Division I |
NCAA D-IA (1978–1981)
NCAA D-I (1975–1977)
NCAA D-II (1964–1974)
|Sports fielded||17 (men's: 8; women's: 9)|
|Region||West South Central|
|Former names||Southland Football League (1996–2002, football-only)|
|Commissioner||Tom Burnett (since 2002)|
The Southland Conference is a collegiate athletic conference which operates in the South Central United States (specifically Texas, 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. From 1996 to 2002, for football only, the Southland Conference was known as the Southland Football League.
Founded in 1963, its members were Abilene Christian College (now Abilene Christian University; departed in 1973 for NCAA Division II, but moved to Division I and re-joined the Southland in 2013), Arkansas State College (now Arkansas State University; departed in 1987, now a member of the Sun Belt Conference), Arlington State College (now The University of Texas at Arlington, departed in 2012 now also in the Sun Belt), Lamar State College of Technology (now Lamar University; departed in 1987, but re-joined in 1999), and Trinity University (departed in 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 below). In addition, the conference has also been home to some schools for one sport only. In the case of football, Troy University fielded a team from 1996 to 2000 and Jacksonville State University did so from 1997 to 2002. This has also been the case for some Olympic sports like men's tennis, in which the University of Texas–Pan American (UTPA) and the University of New Orleans (UNO) fielded teams as affiliate members before 2013, when UTPA joined the WAC and UNO became a full Southland member.
- Abilene Christian re-joined the Southland Conference in 2013 after joining the NAIA and Lone Star Conference after the 1972–73 season.
- Lamar re-joined the Southland Conference after competing in the American South and Sun Belt conferences between the 1987–88 and 1998–99 seasons.
|Arkansas State University||Jonesboro, Arkansas||1909||1963||1987||Public||Indians||Sun Belt|
|Louisiana Tech University||Ruston, Louisiana||1894||1971||1987||Public|| Bulldogs
|North Texas State University||Denton, Texas||1890||1982||1996||Public||Mean Green||C-USA|
|University of Louisiana at Monroe||Monroe, Louisiana||1931||1982||2006||Public||Indians||Sun Belt|
|Oral Roberts University||Tulsa, Oklahoma||1963||2012||2014||Private||Golden Eagles||The Summit League|
|University of Louisiana at Lafayette||Lafayette, Louisiana||1898||1971||1982||Public||Ragin' Cajuns||Sun Belt|
|Texas State University||San Marcos, Texas||1899||1987||2012||Public||Bobcats||Sun Belt|
|University of Texas at Arlington||Arlington, Texas||1895||1963||2012||Public||Mavericks||Sun Belt|
|University of Texas at San Antonio||San Antonio, Texas||1969||1991||2012||Public||Roadrunners||C-USA|
|Trinity University||San Antonio, Texas||1869||1963||1972||Private||Tigers|| SCAC|
(NCAA Division III)
Former associate members
|Centenary College of Louisiana||Gentlemen||Shreveport, Louisiana||1825||Private/United Methodist||500||2000–01||2002–03||American Southwest
(NCAA Division III)
|Jacksonville State University||Gamecocks||Jacksonville, Alabama||1883||Public||9,490||1996–97||2002–03||Ohio Valley (OVC)||football|
|University of Louisiana at Lafayette
(formerly University of Southwestern Louisiana)
|Ragin' Cajuns||Lafayette, Louisiana||1898||Public||16,885||1982–83||1986–87||Sun Belt||women's sports|
|University of New Orleans||Privateers||New Orleans, Louisiana||1958||Public||9,825||2012–13||2012–13||Southland||men's tennis|
|Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi||Islanders||Corpus Christi, Texas||1947||Public||9,600||2003–04||2005–06||Southland||men's tennis|
|University of Texas–Pan American||Broncs||Edinburg, Texas||1927||Public||17,048||2000–01||2012–13||WAC||men's tennis|
(formerly Troy State University)
|Trojans||Troy, Alabama||1887||Public||29,689||1996–97||2000–01||Sun Belt||football|
- Texas–Pan American (UTPA) ceased to exist at the start of the 2015–16 school year, when it merged with the nearby University of Texas at Brownsville to create the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV).
- Nearly a year before the merger, the University of Texas System announced that UTRGV would directly inherit the UTPA athletic program. The new nickname of Vaqueros was announced in November 2014.
- The UTRGV athletic program continues to be based at the former UTPA main campus in Edinburg.
Full members Full members (non-football) Associate members (football only)
1. - Southwestern Louisiana became the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (Louisiana–Lafayette) in 1999.
2. - Northeast Louisiana became the University of Louisiana at Monroe (Louisiana–Monroe) in 1999.
|Track and Field (Indoor)|
|Track and Field (Outdoor)|
Men's sponsored sports by school
|School||Baseball||Basketball||Cross Country||Football||Golf||Tennis|| Track & Field|
| Track & Field|
|Total Southland Sports|
|Sam Houston State||N||7|
|Stephen F. Austin||N||7|
|Texas A&M–Corpus Christi||N||N||6|
Men's varsity sports not sponsored by the Southland Conference which are played by SLC schools:
|School||Soccer|| Swimming &|
Women's sponsored sports by school
|School||Basketball||Cross Country||Golf||Soccer||Softball||Tennis|| Track & Field|
| Track & Field|
|Volleyball||Total Southland Sports|
|Sam Houston State||9|
|Stephen F. Austin||9|
|Texas A&M–Corpus Christi||9|
Women's varsity sports not sponsored by the Southland Conference which are played by SLC schools:
|School||Bowling||Beach Volleyball|| Swimming &|
|Sam Houston State||Southland Bowling League||No||No|
|Stephen F. Austin||Southland Bowling League||No||No|
|Texas A&M-Corpus Christi||No||Independent||No|
- Women's Bowling - The Southland Conference provides administrative support for the Southland Bowling League, but the SBL operates independently from regular conference operations. The women's bowling league was established in 2015 and includes Southland Conference members Sam Houston State and Stephen F. Austin, plus Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech, Monmouth, Tulane, Valparaiso and Vanderbilt.
- Former and current NFL stars from the Southland include Gary Barbaro, Mike Barber, Fred Barnett, Bill Bergey, Derrick Blaylock, Bubby Brister, Ray Brown, Roger Carr, Mark Carrier, Larry Centers, Bruce Collie, Keith Davis, Fred Dean, Jackie Harris, Stan Humphries, Buford Jordan, Wade Key, Josh McCown, Tim McKyer, Jeff Novak, Kavika Pittman, Mike Quinn, Billy Ryckman, Ricky Sanders, Eugene Seale, Rafael Septien, Terrance Shaw, Marcus Spears, Chad Stanley, Pat Tilley, Jeremiah Trotter, Marvin Upshaw, Lardarius Webb and Spergon Wynn.
- The Southland was instrumental in founding the Independence Bowl, and the Southland champion served as the automatic home team for that bowl from 1976–1980.
- On May 21, 2014, the Southland Conference approved the use of instant replay at all its home games becoming the first FCS league to fully commit to having all games utilize instant replay.
Among notable NBA stars attending Southland Conference schools include Karl Malone (Louisiana Tech), Joe Dumars (McNeese State), Scottie Pippen (Central Arkansas), 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.
- Southland Conference Men's Basketball Tournament
- Southland Conference Women's Basketball Tournament
- Southland Conference Baseball Tournament
- Southland Conference Softball Tournament
Spending and revenue
Total revenue includes ticket sales, contributions and donations, rights/licensing, student fees, school funds and all other sources including TV income, camp income, food and novelties. Total expenses includes coaching/staff, scholarships, buildings/ground, maintenance, utilities and rental fees and all other costs including recruiting, team travel, equipment and uniforms, conference dues and insurance costs.
|Conference Rank (2014)||National Rank (2014)||Institution||2014 Total Revenue from Athletics||2014 Total Expenses on Athletics|
|2||142||Stephen F. Austin||$15,697,105||$15,924,910|
|3||149||Sam Houston State||$14,892,104||$14,412,775|
|8||204||Texas A&M-Corpus Christi||$10,540,420||$10,272,816|
|Abilene Christian|| Not reported
| Not reported|
|Houston Baptist|| Not reported
| Not reported|
|Incarnate Word|| Not reported
| Not reported|
- Texas A&M–Corpus Christi uses off-campus Whataburger Field as their home field for some high-profile games and some tournaments.
- The upcoming 2016 football season will be the last for Abilene Christian at Shotwell Stadium. The team will move into the new on-campus Wildcat Stadium in 2017.
- Abilene Christian's new Elmer Gray Stadium opened on April 10, 2015. The stadium is used for both Track & Field and Soccer. The new stadium replaces the original Elmer Gray Stadium, which was demolished to make way for Wildcat Stadium.
Southland Conference Television Network
The Conference began its own syndicated broadcast entity in 2008, the Southland Conference Television Network. It aired in over 25 markets in the league's four-state region, plus on national networks such as Fox College Sports, ESPN GamePlan, and ESPN3. In 2008-09, the network featured 35 broadcasts, and over 30 in each of the next four seasons.
For 2013 and 2014, the syndicated network was restricted to only regular season football games. The remainder of the schedule was available on ESPN3 or regional sports networks, including regular season and tournament basketball as well as championships in soccer, volleyball, softball and baseball. ESPN3 also carried an exclusive package of football games beyond the syndicated network's schedule.
SLCTV dissolved on July 1, 2015. Beginning with the 2015-16 school year, the Southland Conference entered into an agreement with the American Sports Network to syndicate and televise selected games, while also continuing its association with ESPN3. A separate deal will allow for Louisiana-based Cox Sports Television to air select games.
|Institution||University System||Endowment||U.S. News
|Abilene Christian University||Not Applicable||$379,858,000||17
|University of Central Arkansas||Not Applicable||$25,952,861||68
|Houston Baptist University||Not Applicable||$90,638,537||73
|University of the Incarnate Word||Not Applicable||$125,271,000||68
|Lamar University||Texas State University System||$106,826,000||RNP
|McNeese State University||University of Louisiana System||$71,001,000||87
|University of New Orleans||University of Louisiana System||$23,250,028||RNP
|Nicholls State University||University of Louisiana System||$8,500,663||87
|Northwestern State University||University of Louisiana System||Not Available||RNP
|Sam Houston State University||Texas State University System||$97,510,000||RNP
|Southeastern Louisiana University||University of Louisiana System||$14,503,193||RNP
|Stephen F. Austin State University||Not Applicable||$71,037,968||87
|Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi||Texas A&M University System||$13,673,273||RNP
- George Becnel (13 July 2015). The Southland Conference: Small College Football, Big Dreams. AuthorHouse. pp. 394,519. ISBN 978-1-5049-1887-9.
- "UT Arlington accepts invitation to join Western Athletic Conference". UT Arlington Athletics News. July 14, 2011. Retrieved November 19, 2014.
The University of Texas at Arlington announced today that it has accepted an invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) starting on July 1, 2012.
- "Lamar University To Join Southland Conference". Associated Press. August 23, 1996. Retrieved November 19, 2014.
- "ACU freshman enrollment at 30-year high". ACU University Relations. September 9, 2016. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
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- "10,984 UIW students are enrolled globally". UIW Media Relations. September 1, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
- Brian Sattler (September 23, 2016). "Enrollment tops 15,000". Lamar University. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
- "Fall 2015 Enrollment Quick Facts". McNeese State. September 1, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
- "UNO Enrollment Trends from 1958 to 2015" (PDF). September 1, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
- "Nicholls State University Fall 2016 Enrollment Statistics" (PDF). September 3, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
- "Northwestern State has fall enrollment increase". September 15, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
- "SHSU Reaches Historic Enrollment". SHSU Office of Communications. September 28, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
- "Enrollment by Major". SLU Institutional Research. October 26, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
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- "Enrollment Continues to Rise at the Island University". TAMUCC Marketing & Communications. January 9, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
- "Project South Texas: Timeline". University of Texas System. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
- "Project South Texas: Ask a Question". University of Texas System. July 30, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
- Brito, Victoria (November 5, 2014). "UT-RGV mascot recommended to be the Vaquero". The Monitor. McAllen, Texas. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
- "Southland Conference". southland.org.
- "New Southland Bowling League Established". Southland Conference. January 20, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
- "About the Southland". Retrieved 2012-01-12.
- "Southland Conference". Southland Conference.
- "Southland first FCS conference with full replay". Fox News.
- "NCAA FINANCES". USA Today. Retrieved May 29, 2015.
- "Wildcat Stadium and Anthony Field". www.acu.edu. Retrieved 2016-11-15.
- "2014 ACU Softball Record Book" (PDF). Abilene Christian University Athletics. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
- "2014 Football Guide" (PDF). Central Arkansas Athletics. p. 3. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
- "2014 HBU Baseball Media Guide". December 23, 2014. Houston Baptist University Athletics. pp. 1, 68.
Opened during the 1993 season, the 500-seat ballpark boasts one of the better playing surfaces in the state.
- "2016 Lamar Softball Quick Facts" (PDF). Lamar University Athletics. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
- "Facility Information". Burton Complex. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
- "Lakefront Arena". The University of New Orleans. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
Configured for Privateers basketball Lakefront Arena has 8,701 theatre style seats, along with 84 chairback seatsfor the Courtside Krewe, for an official capacity of 8,785.
- "University of New Orleans Privateers 2015 Baseball Quick Facts" (PDF). University of New Orleans Athletics. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
- "Northwestern State University Softball 2015 Quick Facts" (pdf). Northwestern State University. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
- "2015 Islanders Baseball Schedule". Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Athletics. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
- "ACU unveils new renderings of Wildcat Stadium" (Press release). Abilene Christian Wildcats. October 16, 2015. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
- Brad Cesak (April 10, 2015). "ACU's Elmer Gray Stadium Opens". Bigcountryhomepage.com. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- Ron Hadfield (March 29, 2015). "VIA News: Gray Stadium demo begins Monday". ACU Today, Abilene Christian University. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
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