|Division||Division I FCS|
|Members||10 (14 beginning July 1, 2013)|
|Sports fielded||17 (men's: 8; women's: 9)|
|Commissioner||Tom Burnett (since 2002)|
The Southland Conference is a college athletic conference which operates in the south central United States (specifically Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas). It participates in the NCAA's Division I for all sports; for football, it participates in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The Southland sponsors 17 sports, nine for women and eight for men, and is governed by a presidential Board of Directors and an Advisory Council of athletic and academic administrators. Tom Burnett was named the Southland's sixth commissioner on Dec. 23, 2002.
History[edit | edit source]
Founded in 1963, its members were Abilene Christian College (now Abilene Christian University; departed 1973 for NCAA Division II, but will move to Division I and rejoin the Southland effective 2013), Arkansas State College (now Arkansas State University; departed 1987, now a member of the Sun Belt Conference), Arlington State College (now The University of Texas at Arlington, which joined the Western Athletic Conference in 2012 and will move to the Sun Belt in 2013), Lamar State College of Technology (now Lamar University, left in 1987 and re-joined in 1999; the only founding school that is currently a member), and Trinity University (departed 1971, now participating in NCAA Division III).
Since its founding, the Southland Conference has been the home for 18 college and university all-sports programs (see membership timeline above). In addition, the conference has also been home to some schools for one sport only. In the case of football, Troy fielded a team from 1996–2000 and Jacksonville State from 1997-2002. This has also been the case for some Olympic sports like men's tennis, in which the University of Texas-Pan American and the University of New Orleans currently field teams as affiliate members.
Member schools[edit | edit source]
Current members[edit | edit source]
|Institution||Nickname||Location||Founded||Type||Enrollment||U.S. News Ranking||Joined|
|University of Central Arkansas||Bears (men's)
Sugar Bears (women's)
|Lamar University||Cardinals (men's)
Lady Cardinals (women's)
|McNeese State University||Cowboys (men's)
|Lake Charles, Louisiana||1939||Public||8,784||
|Nicholls State University||Colonels||Thibodaux, Louisiana||1948||Public||7,500||
|Northwestern State University||Demons||Natchitoches, Louisiana||1884||Public||10,159||
|Oral Roberts University||Golden Eagles||Tulsa, Oklahoma||1963||Private||3,417||
|Sam Houston State University||Bearkats||Huntsville, Texas||1879||Public||17,600||
|Southeastern Louisiana University||Lions||Hammond, Louisiana||1925||Public||16,000||
|Stephen F. Austin State University||Lumberjacks (men's)
|Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi||Islanders||Corpus Christi, Texas||1947||Public||9,600||
* - Lamar re-joined the Southland Conference after competing in different conferences between the 1987-88 and 1998-99 seasons.
Future members[edit | edit source]
|Institution||Nickname||Location||Founded||Type||Enrollment||U.S. News Ranking||Year Joining|
|Abilene Christian University||Wildcats||Abilene, Texas||1906||Private||4,558||
|Houston Baptist University||Huskies||Houston, Texas||1960||Private||2,567||
|University of the Incarnate Word||Cardinals||San Antonio, Texas||1881||Private||8,455||
|University of New Orleans||Privateers||New Orleans, Louisiana||1958||Public||9,825||
Houston Baptist has announced it will have a football team ready to start play in 2014 and will join the conference July 1, 2013, in all Southland-sponsored sports. On August 20, 2012, the Southland Conference announced that the University of the Incarnate Word will become a member of the league, effective July 1, 2013. Incarnate Word will begin the four-year shift to Division I with the Southland Conference’s assistance and oversight. It is expected that UIW will begin counting as an NCAA Division I team for scheduling purposes in 2014-2015 and will be fully eligible for NCAA championship events in 2017-2018. On August 23, 2012, the University of New Orleans (UNO) announced that it would be joining the Southland Conference, effective the 2013-2014 academic year, after being an independent since 2010. In 2012 Southland issued an invitation to the Abilene Christian University Wildcats, charter members as Abilene Christian College, to rejoin the Conference after an absence of four decades. (on August 21 the Times-Picayune reported that the University of New Orleans "would become the Southland's 14th member, joining Incarnate Word and Abilene Christian"). The invitation was officially accepted by the Board of Trustees of Abilene Christian on August 25.
Former members[edit | edit source]
- Abilene Christian will re-join the Southland Conference in 2013
- Arkansas State and Louisiana–Monroe have both changed their nicknames since leaving the Southland Conference, respectively to Red Wolves and Warhawks.
Membership timeline[edit | edit source]
Full members Full members (non-football) Associate members (football only)
- Southwestern Louisiana became the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (Louisiana–Lafayette) in 1999.
Sports[edit | edit source]
|Track and Field (Indoor)|
|Track and Field (Outdoor)|
Football[edit | edit source]
Former NFL stars from the Southland include Fred Dean, Bill Bergey, Stan Humphries, Fred Barnett, Roger Carr, Marvin Upshaw, Larry Centers, Kavika Pittman, Mike Barber, Bruce Collie, Tim McKyer, Pat Tilley, Jackie Harris, Eugene Seale, Bubby Brister, Billy Ryckman, Rafael Septien, Buford Jordan, Marcus Spears, Terrance Shaw, Jeremiah Trotter, Mike Quinn, Chad Stanley, Derrick Blaylock, Keith Davis, Ricky Sanders, Jeff Novak, Spergon Wynn, Wade Key and Ray Brown.
Basketball[edit | edit source]
Among notable NBA stars attending Southland Conference schools include Karl Malone (Louisiana Tech), Joe Dumars (McNeese State), Jeff Foster (Southwest Texas State) and Andrew Toney (Southwestern Louisiana).
Former member Louisiana-Monroe (then Northeast Louisiana) advanced to the 1985 NCAA Women's Final Four.
Championships[edit | edit source]
- Southland Conference Men's Basketball Tournament
- Southland Conference Women's Basketball Tournament
- Southland Conference Baseball Tournament
Facilities[edit | edit source]
Note: Future members in gray.
Media[edit | edit source]
Southland Conference Television Network[edit | edit source]
The Conference began its own broadcast entity in 2008, the Southland Conference Television Network. It airs in over 20 markets in the league's four-state region, plus on national networks such as Fox College Sports, and ESPN FullCourt and ESPN3. In 2008-09, the Network featured 35 broadcasts, then followed with 31 live events in 2009-10 and 31 in 2010-11. The schedule includes regular season football games, regular season and tournament basketball, and the championships in women's soccer and women's volleyball.
Some events are carried exclusively by ESPN3, including the 2012 softball and baseball championships.
References[edit | edit source]
- "Southland Conference to Add University of the Incarnate Word". xosdigital. http://www.southland.org/News/tabid/476/Article/10383/southland-conference-to-add-university-of-the-incarnate-word.aspx. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- "University of New Orleans to Join Southland Conference". Southland Conference. August 23, 2012. http://www.southland.org/Sports/ConferenceNews/Article/tabid/519//Article/10387/Title/university-of-new-orleans-to-join-southland-conference.aspx. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- "Southland adds Incarnate Word, invites Abilene". Daily Star (Hammond, Louisiana): p. 5. 2012-08-21.
- Yellin, Lyons Friedman (2012-08-22). "UNO set to join Southland". Times-Picayune (New Orleans) (Metro Edition): p. D2. http://www.nola.com/uno/index.ssf/2012/08/uno_to_join_southland_conferen.html. Retrieved 2012-08-22.
- "Just in: ACU officially joins Southland". Reporter-News (Abilene, Texas). 2012-08-26. http://www.reporternews.com/news/2012/aug/25/just-acu-officially-joins-southland/. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
- "About the Southland". http://www.southland.org/Conference/AbouttheSouthland.aspx. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
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