 UT Martin
Eastern Illinois
6–1
7–1
First Round
2007 Eastern Kentucky 8–0 First Round
2008 Eastern Kentucky 7–1 First Round
2009 Eastern Illinois $ 6–2 First Round
2010 Southeast Missouri State 7–1 First Round
2011 Tennessee Tech $$
Eastern Kentucky
Jacksonville State
6–2
6–2
6–2
First Round
First Round
DNP
2012 Eastern Illinois 6–1 First Round

$ – Jacksonville State (6–1) had the best record in the conference, but was ineligible for the championship due to Academic Progress Rate sanctions.

$$ – Tennessee Tech won the tie-breaker and received the automatic bid to the FCS playoffs.

Men's basketball[edit | edit source]

This is list of the champions since 2000. For the complete history, see List of Ohio Valley Conference men's basketball champions.

Year Regular Season Champion Record Tournament Champion
2001–02 Tennessee Tech 15–1 Murray State
2002–03 Austin Peay
Morehead State
13–3 Austin Peay
2003–04 Austin Peay 16–0 Murray State
2004–05 Tennessee Tech 12–4 Eastern Kentucky
2005–06 Murray State 17–3 Murray State
2006–07 Austin Peay 16–4 Eastern Kentucky
2007–08 Austin Peay 16–4 Austin Peay Tournament
2008–09 UT Martin 14–4 Morehead State Tournament
2009–10 Murray State 17–1 Murray State Tournament
2010–11 Murray State 14–4 Morehead State Tournament
2011–12 Murray State 15–1 Murray State Tournament
2012–13 East: Belmont
West: Murray State
14–2
10-6
TBD Tournament

Facilities[edit | edit source]

School Football stadium Capacity Basketball arena Capacity Baseball stadium Capacity Softball stadium Capacity
Austin Peay Governors Stadium 10,000 Dunn Center 9,000 Raymond C. Hand Park 1,000 Cheryl Holt Field N/A
Belmont Non-football school Curb Event Center 5,085 E. S. Rose Park N/A E. S. Rose Park N/A
Eastern Illinois O'Brien Stadium 10,000 Lantz Arena 5,300 Coaches Stadium at Monier Field 500 Williams Field N/A
Eastern Kentucky Roy Kidd Stadium 20,000 Alumni Coliseum 6,300 Turkey Hughes Field N/A Gertrude Hood Field N/A
Jacksonville State JSU Stadium 24,000 Pete Mathews Coliseum 5,800 Rudy Abbott Field 1,000 University Field 1,000
Morehead State Jayne StadiumNote 10,000 Ellis Johnson Arena 6,500 John "Sonny" Allen Field 1,200 University Softball Field N/A
Murray State Roy Stewart Stadium 16,800 CFSB Center 8,825 Johnny Reagan Field 800 Racer Field N/A
Southeast Missouri State Houck Stadium 11,015 Show Me Center 6,972 Capaha Field 2,000 Southeast Softball Complex 600
SIU-Edwardsville Non-football school Vadalabene Center 4,000 Roy E. Lee Field at Simmons Baseball Complex 1,000 Cougar Field 1,000
UT Martin Graham Stadium 8,000 Skyhawk Arena 5,000 Skyhawk Park N/A Bettye Giles Softball Field N/A
Tennessee State LP Field 68,000 Gentry Complex 10,500 Non-baseball school Tiger Field 500
Tennessee Tech Tucker Stadium 16,500 Eblen Center 10,152 Bush Stadium at Averitt Express Baseball Complex 1,100 Tech Softball Field 1,000

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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