Ohio Valley Conference


Ohio Valley Conference
Ohio Valley Conference
(OVC)
Ohio Valley Conference logo
Established 1948
Association NCAA
Division Division I FCS
Members 11
Sports fielded 17 (men's: 8; women's: 9)
Region Midwest and South
Headquarters Brentwood, Tennessee
Commissioner Beth DeBauche (since 2009)
Website ovcsports.com
Locations
Ohio Valley Conference locations

The Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) is a college athletic conference which operates in the midwestern and southeastern United States. It participates in Division I of the NCAA; the conference's football programs compete in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS; formerly known as Division I-AA), the lower of two levels of Division I football competition. The OVC has 11 members, 9 of which compete in football in the conference.

Contents

History

The Ohio Valley Conference can trace its roots to 1941 when Murray State athletic director Roy Stewart, Eastern Kentucky athletic director Charles "Turkey" Hughes, and Western Kentucky public relations director Kelly Thompson first formulated the idea of establishing a regional athletics conference. The plan was put on hold due to World War II, but it was resurrected after the conclusion of the war. In 1948, the three schools joined with Louisville, Morehead State, and Evansville to form the Ohio Valley Conference.

Historically, OVC was a pioneer in racial desegregation. During times of racial segregation, league member Morehead State became one of the first non-traditionally black mid-southern institutions to accept a black student. In 1958, Marshall Banks received athletically-related aid at Morehead, which signed a second black athlete, Howard Murphy, a year later. In 1961, Murphy earned all-conference recognition as a halfback in football. With racial barriers broken, the rest of the institutions in the league began to provide educational and athletic opportunities to African-Americans.[1]

Today, the OVC is unique among NCAA Division I conferences in that it includes one historically black university, Tennessee State University, in a conference that otherwise consists of non-traditionally black institutions. All other HBCUs in NCAA Division I are members of either the MEAC or SWAC, conferences made up entirely of HBCUs. (Savannah State University is a probationary member of the MEAC; all others are full members of one of the two HBCU conferences.)

In the wake of Title IX, the OVC established women's championships in the sports of basketball, tennis and track in 1977, with cross country and volleyball added over the next four years. Those sports were initially governed by the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, but were continued when the NCAA became the governing body in 1982.[1]

Member schools

Institution Location
(Population)
Founded Type Enrollment Year Joined Football
Member?
Nickname
Austin Peay State University Clarksville, Tennessee
(119,250)
1927 Public 9,192 1962 Yes Governors and Lady Govs
Eastern Illinois University Charleston, Illinois
(21,039)
1895 Public 11,651 1996 Yes Panthers
Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, Kentucky
(30,008)
1874 Public 16,183 1948 Yes Colonels and Lady Colonels
Jacksonville State University Jacksonville, Alabama
(12,548)
1883 Public 9,504 2003 Yes Gamecocks
Morehead State University Morehead, Kentucky
(5,914)
1922 Public 9,509 1948 No[a] Eagles
Murray State University Murray, Kentucky
(17,741)
1922 Public 10,416 1948 Yes Racers
Southeast Missouri State University Cape Girardeau, Missouri
(37,525)
1873 Public 9,615 1991 Yes Redhawks
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Edwardsville, Illinois
(24,047)
1957 Public 14,133 2008 No Cougars
Tennessee State University Nashville, Tennessee
(619,626)
1912 Public 10,450 1986 Yes Tigers and Lady Tigers
Tennessee Technological University Cookeville, Tennessee
(27,648)
1912 Public 9,217 1949 Yes Golden Eagles
University of Tennessee at Martin Martin, Tennessee
(10,515)
1901 Public 5,810 1992 Yes Skyhawks

Future members

Institution Location
(Population)
Founded Type Enrollment Year Joined Football
Member?
Nickname
Belmont University Nashville, Tennessee
(619,626)
1890 Private/Non-denominational 5,800 2012 No Bruins
Locations of current Ohio Valley Conference full member institutions.

Former members

Institution Tenure New Conference Classification
University of Akron 1980–1987 Independent (now in Mid-American) Division I FBS
East Tennessee State University 1958–1978 Southern (now in Atlantic Sun) Division I FCS
University of Evansville 1948–1952  ?? (now in Missouri Valley) Division I Non-football
University of Louisville 1948–1949 Independent (now in Big East) Division I FBS
Marshall University 1949–1952 Mid-American Conference (now in Conference USA) Division I FBS
Middle Tennessee State University 1952–1998 Independent (now in Sun Belt) Division I FBS
Samford University 2003–2008 Southern Division I FCS
Western Kentucky University 1948–1982, (1999–2000 for football only) Sun Belt Division I FBS
Youngstown State University 1981–1992 (1981–1987 for football) Mid-Continent/Football Independent (now in Horizon League/Missouri Valley Football Conference) Division I FCS

[2]

Membership timeline

Belmont University Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Samford University Jacksonville State University Eastern Illinois University University of Tennessee at Martin Southeast Missouri State University Tennessee State University Youngstown State University University of Akron Austin Peay State University East Tennessee State University Middle Tennessee State University Marshall University Tennessee Technological University Western Kentucky University Murray State University Morehead State University University of Louisville University of Evansville Eastern Kentucky University

Sports offered

The Ohio Valley Conference currently offers 17 sports, 8 for men and 9 for women.

Conference champions

Football conference champions

This is a partial list of the last 10 champions. For the complete history, see List of Ohio Valley Conference football champions.

Year Regular Season Champion Record FCS Championship Result
2000 Western Kentucky 7-0 Quarterfinals
2001 Eastern Illinois 6-1 First Round
2002 Eastern Illinois
Murray State
5–1 First Round
2003 Jacksonville State 7-1 First Round
2004 Jacksonville State 7–1 First Round
2005 Eastern Illinois 8–0 First Round
2006 UT Martin
Eastern Illinois
6-1
7-1
First Round
2007 Eastern Kentucky 8-0 First Round
2008 Eastern Kentucky 7-1 First Round
2009 Eastern Illinois $ 6-2 First Round
2010 Southeast Missouri State 7-1 First Round

$ - Jacksonville State (6-1) had the best record in the conference, but was ineligible for the championship due to Academic Progress Rate sanctions.

Men's basketball

This is a partial list of the last 10 champions. For the complete history, see List of Ohio Valley Conference men's basketball champions.

Year Regular Season Champion Record Tournament Champion
2001–02 Tennessee Tech 15–1 Murray State
2002–03 Austin Peay
Morehead State
13-3 Austin Peay
2003–04 Austin Peay 16–0 Murray State
2004–05 Tennessee Tech 12–4 Eastern Kentucky
2005–06 Murray State 17-3 Murray State
2006–07 Austin Peay 16–4 Eastern Kentucky
2007–08 Austin Peay 16–4 Austin Peay Tournament
2008–09 UT Martin 14-4 Morehead State Tournament
2009–10 Murray State 17-1 Murray State Tournament
2010–11 Murray State 14-4 Morehead State Tournament

Conference facilities

School Football stadium Basketball arena Baseball stadium
Name Capacity Name Capacity Name Capacity
Austin Peay Governors Stadium 10,000 Dunn Center 9,000 Raymond C. Hand Park 1,000
Eastern Illinois O'Brien Stadium 10,000 Lantz Arena 5,300 Coaches Stadium 500
Eastern Kentucky Roy Kidd Stadium 20,000 Alumni Coliseum 6,300 Turkey Hughes Field N/A
Jacksonville State JSU Stadium 24,000 Pete Mathews Coliseum 5,800 Rudy Abbott Field 1,000
Morehead State Jayne Stadium[a] 10,000 Ellis Johnson Arena 6,500 John "Sonny" Allen Field 1,200
Murray State Roy Stewart Stadium 16,800 CFSB Center 8,602 Johnny Reagan Field N/A
Southeast Missouri State Houck Stadium 11,015 Show Me Center 6,972 Capaha Park N/A
SIU-Edwardsville Non-Football School N/A Vadalabene Center 4,000 SimmonsCooper Complex N/A
UT Martin Graham Stadium 8,000 Skyhawk Arena 7,000 Skyhawk Baseball Field 1,000
Tennessee State LP Field 68,000 Gentry Complex 10,500 Non-Baseball School N/A
Tennessee Tech Tucker Stadium 16,500 Eblen Center 10,152 Bush Stadium 1,500

Notes

  1. ^ a b Morehead State's football team competes in the Pioneer Football League, a Division I FCS football-only conference whose members choose not to offer athletic scholarships for football.
  • Austin Peay's football team competed in the Pioneer Football League for the 2001–2005 seasons, then became an independent for the 2006 season, and returned to OVC football competition in 2007.
  • Eastern Illinois and SIUE compete as Affiliate Members of the Missouri Valley Conference in Men's Soccer.
  • Eastern Illinois is an Associate Member of The Summit League in Swimming and Diving.

References

External links


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