|Pioneer Football League|
|Division||Division I FCS|
|Members||10 (12 in 2013)|
|Sports fielded||1 (football) (men's: 1; women's: 0)|
|Headquarters||St. Louis, Missouri|
|Commissioner||Patty Viverito (since 1994)|
The Pioneer Football League is a college athletic conference which operates in the East, Midwest, and California of the United States. It has member schools that range from New York, North Carolina, and Florida in the east to California in the west. The conference participates in the NCAA's Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) as a football-only conference. Unlike most other Division I FCS conferences, the Pioneer League consists of institutions that choose not to award athletic scholarships ("grants-in-aid") to football players.
Following an NCAA rule change passed in January 1991, which required Division I schools to conduct all sports at the Division I level by 1993, the conference was formed by charter members Butler University, the University of Dayton, Drake University, the University of Evansville, and Valparaiso University. The University of San Diego joined in 1992, and the league played its first season in 1993. Talk of Creighton University and Bradley University joining the league in its origins never materialized by 1993. The six original schools which played in the 1993 season had previously sponsored football at the Division I, Division II and Division III levels.
The league was narrowed back to five members after Evansville downgraded football from Division I to club status in 1997. Evansville explored upgrading football again to NCAA Division I in 2007, but plans fell through. Studies still continue about a possible football resurrection, which would most likely lead to Evansville re-joining the league.
In 2001, the conference nearly doubled in size and was reorganized with the five current members forming the North Division, and newcomers Austin Peay State University, Davidson College, Jacksonville University and Morehead State University forming the South Division. This reorganization also spawned a new championship system in which the best record holders from each division would play in a title game for the conference championship.
2005–2008 membership changes
On April 8, 2005, Austin Peay announced that it would be leaving the Pioneer Football League after the 2005 season and returning to scholarship-granting competition in 2007 with the Ohio Valley Conference in which it competes in other sports. As a result, the conference was reverted to round-robin play and the divisions and championship game were removed. However, on April 7, 2006 Campbell University announced it would bring back football at the non-scholarship level for the 2008 season, and on December 5, 2007 it accepted an invitation to the PFL. In February 2008, Marist College announced that it would join the PFL for the 2009 season, after the MAAC stopped sponsoring football. Although Campbell moved from the Atlantic Sun Conference to the Big South Conference, which sponsors football, in 2011, it did not join the Big South football conference and remains in the PFL.
2013 membership changes
On June 13, 2011 it was announced that Mercer and Stetson would join the league in 2013. That will bring the league's membership to 12 teams. 
|Institution||Location||Founded||First Football Year||Type||Enrollment (Undergraduate)||Joined||Left||Nickname||Left for|
|University of Evansville||Evansville, Indiana||1854||1898||Private||3,050||1991||1997||Purple Aces||Dropped football|
|Austin Peay State University||Clarksville, Tennessee||1927||1970||Public||8,650||2001||2006||Governors||Ohio Valley Conference|
|Institution||Location||Founded||First Football Year||Type||Enrollment (Undergraduate)||Joins||Nickname||Primary Conference|
|Mercer University||Macon, Georgia||1833||1892 (2013)||Private||5,500||2013||Bears||Atlantic Sun Conference|
|Stetson University||Deland, Florida||1883||1901 (2013)||Private||2,200||2013||Hatters||Atlantic Sun Conference|
Conference championships Edit
|2005||San Diego||Championship Game|
League titles by schoolEdit
|Dayton|| ||1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2009, 2010|
|Drake||<center>5||1995, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2011|
|San Diego||<center>4||2005, 2006, 2007, 2011|
PFL Championship Game Edit
|Season||Season Champion||Record||Date||Game Champion||Score||Runner-Up||Location|
|2001||Dayton||4–0||Nov. 17, 2001||Dayton||46–14||Jacksonville||Dayton, OH|
|2002||Dayton||4–0||Nov. 23, 2002||Dayton||28–0||Morehead State||Morehead, KY|
|2003||Valparaiso||3–1||Nov. 22, 2003||Valparaiso||54–42||Morehead State||Valparaiso, IN|
|2004||Drake||4–0||Nov. 20, 2004||Drake||20–17||Morehead State||Morehead, KY|
|2005||San Diego||4–0||Nov. 19, 2005||San Diego||47–40||Morehead State||San Diego, CA|
The Pioneer Football League has had alliances with the Gridiron Classic and the Sports Network Cup. In addition, league members are allowed to accept at-large invitations to other college bowl games and teams are eligible to compete in the FCS playoffs, but can only receive at-large bids because the league is not an automatic qualifier. As of 2011, the NCAA has never invited any PFL team to the tournament.
The PFL was a participant in the NCAA Division I FCS Consensus Mid-Major Football National Championship, along with the Northeast Conference and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, two other conferences without automatic playoff bids. The Consensus championship has since been discontinued; the NEC now has an automatic playoff bid, while the MAAC no longer sponsors football.
Members pre-PFL postseason resultsEdit
Below are postseason accomplishments by past and current members prior to the formation of the Pioneer Football League.
|1945||Drake||13||Fresno State||12||Raisin Bowl|
|1946||Evansville||19||Northern Illinois||7||Turkey Bowl|
|1947||Evansville||20||Northern Illinois||0||Hoosier Bowl|
|1948||Evansville||13||Missouri Valley||7||Refrigerator Bowl|
|1950||Wisconsin-La Crosse||47||Valparaiso||14||Cigar Bowl|
|1969||Arkansas State||29||Drake||21||Pecan Bowl|
|1972||Tennessee State||29||Drake||7||Pioneer Bowl|
|1973||Wittenberg||21||San Diego||14||Division III Playoffs|
|1974||Central(Iowa)||31||Evansville||14||Division III Playoffs|
|1983||Cal Davis||25||Butler||3||Division II Playoffs|
|1988||Tennessee-Martin||23||Butler||3||Division II Playoffs|
|1989||Dayton||17||Union (NY)||7||Stagg Bowl|
|1991||Pittsburg State||26||Butler||16||Division II Playoffs|
PFL Sports Network Cup results Edit
PFL Gridiron Classic resultsEdit
On May 16, 2006, the Pioneer Football League (PFL) and Northeast Conference (NEC) announced a four-year agreement to meet in the Gridiron Classic, an exempted postseason football game that match the champions of the two FCS football conferences.
|2009||Butler||28||Central Connecticut State||23|
|2007 Pioneer Football League|
|2009 Pioneer Football League|
|2011 Pioneer Football League|
Conference facilities Edit
|Jacksonville||D. B. Milne Field||5,500|
|Morehead State||Jayne Stadium||10,000|
|San Diego||Torero Stadium||6,000|
- ↑ 
- ↑ 
- ↑ "Campbell University To Re-Join Big South Conference" (Press release). Big South Conference. May 14, 2009. http://www.bigsouthsports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=4800&ATCLID=3738030. Retrieved October 5, 2010.
- ↑ http://www.pioneer-football.org/news/default/21/602/
- ↑ http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/butl/sports/m-soccer/auto_pdf/05MSocProspectus.pdf
- ↑ http://www.godrakebulldogs.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=15700&ATCLID=899758
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