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Pioneer Football League
Established1991
AssociationNCAA
DivisionDivision I FCS
Members10 (12 in 2013)
Sports fielded1 (football) (men's: 1; women's: 0)
RegionNationwide
HeadquartersSt. Louis, Missouri
CommissionerPatty Viverito (since 1994)
Websitepioneer-football.org
Locations

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.

History Edit

Foundation Edit

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.

Membership changesEdit

Original contraction

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.

2001 expansion

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.[1] In February 2008, Marist College announced that it would join the PFL for the 2009 season, after the MAAC stopped sponsoring football.[2] 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.[3]

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. [4]

Membership timelineEdit

Stetson  UniversityMercer UniversityMarist CollegeCampbell  UniversityMorehead State  UniversityJacksonville  UniversityDavidson  CollegeAustin Peay State  UniversityUniversity of San  DiegoValparaiso UniversityUniversity of  EvansvilleDrake  UniversityUniversity of  DaytonButler  University

Membership informationEdit

Current members

Institution Location Founded First Football Year Type Enrollment (Undergraduate) Joined Nickname Primary Conference
Butler University Indianapolis, Indiana 1855 1887 Private 3,897 1991 Bulldogs Horizon League
Campbell University Buies Creek, North Carolina 1887 1925 (2008) Private 9,471 2008 Fighting Camels Big South Conference
Davidson College Davidson, North Carolina 1837 1897 Private 1,700 2001 Wildcats Southern Conference
University of Dayton Dayton, Ohio 1850 1905 Private 7,426 1991 Flyers Atlantic 10 Conference
Drake University Des Moines, Iowa 1881 1883 Private 3,164 1991 Bulldogs Missouri Valley Conference
Jacksonville University Jacksonville, Florida 1934 1934 (1998) Private 7,426 2001 Dolphins Atlantic Sun Conference
Marist College Poughkeepsie, New York 1929 1985 Private 4,200 2009 Red Foxes MAAC
Morehead State University Morehead, Kentucky 1922 1927 Public 7,921 2001 Eagles Ohio Valley Conference
University of San Diego San Diego, California 1949 1956 Private 4,904 1992 Toreros West Coast Conference
Valparaiso University Valparaiso, Indiana 1859 1919 Private 2,917 1991 Crusaders Horizon League

Former members

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

Future members

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

File:PioneerFootballLocations.png

PFL championsEdit

Season Champion Record
1993Dayton5–0–0
1994Butler4–1–0
Dayton4–1–0
1995Drake5–0–0
1996Dayton5–0–0
1997Dayton5–0–0
1998Drake4–0
1999Dayton4–0
2000Dayton3–1
Drake3–1
Valparaiso3–1
2001DaytonChampionship Game
2002DaytonChampionship Game
2003ValparaisoChampionship Game
2004DrakeChampionship Game
2005San DiegoChampionship Game
2006San Diego7–0
2007Dayton6–1
San Diego6–1
2008Jacksonville7–1
2009Butler7–1
Dayton7–1
2010Jacksonville8-0
Dayton8-0
2011San Diego7-1
Drake7-1

League titles by schoolEdit

School Championships Championship Years
Dayton
11
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
Butler <center>2 1994, 2009
Jacksonville <center>2 2008, 2010
Valparaiso <center>2 2000, 2003
Campbell <center>0 N/A
Davidson <center>0 N/A
Marist <center>0 N/A
Morehead State <center>0 N/A
Evansville <center>0 N/A
Austin Peay <center>0 N/A

PFL Championship Game Edit

Season Season Champion Record Date Game Champion Score Runner-Up Location
2001Dayton4–0Nov. 17, 2001Dayton46–14JacksonvilleDayton, OH
2002Dayton4–0Nov. 23, 2002Dayton28–0Morehead StateMorehead, KY
2003Valparaiso3–1Nov. 22, 2003Valparaiso54–42Morehead StateValparaiso, IN
2004Drake4–0Nov. 20, 2004Drake20–17Morehead StateMorehead, KY
2005San Diego4–0Nov. 19, 2005San Diego47–40Morehead StateSan Diego, CA

Postseason gamesEdit

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.

Season Champion Runner-up Bowl
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 Drake 14 Arizona 13 Salad Bowl
1948 Evansville 13 Missouri Valley 7 Refrigerator Bowl
1949 Evansville 22 Hillsdale 7 Refrigerator Bowl
1950 Wisconsin-La Crosse 47 Valparaiso 14 Cigar Bowl
1951 Houston 26 Dayton 21 Salad Bowl
1957 Louisville 34 Drake 20 Sun Bowl
1969 Arkansas State 29 Drake 21 Pecan Bowl
1969 Toledo 56 Davidson 33 Tangerine 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
1980 Dayton 63 Ithaca 0 Stagg Bowl
1981 Widener 17 Dayton 10 Stagg Bowl
1983 Cal Davis 25 Butler 3 Division II Playoffs
1987 Wagner 19 Dayton 3 Stagg Bowl
1988 Tennessee-Martin 23 Butler 3 Division II Playoffs
1989 Dayton 17 Union (NY) 7 Stagg Bowl
1991 Ithaca 34 Dayton 20 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.

Season Champion Runner-up
2006 San Diego 27 Monmouth 7
2007 Dayton 42 Albany 21
2008 Albany 28 Jacksonville 0
2009 Butler 28 Central Connecticut State 23

Historical standingsEdit

2007 Pioneer Football League
Conf Overall
Team W L W L PF PA
Dayton 6 1 11 1 466 187
San Diego 6 1 9 2 488 287
Morehead State 5 2 7 4 277 216
Davidson 4 3 6 4 312 282
Drake 3 4 6 5 293 293
Valparaiso 2 5 5 6 245 321
Jacksonville 2 5 3 8 240 351
Butler 0 7 4 7 241 345
2009 Pioneer Football League
Conf Overall
Team W L W L PF PA
Butler 7 1 11 1 316 196
Dayton 7 1 9 2 343 234
Drake 6 2 8 3 319 246
Jacksonville 6 2 7 4 343 234
Marist 5 3 7 4 275 221
San Diego 3 5 4 7 247 345
Davidson 3 5 4 7 193 229
Campbell 2 6 3 8 156 263
Morehead State 1 7 3 8 342 354
Valparaiso 0 8 1 10 155 470
2011 Pioneer Football League
Conf Overall
Team W L W L PF PA
Drake 7 1 9 2 316 196
Jacksonville 6 1 7 3 343 234
San Diego 6 1 8 2 319 246
[[{{{school}}}|Campbell]] 5 3 7 3 343 234
Dayton 4 4 6 5 275 221
Butler 3 4 5 5 247 345
Marist 3 5 4 7 193 229
Davidson 1 6 3 7 156 263
Morehead State 1 6 2 8 342 354
Valparaiso 1 6 1 9 155 470

Conference facilities Edit

School Football Stadium Capacity
Butler Butler Bowl 7,500[5]
Campbell Barker–Lane Stadium 5,200
Davidson Richardson Stadium 6,000
Dayton Welcome Stadium 11,000
Drake Drake Stadium 14,557[6]
Jacksonville D. B. Milne Field 5,500
Marist Leonidoff Field 5,000
Morehead State Jayne Stadium 10,000
San Diego Torero Stadium 6,000
Valparaiso Brown Field 5,000

References Edit

External links Edit


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