Gulf Coast Athletic Conference

Gulf Coast Athletic Conference

Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference logo
Established 1981
Association NAIA
Division Division I
Members 8
Sports fielded 10 (men's: 4; women's: 6)
Region Southeastern United States
Region XIII of the NAIA
Commissioner Steve Martin
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference locations

The Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) is a college athletic conference currently made up entirely of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and affiliated with the NAIA's Division I. Member institutions are located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee, USA.


  • History 1
  • Member schools 2
    • Current members 2.1
    • Former members 2.2
    • Membership timeline 2.3
  • Conference sports 3
  • Conference champions 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The GCAC was established in 1981, with the following charter institutions: Belhaven College, Dillard University, Louisiana College, Spring Hill College, Tougaloo College, William Carey University and Xavier University of Louisiana. The first sports were men and women's basketball and men's tennis, with other sports soon following.[1]

The University of Mobile was admitted in October, 1985, Southern University at New Orleans was granted admission in May, 1986, Loyola University was admitted in April, 1995, and Louisiana State University in Shreveport became a member in April, 2000. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina forced Dillard and Xavier (La.) to cancel all athletic competition for 2005-06 and Loyola and Southern-New Orleans were able only to compete partially. All schools returned to competition in 2006-07, although in most cases with a reduced number of sports.

Louisiana College left the GCAC to join the American Southwest Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III in 2000. Belhaven also left in 2000, only to re-join in 2002; while Talladega College, who joined in 1999, left in 2002. In 2010, Belhaven, Loyola-New Orleans, Spring Hill, Mobile and William Carey left the GCAC to join the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC).[2] In 2010 LSU-Shreveport left the conference to join the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC). Edward Waters College and Fisk University joined to replace the departed schools in 2010. Philander Smith College also joined the GCAC in 2011. In January 2011, it was announced Talladega College will re-join the conference starting in the 2011-12 academic year. Talladega was a previous member of the GCAC from 1999-2002.[3]

Member schools

Current members

Institution Location Founded Enrollment Nickname Joined
Dillard University New Orleans, Louisiana 1869 900 Bleu Devils 1981
Edward Waters College Jacksonville, Florida 1866 800 Tigers 2010
Philander Smith College Little Rock, Arkansas 1864 700 Panthers 2011
Southern University at New Orleans New Orleans, Louisiana 1956 3,200 Black Knights 1986
Talladega College Talladega, Alabama 1867 600 Tornadoes 1999;
Tougaloo College Tougaloo, Mississippi 1869 900 Bulldogs 1981
Voorhees College Denmark, South Carolina 1897 600 Tigers 2013
Xavier University of Louisiana New Orleans, Louisiana 1925 3,200 Gold Rush
Gold Nuggets
  • Talladega — left the GCAC in 2002, and re-joined in 2011.

Former members

Institution Location Founded Nickname Joined Left Current
Belhaven College Jackson, Mississippi 1883 Blazers 1981;
Southern States
Fisk University Nashville, Tennessee 1866 Bulldogs 2010 2014 Independent
Louisiana College Pineville, Louisiana 1906 Wildcats 1981 2000 American Southwest
Louisiana State University in Shreveport Shreveport, Louisiana 1967 Pilots 2000 2010 Red River
Loyola University New Orleans New Orleans, Louisiana 1904 Wolfpack 1995 2010 Southern States
University of Mobile Mobile, Alabama 1961 Rams 1985 2010 Southern States
Spring Hill College Mobile, Alabama 1830 Badgers 1981 2010 Southern Intercollegiate
William Carey University Hattiesburg, Mississippi 1906 Crusaders 1981 2010 Southern States

Membership timeline

 Full member (non-football) 

Conference sports

Old logo
Conference sports
Sport Men's Women's
Basketball Green tickY Green tickY
Cross Country Green tickY Green tickY
Softball Green tickY
Tennis Green tickY Green tickY
Track & Field Outdoor Green tickY Green tickY
Volleyball Green tickY

Conference champions


  1. ^ GCAC Directory 1981-82, pg.2
  2. ^ SSAC To Expand And Restructure Conference In 2010-11, Southern States Athletic Conference, 2009-09-29.
  3. ^ "Talladega College join the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference".  

External links

  • Official website