American Southwest Conference

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American Southwest Conference
ASC
American Southwest Conference logo
Established 1996
Association NCAA
Division Division III
Members 13 (12 in 2019)
Sports fielded
  • 16
    • men's: 8
    • women's: 8
Region Gulf Coast
Headquarters Richardson, Texas
Commissioner Amy Carlton (since 2006)
Website ascsports.org
Locations
American Southwest Conference locations

The American Southwest Conference (ASC) is a college athletic conference, founded in 1996, whose member schools compete in the NCAA's Division III. The schools are located in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi. The conference competes in baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, football, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track and field and women's volleyball.

The American Southwest Conference shares operates from the same headquarters complex in the Dallas suburb of Richardson as the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference.

History[edit]

The American Southwest Conference was announced in May 1996. The new league included some former members of the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association (TIAA). Founding members of the ASC were Howard Payne University, Austin College, Hardin–Simmons University, McMurry University, Mississippi College, Sul Ross State University, the University of Dallas and the University of the Ozarks.

The expansion soon began as the University of Mary Hardin–Baylor joined the ASC in 1997; followed by East Texas Baptist University, LeTourneau University, Schreiner University and the University of Texas at Dallas in 1998; then Concordia University Texas in 1999, and finally Louisiana College and Texas Lutheran University in 2000.

The University of Dallas was a member of the ASC until the end of the 2000-01 season to become an Independent; and Austin College withdrew the ASC in the 2005-06 season to join the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC). The University of Texas at Tyler began athletics in 2002 and became a member in 2003, but as a provisional member of the NCAA, was ineligible to participate in ASC or NCAA postseason tournaments until 2007. Centenary College of Louisiana joined the conference in 2011, after completing their transition from Division I to Division III, but almost immediately announced its departure for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.[1][2]

Recently, however, several schools have announced plans to leave the conference in favor of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, which lost seven of its members at the end of the 2011-12 school year. Centenary[3] departed at the end of the 2011-12 season after joining the ASC in that same season; Schreiner[4] and Texas Lutheran[5] left at the end of the 2012–13 season.

In 2012, McMurry left the ASC and completed the process of reclassifying to a full-scholarship, Division II institution and joined the Heartland Conference.[6] Additionally, Mississippi College announced that it would be also leaving the conference and reclassifying to Division II in 2014.[7] Mississippi College will re-join the Gulf South Conference, a league that it had been a member of until 1996.[8]

The departures of McMurry, Texas Lutheran and Mississippi College will leave the conference with only six football playing members, below the minimum seven participating schools required to receive an automatic bid to the NCAA football playoffs. The conference has not announced a plan to maintain its automatic bid.

ASC officials announced on March 13, 2014 the forthcoming addition of McMurry University and Belhaven University to its membership.[9][10] McMurry will re-join the ASC after a two-year stint in the Division II level, competing as a member of the Heartland Conference; while Belhaven is scheduled to join the ASC as a provisional member in 2015.

On December 3, 2015, ASC officials reported that Texas Lutheran University and Southwestern University would join the conference for football in 2017 [11] as football-only members. Both schools are members of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, but the conference only had four remaining schools competing in football. Two other SCAC schools. Austin College and Trinity University (Texas), announced they would play football in the Southern Athletic Association beginning with the 2017 season. The SCAC dropped football as a conference sport after the 2016 season.

The most recent change in the ASC membership was announced in July 2018, when the NCAA approved UT Tyler's application to begin a transition to NCAA Division II effective with the 2019–20 school year. Accordingly, UT Tyler will leave the ASC at the end of the 2018–19 school year. While the school did not immediately announce its future affiliation, it stated that it expected to join the Lone Star Conference.[12] The following month, UT Tyler was officially unveiled as an incoming LSC member.[13]

Member schools[edit]

Current members[edit]

Institution Location
(Population)[14]
Founded Type Enrollment U.S. News
Ranking [15]
Endowment [15] Nickname Joined Mascot Football?
Belhaven University Jackson, Mississippi
(173,514)
1883 Private 3,245 59
(Regional: South)
$4,952,872 Blazers 2015 N/A Yes
Concordia University Texas Austin, Texas
(842,592)
1926 Private/Lutheran 1,200 not ranked $18,570,000 Tornados 1999 Mr. Tornado No
East Texas Baptist University Marshall, Texas
(24,751)
1912 Private/Baptist 1,535 19
(Regional College: West)
$58,780,000 Tigers 1998 Toby Yes
Hardin–Simmons University Abilene, Texas
(118,887)
1891 Private/Baptist 2,333 39
(Regional: West)
$120,430,000 Cowboys and Cowgirls 1996 N/A Yes
Howard Payne University Brownwood, Texas
(18,972)
1889 Private/Baptist 1,400 14
(Regional College: West)
$45,700,000 Yellow Jackets 1996 Buzzsaw Yes
LeTourneau University Longview, Texas
(81,092)
1946 Private 3,758 27
(Regional: West)
$10,500,000 Yellowjackets 1998 Buzz No
Louisiana College Pineville, Louisiana
(14,557)
1906 Private/Baptist 1,265 60
(Regional College: South)
$31,000,000 Wildcats & Lady Wildcats 2000 Alex the Wildcat Yes
University of Mary Hardin–Baylor Belton, Texas
(19,409)
1845 Private/Baptist 2,713 54
(Regional: West)
$59,500,000 Crusaders 1997 CRUnk the Sader Yes
McMurry University Abilene, Texas
(120,099)
1923 Private/Methodist 1,430 15
(Regional College: West)
$84,000,000 War Hawks 1996,
20141
Wally
Yes
University of the Ozarks Clarksville, Arkansas
(9,288)
1834 Private/Presbyterian 630 6
(Regional College: South)
$87,540,000 Eagles 1996
N/A
No
Sul Ross State University Alpine, Texas
(5,972)
1917 Public
(Texas State University)
2,070 not ranked
N/A
Lobos and Lady Lobos 1996 Sully Yes
University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, Texas
(103,297/1,241,000 metro)
1961 Public
(University of Texas)
24,554 142 National $273,570,000 Comets 1998 Temoc No
University of Texas at Tyler Tyler, Texas
(99,323)
1971 Public
(University of Texas)
5,326 66
(Regional: West)
$68,370,000 Patriots 2002 Swoop No
Notes

1 - McMurry left the ASC to join the NCAA Division II ranks and the Heartland Conference from 2012–13 to 2013–14 before rejoining the conference.

* - The schools are divided into two divisions: East (white background) and West (yellow background). Departing member UT Tyler (red background) is in the East.

Affiliate members[edit]

UC Santa Cruz joined the conference as an affiliate member in women's golf in 2013. Southwestern University and Texas Lutheran University joined as affiliate members in football in 2017.[16]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined Current
Conference
Football?
Southwestern University Georgetown, Texas 1840 Private 1,536 Pirates 2017 SCAC Yes
University of California, Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, California 1965 Public 18,783 Banana Slugs 2013 Independent No
Texas Lutheran University Seguin, Texas 1891 Private 1,400 Bulldogs 2017* SCAC Yes

* - Texas Lutheran University rejoined the conference for football only in 2017, but was a full member before leaving in 2013 for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Former members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Current
Conference
Football?
Austin College Sherman, Texas 1849 Private 1,320 Kangaroos 1996 2006 SCAC Yes
Centenary College of Louisiana Shreveport, Louisiana 1825 Private 787 Gentlemen (men's)
Ladies (women's)
2011 2012 SCAC No
University of Dallas Irving, Texas 1956 Private 2,977 Crusaders 1996 2001 SCAC No
Mississippi College Clinton, Mississippi 1826 Private/Baptist 4,162 Choctaws 1996 2014 Gulf South
(NCAA Division II)
Yes
Schreiner University Kerrville, Texas 1923 Private 1,117 Mountaineers 1998 2013 SCAC No
Texas Lutheran University Seguin, Texas 1891 Private 1,400 Bulldogs 2000 2013 SCAC Yes*

* Texas Lutheran University rejoined the ASC for football in 2016.

Membership timeline[edit]

Belhaven UniversitySouthern Collegiate Athletic ConferenceCentenary College of LouisianaLone Star ConferenceUniversity of Texas at TylerSouthern Collegiate Athletic ConferenceTexas Lutheran UniversityLouisiana CollegeConcordia University TexasUniversity of Texas at DallasSouthern Collegiate Athletic ConferenceSchreiner UniversityLeTourneau UniversityEast Texas Baptist UniversityUniversity of Mary Hardin–BaylorSul Ross State UniversityUniversity of the OzarksGulf South ConferenceMississippi CollegeLone Star ConferenceMcMurry UniversityHoward Payne UniversityHardin–Simmons UniversitySouthern Collegiate Athletic ConferenceNCAA Division III independent schoolsUniversity of DallasSouthern Collegiate Athletic ConferenceAustin College

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Centenary Approved for Div. III Reclassification". American Southwest Conference. July 20, 2010. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
  2. ^ "Centenary College of Louisiana to Join the SCAC". SCAC. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  3. ^ Members leave ASC for SCAC Archived 2012-07-06 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "SU News 2012: SCHREINER UNIVERSITY TO JOIN SOUTHERN COLLEGIATE ATHLE…". schreiner.edu. 5 August 2012. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Texas Lutheran University to join Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference". Texas Lutheran University. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  6. ^ "NCAA accepts McMurry's application to transition to Division II - The Official Site of McMurry War Hawks". The Official Site of McMurry War Hawks. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Mississippi College chooses Division II". D3 Sports. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  8. ^ "Mississippi College Takes Steps to Rejoin NCAA Division II". D3 Sports. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  9. ^ "American Southwest Conference - American Southwest Conference Announces McMurry and Belhaven as Future Additions". ascsports.org. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  10. ^ "McMurry University and Belhaven University Set to Join ASC". uttylerpatriots.com. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  11. ^ "ASC Announces Football Expansion - The Official Site of McMurry War Hawks". The Official Site of McMurry War Hawks. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  12. ^ "UT Tyler Accepted into NCAA Division II" (Press release). University of Texas at Tyler. July 13, 2018. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  13. ^ "Lone Star Conference to Add UT Tyler in 2019" (Press release). Lone Star Conference. August 13, 2018. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  14. ^ US Census via Google
  15. ^ a b Rankings Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ "The American Southwest Conference". American Southwest Conference. Retrieved October 10, 2017.

External links[edit]