Sooner Athletic Conference

Last updated
Sooner Athletic Conference
SAC
Sooner Athletic Conference logo.png
Established1978
Association NAIA
DivisionDivision I
Members11 (12 in 2018)
Sports fielded
  • 14
    • men's: 7
    • women's: 7
Region South Central United States
Region VI of the NAIA
CommissionerStan Wagnon
Website soonerathletic.org

The Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) is a small college athletics conference affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Originally developed as a five-team conference of Oklahoma-based schools, the SAC now boasts 12 schools in a league that spans four states – Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Kansas.

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is a college athletics association for small colleges and universities in North America. For the 2018–2019 season, it has 251 member institutions, of which two are in British Columbia, one in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the rest in the conterminous United States. The NAIA, whose headquarters is in Kansas City, Missouri, sponsors 26 national championships. The CBS Sports Network, formerly called CSTV, serves as the national media outlet for the NAIA. In 2014, ESPNU began carrying the NAIA Football National Championship.

Contents

As of December 2017, SAC member institutions have collected 102 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) team championships – the most among NAIA conferences – since the league formed in 1978.

Throughout the league's 39-year history, the SAC continues to be known as the conference "Where Champions Play". Various institutions have competed under the SAC banner over the years. Today only the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma remains from the original group that was formed when Bethany Nazarene (now Southern Nazarene), Oklahoma Baptist, Oklahoma Christian and Phillips University withdrew from the Texoma Conference to form the SAC.

Membership has changed over the years with today's current members being admitted as follows: Oklahoma City (1985), Wayland Baptist (1994), John Brown (1995), Mid-America Christian (2007), Southwestern Assemblies of God (2013), Texas Wesleyan (2013), Southwestern Christian (2013), Bacone (2014), Central Christian (2017) and Oklahoma Panhandle State (2017).

The league also includes associate members on a per-sport basis, with University of Houston-Victoria, University of the Southwest and University of St. Thomas being part of the SAC in women's golf since 2017. Indiana Institute of Technology and Lourdes University were added as associate members in men's wrestling for 2017–18.

The SAC in 2017–18 will crown league champions in 14 intercollegiate sports – seven for women and seven for men. They include for women: basketball, softball, golf, tennis, cross country, soccer and volleyball. Men compete in basketball, baseball, golf, tennis, cross country, soccer and wrestling.

The conference is known for a rich basketball tradition. Member schools have won the men's NAIA tournament 12 times and women's NAIA tournament 16 times. SAC member schools also boast 12 NAIA national titles in men's golf, 11 in softball, 10 in women's golf, 8 in women's indoor track and field, 7 in men's cross country, 5 in men's tennis, 4 each in men's and women's outdoor track and field, 3 in men's indoor track and field, 2 in baseball and 1 in competitive cheer.

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Women's Basketball National Championship has been held annually since 1981. The NAIA Women's Tournament was established one year before the NCAA Women's Basketball tournament. It was created to crown a women's national title for smaller colleges and universities. Since 1992, the NAIA has sponsored a women's division II championship tournament. Also the entire tournament is played in one city. Contracts for host city for both divisions expired in 2017, pending renewal, the 2018 tournaments will be in new cities.

Member schools

Current members

InstitutionLocationFoundedEnrollmentNicknameJoined
Bacone College Muskogee, Oklahoma 1880990 Warriors 2015
Central Christian College McPherson, Kansas 18841,013 Tigers 2017
John Brown University Siloam Springs, Arkansas 19192,708 Golden Eagles 1980;
1995
Langston University Langston, Oklahoma 18972,554 Lions 2018
Mid-America Christian University Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 19532,405 Evangels 2007
Oklahoma City University Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 19042,968 Stars 1986
Oklahoma Panhandle State University Goodwell, Oklahoma 19091,207 Aggies 2017
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Chickasha, Oklahoma 1908813 Drovers 1978;
2000
Southwestern Assemblies of God University Waxahachie, Texas 19272,080 Lions 2013
Southwestern Christian University Bethany, Oklahoma 1946764 Eagles 2013
Texas Wesleyan University Fort Worth, Texas 18902,373 Rams 2013
Wayland Baptist University Plainview, Texas 19085,077 Pioneers 1994

Affiliate members

InstitutionLocationFoundedEnrollmentNicknameJoinedPrimary Conference
Arizona Christian University Phoenix, Arizona 1960820 Firestorm 2018 Golden State
Lyon College Batesville, Arkansas 1872700 Scots 2018 American Midwest
Texas College Tyler, Texas 1894972 Steers 2018 Red River

Former members

InstitutionLocationFoundedNicknameJoinedLeftCurrent
conference
Lubbock Christian University Lubbock, Texas 1957 Chaparrals 19942013 Heartland
(NCAA D-II)
Northwestern Oklahoma State University Alva, Oklahoma 1897 Rangers 20022012 Great American
(NCAA D-II)
Northwood University Cedar Hill, Texas 1966 Knights 20132014Closed in 2014
Oklahoma Baptist University Shawnee, Oklahoma 1910 Bison 19782015 Great American
(NCAA D-II)
Oklahoma Christian University Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 1950 Eagles and Lady Eagles 19782012 Heartland
(NCAA D-II)
Phillips University Enid, Oklahoma 1906 Haymakers 19781998Closed in 1998
Rogers State University Claremore, Oklahoma 1909 Hillcats 20072013 Heartland
(NCAA D-II)
St. Gregory's University Shawnee, Oklahoma 1875 Cavaliers 19992017Closed in 2017
Southern Nazarene University Bethany, Oklahoma 1899 Crimson Storm 19782012 Great American
(NCAA D-II)

Membership timeline

Sooner Athletic Conference

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