Missouri Valley Football Conference

Missouri Valley Football Conference
Missouri Valley Football Conference
Missouri Valley Football Conference logo
Established 1985
Association NCAA
Division Division I FCS
Members 9 (10 in 2012)
Sports fielded 1 (football) (men's: 1; women's: 0)
Region Midwest
Former names Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference (1985–1992)
Gateway Football Conference (1992–2008)
Headquarters St. Louis, Missouri
Commissioner Patty Viverito (since 1982)
Website valley-football.org
Missouri Valley Football Conference locations

The Missouri Valley Football Conference (formerly the Gateway Football Conference) is a college athletic conference which operates in the midwestern United States. It participates in the NCAA's Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) as a football-only conference.



Gateway Conference logo

The Missouri Valley Football Conference has a convoluted history. The conference was formed from the remnant football schools of the old Missouri Valley when it stopped sponsoring its hybrid I-A/I-AA football league in 1985. At that time, the I-AA members from the MVC (Illinois State, Indiana State, and Southern Illinois) joined Eastern Illinois, Northern Iowa, Southwest Missouri State, and Western Illinois to form the Association of Mid-Continent Universities, later the Mid-Continent Conference and now The Summit League, for sports other than football. The football programs joined with the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference, which at the time was a women's athletic conference that roughly paralleled the MVC.

In 1992, when the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference merged with the MVC, the football conference kept the Gateway charter, with a minor name change to Gateway Football Conference. After Eastern Illinois joined the Ohio Valley Conference for football in 1995, Youngstown State joined in 1997 and was followed by Western Kentucky in 2001. Southwest Missouri State changed its name to Missouri State in 2005. The Gateway changed its name to the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2008.

On November 2, 2006, Western Kentucky's Board of Regents approved a proposal by the school's president to upgrade the football program to the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS; formerly Division I-A). The Hilltoppers left the GFC after the 2006 season, went through the two-year "reclassification" period mandated by the NCAA for schools moving from the FCS to the FBS, and became a football member of its all-sports conference, the Sun Belt Conference, in 2009.[1]

Due to Western Kentucky's move, the Gateway was left with 7 members for the 2007 season. However, Great West Football Conference members North Dakota State and South Dakota State were asked to submit information about themselves and to attend the conference presidents' meeting.[2] On March 7, 2007, the conference announced that both schools would join the conference beginning with the 2008 season.[3]

On June 6, 2008, the Gateway Football Conference changed its name to the Missouri Valley Football Conference, effective immediately. This change aligns the conference with the Missouri Valley Conference, a conference in which five of the nine Missouri Valley Football schools participate. The conferences will share the "Missouri Valley" name but will remain separate administratively.[4]

On November 4, 2010, the University of South Dakota was invited as the 10th member. This will renew a rivalry with fellow MVC member South Dakota State.


Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Nickname Primary Conference
Illinois State University Normal, Illinois 1857 Public 20,762 1985 Redbirds Missouri Valley Conference
Indiana State University Terre Haute, Indiana 1865 Public 11,120 1986 Sycamores Missouri Valley Conference
Missouri State University Springfield, Missouri 1905 Public 18,870 1985 Bears Missouri Valley Conference
North Dakota State University Fargo, North Dakota 1890 Public 14,189 2008 Bison The Summit League
University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, Iowa 1876 Public 13,201 1985 Panthers Missouri Valley Conference
University of South Dakota Vermillion, South Dakota 1882 Public 10,151 2012* Coyotes The Summit League
South Dakota State University Brookings, South Dakota 1881 Public 12,816 2008 Jackrabbits The Summit League
Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Illinois 1869 Public 19,800 1985 Salukis Missouri Valley Conference
Western Illinois University Macomb, Illinois 1899 Public 13,600 1985 Leathernecks The Summit League
Youngstown State University Youngstown, Ohio 1908 Public 12,585 1997 Penguins Horizon League
Locations of current Missouri Valley Football Conference member institutions.

Former members

Membership time line


  • 1985: Northern Iowa (5-0)
  • 1986: Eastern Illinois (5-1)
  • 1987: Northern Iowa (6-0)
  • 1988: Western Illinois (6-0)
  • 1989: Missouri State (5-1)
  • 1990: Missouri State & Northern Iowa (5-1)
  • 1991: Northern Iowa (5-1)
  • 1992: Northern Iowa (5-1)
  • 1993: Northern Iowa (5-1)
  • 1994: Northern Iowa (6-0)
  • 1995: Eastern Illinois & Northern Iowa (5-1)
  • 1996: Northern Iowa (6-0)
  • 1997: Western Illinois (6-0)
  • 1998: Western Illinois (5-1)
  • 1999: Illinois State (6-0)
  • 2000: Western Illinois (5-1)
  • 2001: Northern Iowa (6-1)
  • 2002: Western Illinois & Western Kentucky (6-1)
  • 2003: Northern Iowa & Southern Illinois (6-1)
  • 2004: Southern Illinois (7-0)
  • 2005: Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, & Youngstown State (5-2)
  • 2006: Youngstown State (6-1)
  • 2007: Northern Iowa (6-0)
  • 2008: Southern Illinois & Northern Iowa (7-1)
  • 2009: Southern Illinois (8-0)
  • 2010: Northern Iowa (6-2)
  • 2011: North Dakota State (7-1) & Northern Iowa (7-1)

Conference titles by school

School Championships Championship Years
Northern Iowa
1985, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011
Southern Illinois
2003. 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009
Western Illinois
1988, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002
Missouri State
1989, 1990
Eastern Illinois
1986, 1995
Youngstown State
2005, 2006
Illinois State
Western Kentucky
North Dakota State
Indiana State
South Dakota State
South Dakota

Conference facilities

School Football Stadium Capacity
Illinois State Hancock Stadium 15,000
Indiana State Memorial Stadium 12,764
Missouri State Plaster Sports Complex 16,300
North Dakota State Fargodome 19,500
Northern Iowa UNI-Dome 17,000
South Dakota DakotaDome 10,000
South Dakota State Coughlin–Alumni Stadium 15,000
Southern Illinois Saluki Stadium 15,276
Western Illinois Hanson Field 17,168
Youngstown State Stambaugh Stadium 20,630


External links

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