The Gulf South Conference Board of Directors unanimously approved Trevecca Nazarene University for full membership in the GSC effective July 1, 2024. The Trojans will begin athletic competition in the 2024-25 academic year. Trevecca and the GSC are scheduled to host an in-person celebration on the Trevecca campus on Tuesday, September 26.
This marks the conference's first new full member addition since Auburn Montgomery joined in 2017 and will become the conference's fourth Tennessee-based institution.
"The member institutions of the Gulf South Conference are pleased to welcome Trevecca Nazarene to our excellent conference," said Dr. Samuel W. Oliver, Chair of the GSC Board of Directors, and Union University President. "We are excited about the mission and tradition of this fine institution of higher education and are confident the Trojans will add to our already robust NCAA Division II athletic competition and tradition of success."
"Given Trevecca's footprint in the G-MAC, this was not an easy decision. We were a founding member and have enjoyed participation with our northern schools," commented Dr. Dan Boone, Trevecca Nazarene University President. "However, the priority on the travel required of our athletes and the desire to compete with area schools made the decision to join the Gulf South Conference the best decision for Trevecca. We have been long term friends with many of the schools in the Gulf South and look forward to renewing old friendships and establishing new competitive friendships. The move also allows us to compete in the geography of our alumni and supporting churches. I'm grateful for the leadership of Mark Elliott in this transition.
Founded in 1901, Trevecca Nazarene University is located in Nashville, Tenn. It is one of eight liberal arts colleges in the United States affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene. The campus is home to approximately 3,400 students. TNU offers 116 academic degree programs ranging from associate and bachelor's to master's and various doctoral options.
Athletically, the Trojans sponsor 16 varsity sports. Men's programs include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, and track & field. Women's programs feature basketball, cross country, soccer, golf, softball, stunt, track & field, and volleyball. The institution is scheduled to add women's lacrosse and begin competing in Spring 2025.
Trevecca has been a Division II member since 2012 and was a founding member of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC). Since joining D-II, the Trojans found early success on both the conference and national stage, having 12 NCAA postseason appearances since 2014.
"Twelve years ago when we made the transition from the NAIA to NCAA Division II, we probably didn't realize how important conference affiliation was to an institution. The Great Midwest Athletic Conference was a great place for us to begin and grow in the NCAA era," said TNU Director of Athletics, Mark Elliott. "Tom Daeger, the staff, and all of the institutions in the G-MAC have been great partners, competitors, and friends. Being a charter member of the conference and all the relationships through the years makes this a bittersweet day. The move to the Gulf South Conference is a positive step for our athletes, coaches, and alumni. The GSC's unanimous selection of Trevecca speaks well that we are valued and ready to compete in their historic conference."
"Trevecca will be a fantastic addition to the Gulf South Conference," noted GSC Commissioner Matt Wilson. "The institution has demonstrated competitive success and is committed to Division II athletics. The vision that Dr. Dan Boone and Mark Elliott cast for Trevecca during our conversations made it easy to get excited about where they are headed. They are positioned to be very strong members of the GSC, and we are glad to partner with them."
The Gulf South Conference, a charter member of NCAA Division II, will enter its 53rd year in Fall 2024. Since its inception, GSC teams have celebrated 54 national championships and more than 160 regional titles. Its student-athletes meanwhile have captured eight individual NCAA national crowns and have claimed 338 CoSIDA/College Sport Communicators Academic All-America honors.
Beginning July 1, 2024, the Gulf South Conference will comprise 12 full-time members—Alabama Huntsville, Auburn Montgomery, Christian Brothers, Delta State, Lee, Mississippi College, Montevallo, Trevecca Nazarene, Union, Valdosta State, West Alabama and West Florida.