|Members||13 (8 in 2021)|
|Region||West South Central|
|Former names||Southland Football League (1996–2002, football-only)|
|Commissioner||Tom Burnett (since 2002)|
The Southland Conference, abbreviated as SLC, is a collegiate athletic conference which operates in the South Central United States (specifically Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas). It participates in the NCAA's Division I for all sports; for football, it participates in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The Southland sponsors 18 sports, 10 for women and eight for men, and is governed by a presidential Board of Directors and an Advisory Council of athletic and academic administrators. Tom Burnett was named the Southland's sixth commissioner on Dec. 23, 2002. From 1996 to 2002, for football only, the Southland Conference was known as the Southland Football League.
The conference's offices are located in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas.
Founded in 1963, its members were Abilene Christian College (now Abilene Christian University; departed in 1973 for NCAA Division II, but moved to Division I and re-joined the Southland in 2013), Arkansas State College (now Arkansas State University; departed in 1987, now a member of the Sun Belt Conference), Arlington State College (now The University of Texas at Arlington, departed in 2012 now also in the Sun Belt),Lamar State College of Technology (now Lamar University; departed in 1987, but re-joined in 1999), and Trinity University (departed in 1972, now participating in NCAA Division III).
Since its founding, the Southland Conference has been the home for 18 college and university all-sports programs (see membership timeline below). In addition, the conference has also been home to some schools for one sport only. In the case of football, Troy University fielded a team from 1996 to 2000 and Jacksonville State University did so from 1997 to 2002. This has also been the case for some Olympic sports like men's tennis, in which the University of Texas–Pan American (UTPA) and the University of New Orleans (UNO) fielded teams as affiliate members before 2013, when UTPA joined the WAC and UNO became a full Southland member.
|Abilene Christian University||Abilene, Texas||1906||1963; 20131||Private||5,200||Wildcats|
|University of Central Arkansas||Conway, Arkansas||1907||2006||Public||11,750||Bears/Sugar Bears|
|Houston Baptist University||Houston, Texas||1960||2013||Private||3,963||Huskies|
|University of the Incarnate Word||San Antonio, Texas||1881||2013||Private||10,984||Cardinals|
|Lamar University||Beaumont, Texas||1923||1963; 19992||Public||17,488||Cardinals/Lady Cardinals|
|McNeese State University||Lake Charles, Louisiana||1939||1972||Public||7,648||Cowboys/Cowgirls|
|University of New Orleans||New Orleans, Louisiana||1958||2013||Public||8,151||Privateers|
|Nicholls State University||Thibodaux, Louisiana||1948||1991||Public||6,366||Colonels|
|Northwestern State University||Natchitoches, Louisiana||1884||1987||Public||10,979||Demons/Lady Demons|
|Sam Houston State University||Huntsville, Texas||1879||1987||Public||21,025||Bearkats|
|Southeastern Louisiana University||Hammond, Louisiana||1925||1997||Public||14,327||Lions/Lady Lions|
|Stephen F. Austin State University||Nacogdoches, Texas||1923||1987||Public||13,144||Lumberjacks/Ladyjacks|
|Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi||Corpus Christi, Texas||1947||2006||Public||11,929||Islanders|
School names and nicknames listed here reflect those in use in each institution's final school year of Southland Conference membership.
|Arkansas State University||Jonesboro, Arkansas||1909||1963||1987||Public||Indians||Sun Belt|
|Louisiana Tech University||Ruston, Louisiana||1894||1971||1987||Public|| Bulldogs |
|University of North Texas||Denton, Texas||1890||1982||1996||Public||Mean Green||C-USA|
|University of Louisiana at Monroe||Monroe, Louisiana||1931||1982||2006||Public||Indians||Sun Belt|
|Oral Roberts University||Tulsa, Oklahoma||1963||2012||2014||Private||Golden Eagles||Summit League|
|University of Southwestern Louisiana||Lafayette, Louisiana||1898||1971||1982||Public||Ragin' Cajuns||Sun Belt|
|Texas State University||San Marcos, Texas||1899||1987||2012||Public||Bobcats||Sun Belt|
|University of Texas at Arlington||Arlington, Texas||1895||1963||2012||Public||Mavericks||Sun Belt|
|University of Texas at San Antonio||San Antonio, Texas||1969||1991||2012||Public||Roadrunners||C-USA|
|Trinity University||San Antonio, Texas||1869||1963||1972||Private||Tigers|| SCAC |
(NCAA Division III)
|Centenary College of Louisiana||Gentlemen||Shreveport, Louisiana||1825||Private/United Methodist||500||2000–01||2002–03|| American Southwest |
(NCAA Division III)
|Jacksonville State University||Gamecocks||Jacksonville, Alabama||1883||Public||9,490||1996–97||2002–03||Ohio Valley (OVC)||football|
| University of Louisiana at Lafayette |
(formerly University of Southwestern Louisiana)
|Ragin' Cajuns||Lafayette, Louisiana||1898||Public||16,885||1982–83||1986–87||Sun Belt||women's sports|
|University of New Orleans||Privateers||New Orleans, Louisiana||1958||Public||9,825||2012–13||2012–13||Southland||men's tennis|
|Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi||Islanders||Corpus Christi, Texas||1947||Public||9,600||2003–04||2005–06||Southland||men's tennis|
|University of Texas–Pan American||Broncs||Edinburg, Texas||1927||Public||17,048||2000–01||2012–13||WAC||men's tennis|
| Troy University |
(formerly Troy State University)
|Trojans||Troy, Alabama||1887||Public||29,689||1996–97||2000–01||Sun Belt||football|
Full membersFull members (non-football)Associate members (football only)
1. - Southwestern Louisiana became the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (Louisiana–Lafayette, now athletically branded as simply Louisiana) in 1999.
2. - Northeast Louisiana became the University of Louisiana at Monroe (Louisiana–Monroe) in 1999.
The Southland Conference sponsors championship competition in eight men's and 10 women's NCAA sanctioned sports.The most recently added sport is beach volleyball, with SLC competition starting in 2019–20.
|Track and Field (Indoor)|
|Track and Field (Outdoor)|
|School||Baseball||Basketball||Cross Country||Football||Golf||Tennis||Track & Field|
|Track & Field|
|Total Southland Sports|
|Sam Houston State||N||7|
|Stephen F. Austin||N||7|
|Texas A&M–Corpus Christi||N||N||6|
Men's varsity sports not sponsored by the Southland Conference which are played by SLC schools:
|Central Arkansas||Sun Belt||No|
|School||Basketball||Beach Volleyball||Cross Country||Golf||Soccer||Softball||Tennis||Track & Field|
|Track & Field|
|Volleyball||Total Southland Sports|
|Sam Houston State||10|
|Stephen F. Austin||10|
|Texas A&M–Corpus Christi||10|
Women's varsity sports not sponsored by the Southland Conference which are played by SLC schools:
|Sam Houston State||Southland Bowling League||No|
|Stephen F. Austin||Southland Bowling League||No|
Former and current players from the Southland that would go on to star in the National Football League include Gary Barbaro, Mike Barber, Fred Barnett, Bill Bergey, Derrick Blaylock, Bubby Brister, Ray Brown, Roger Carr, Mark Carrier, Larry Centers, Bruce Collie, Keith Davis, Fred Dean, Jackie Harris, Stan Humphries, Buford Jordan, Wade Key, Josh McCown, Tim McKyer, Jeff Novak, Kavika Pittman, Mike Quinn, Billy Ryckman, Ricky Sanders, Eugene Seale, Rafael Septién, Terrance Shaw, Marcus Spears, Chad Stanley, Pat Tilley, Jeremiah Trotter, Marvin Upshaw, Lardarius Webb and Spergon Wynn. The Southland was instrumental in founding the Independence Bowl, and the Southland champion served as the automatic home team for that bowl from 1976–1980. On May 21, 2014, the Southland Conference approved the use of instant replay at all its home games becoming the first FCS league to fully commit to having all games utilize instant replay.
Among notable NBA stars attending Southland Conference schools include Karl Malone (Louisiana Tech), Joe Dumars (McNeese State), Scottie Pippen (Central Arkansas), Jeff Foster (Southwest Texas State, now known as Texas State), and Andrew Toney (Southwestern Louisiana, now known as Louisiana).
Former member Louisiana–Monroe (then Northeast Louisiana) advanced to the 1985 NCAA Women's Final Four.
Total revenue includes ticket sales, contributions and donations, rights/licensing, student fees, school funds and all other sources including TV income, camp income, food and novelties. Total expenses includes coaching/staff, scholarships, buildings/ground, maintenance, utilities and rental fees and all other costs including recruiting, team travel, equipment and uniforms, conference dues and insurance costs.
|Conference Rank (2017)||National Rank (2017)||Institution||2017 Total Revenue from Athletics||2017 Total Expenses on Athletics|
|3||215||Sam Houston State||$17,913,191||$17,623,293|
|5||244||Stephen F. Austin||$15,518,495||$15,518,495|
|11||318||Texas A&M Corpus Christi||$10,958,225||$10,958,225|
Note: Data from U.S. Department of Education Equity in Athletics Data Analysis Cutting Tool Database. Ranking based on revenue position in selection of records using NCAA Division I-FBS, NCAA Division I-FCS, and NCAA Division I without football criteria. (346 records were retrieved.) OPE Equity in Athletics Data Analysis Cutting Tool used in order to provide ranking for private institutions in the conference.
Departing members in red.
|School||Football stadium||Capacity||Soccer stadium||Capacity||Basketball arena||Capacity||Baseball stadium||Capacity||Softball stadium||Capacity|
|Abilene Christian||Anthony Field at Wildcat Stadium||12,000||Elmer Gray Stadium||1,000||Moody Coliseum||4,600||Crutcher Scott Field||4,500||Poly Wells Field||1,000|
|Central Arkansas||Estes Stadium||9,000||Bill Stephens Track/Soccer Complex||1,000||Farris Center||6,000||Bear Stadium||1,000||Farris Field||1,000|
|Houston Baptist||Husky Stadium||5,000||Sorrels Field||500||Sharp Gymnasium||1,000||Husky Field||500||Husky Field||300|
|Incarnate Word||Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium||6,000||Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium||6,000||McDermott Convocation Center||2,000||Sullivan Field||1,000||Cardinals Field||250|
|Lamar||Provost Umphrey Stadium||16,000||Lamar Soccer Complex||500||Montagne Center||10,080||Vincent-Beck Stadium||3,500||Lamar Softball Complex||467|
|McNeese State||Cowboy Stadium||17,410||Cowgirl Field||300||Health and Human Performance Education Complex||4,200||Joe Miller Ballpark||2,000||Joe Miller Field at Cowgirl Diamond||1,200|
|New Orleans||Non-football school||Non-soccer school||Lakefront Arena||8,785||Maestri Field at Privateer Park||2,900||Non-softball school|
|Nicholls||Manning Field at John L. Guidry Stadium||10,500||Nicholls Soccer Complex||1,000||Stopher Gymnasium||3,800||Ben Meyer Diamond at Ray E. Didier Field||2,100||Swanner Field at Geo Surfaces Park||500|
|Northwestern State||Harry Turpin Stadium||15,971||Lady Demon Soccer Complex||1,000||Prather Coliseum||3,900||H. Alvin Brown–C. C. Stroud Field||1,200||Lady Demon Diamond||1,000|
|Sam Houston State||Bowers Stadium||12,593||Pritchett Field||2,100||Bernard Johnson Coliseum||6,110||Don Sanders Stadium||1,163||Bearkat Softball Complex||400|
|Southeastern Louisiana||Strawberry Stadium||7,408||Southeastern Soccer Complex||1,000||University Center||7,500||Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field||2,500||North Oak Park||500|
|Stephen F. Austin||Homer Bryce Stadium||14,575||SFA Soccer Complex||400||William R. Johnson Coliseum||7,203||Jaycees Field||1,000||SFA Softball Field||750|
|Texas A&M–Corpus Christi||Non-football school||Dr. Jack Dugan Soccer & Track Stadium||1,000||American Bank Center||8,000||Chapman Field||750||Chapman Field||200|
The Conference began its own syndicated broadcast entity in 2008, the Southland Conference Television Network. It aired in over 25 markets in the league's four-state region, plus on national networks such as Fox College Sports, ESPN GamePlan, and ESPN3. In 2008-09, the network featured 35 broadcasts, and over 30 in each of the next four seasons.
For 2013 and 2014, the syndicated network was restricted to only regular season football games. The remainder of the schedule was available on ESPN3 or regional sports networks, including regular season and tournament basketball as well as championships in soccer, volleyball, softball and baseball. ESPN3 also carried an exclusive package of football games beyond the syndicated network's schedule.
SLCTV dissolved on July 1, 2015. Beginning with the 2015-16 school year, the Southland Conference entered into an agreement with the American Sports Network to syndicate and televise selected games,while also continuing its association with ESPN3. A separate deal will allow for Louisiana-based Cox Sports Television to air select games.
After ASN folded following the 2016-17 academic year, the Southland announced a television agreement with Eleven Sports.During 2017-18, conference-controlled games aired on ESPN3, Eleven Sports, Fox Sports Southwest and Cox Sports Television. For 2018-19, ESPN productions began to be split between ESPN3 and ESPN+ platforms.
|Institution||University System||Endowment||U.S. News|
|Abilene Christian University||Not Applicable||$425,000,000||21|
|University of Central Arkansas||Not Applicable||$25,952,861||68|
|Houston Baptist University||Not Applicable||$90,638,537||73|
|University of the Incarnate Word||Not Applicable||$125,271,000||68|
|Lamar University||Texas State University System||$106,826,000||RNP|
|McNeese State University||University of Louisiana System||$71,001,000||87|
|University of New Orleans||University of Louisiana System||$23,250,028||RNP|
|Nicholls State University||University of Louisiana System||$8,500,663||87|
|Northwestern State University||University of Louisiana System||Not Available||RNP|
|Sam Houston State University||Texas State University System||$116,800,000||272|
|Southeastern Louisiana University||University of Louisiana System||$14,503,193||RNP|
|Stephen F. Austin State University||Not Applicable||$81,300,000||75|
|Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi||Texas A&M University System||$13,673,273||RNP|
The Sun Belt Conference (SBC) is a collegiate athletic conference that has been affiliated with the NCAA's Division I since 1976. Originally a non-football conference, the Sun Belt began sponsoring football in 2001. Its football teams participate in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The 12 member institutions of the Sun Belt are distributed primarily across the southern United States.
The Western Athletic Conference (WAC) is an NCAA Division I conference. The WAC covers a broad expanse of the western United States with member institutions located in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Utah and Washington along with the Midwest state of Illinois and the Southern state of Texas.
The ASUN Conference, formerly the Atlantic Sun Conference, is a collegiate athletic conference operating mostly in the Southeastern United States. The league participates at the NCAA Division I level, and will begin sponsoring football in 2022. Originally established as the Trans America Athletic Conference (TAAC) in 1978, its headquarters are located in Atlanta.
The Lamar Cardinals and Lady Cardinals refers to the college athletics teams of Lamar University, in Beaumont, Texas. The Cardinals and Lady Cardinals teams compete in all seventeen NCAA Division I sports sponsored by the Southland Conference through the 2020–21 school year, after which Lamar will join the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).
The Southland Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year is a basketball award given to the Southland Conference's most outstanding player. The award was first given following the conference's inaugural basketball season of 1963–64. Five players have won the award two times: Jerry Rook, Larry Jeffries, Andrew Toney, Ryan Stuart and Thomas Walkup. No player has ever won three times.
Abilene Christian Wildcats refers to the sports teams of Abilene Christian University located in Abilene, Texas. The Wildcats play in the Southland Conference through the 2020–21 school year, after which they will join the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). The nickname "Wildcat" is derived from the mascot of the team.
The Abilene Christian Wildcats football program is the intercollegiate American football team for the Abilene Christian University located in the U.S. state of Texas. The team was a member of the Southland Conference through the 2020–21 season, but joins the Western Athletic Conference in July 2021, coinciding with that league's reinstatement of football as an official conference sport. The school's first football team was fielded in 1919. The team plays its home games at the on-campus Anthony Field at Wildcat Stadium.
The Lamar Cardinals basketball team represents Lamar University in NCAA Division I men's basketball competition. The Cardinals are one of four programs, all from Texas, that will leave the Southland Conference on July 1, 2021 to join the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Lamar is leaving the Southland Conference for the second time, having initially joined at the league's formation in 1963, left in 1987, and returned in 1999. The Cardinals have played home games in the Montagne Center since 1984. The Lamar University basketball team is one of the school's most storied athletic programs. The Cardinals have competed in NCAA Tournament play eleven times (five at the NCAA College Division level and six times at the NCAA Division I level with the most recent appearance in the 2012 tournament. The 1979–80 team was one of the 1980 tournament's Sweet Sixteen teams. The Cardinals have also competed in four NIT tournaments. Heading into the 2014–2015 season Lamar had a 284–143 record in the Montagne Center. The Cardinals overall record going into the 2014–2015 season was 922–818.
The Lamar Cardinals football program represents Lamar University in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision level. The Cardinals are members of the Southland Conference and play their home games in the 16,000 seat Provost Umphrey Stadium. The Cardinals will leave the Southland Conference in July 2021 to join the Western Athletic Conference, which will relaunch its football league at the FCS level at that time.
The American South Conference was an NCAA Division I athletic conference that existed from 1987–88 to 1990–91. The charter members were Arkansas State University, Lamar University, Louisiana Tech University, the University of New Orleans, the University of Southwestern Louisiana and the University of Texas–Pan American. The University of Central Florida (UCF) became the only expansion school during the conference's final academic season before merging with the Sun Belt Conference. The Sun Belt, which was losing all but three members, merged with the American South conference. The combined conference retained the name of the older Sun Belt Conference. Craig Thompson, the American South's first and only commissioner, became commissioner of the merged Sun Belt. After serving as Sun Belt commissioner for eight years, he became commissioner of the newly formed Mountain West Conference in 1998.
The Louisiana–Monroe Warhawks football program is a college football team that represents the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM).
The Abilene Christian Wildcats women's basketball team represents Abilene Christian University (ACU) in Abilene, Texas. ACU will join the Western Athletic Conference on July 1, 2021 after eight seasons in the Southland Conference. The Wildcats are currently coached by Julie Goodenough.
The 2014 Abilene Christian Wildcats football team represented Abilene Christian University in the 2014 NCAA Division I FCS football season. The Wildcats played their second transition season of at the FCS level. They were led by third-year head coach Ken Collums. Home games were played at Shotwell Stadium. This was the Wildcats first season in the Southland Conference. They finished the season 6–6, 4–4 in Southland play to finish in a three-way tie for sixth place.
The 2014 Lamar Cardinals football team represented Lamar University in the 2014 NCAA Division I FCS football season. The Cardinals were led by fifth-year head coach Ray Woodard and played their home games at Provost Umphrey Stadium. They are a member of the Southland Conference. The Cardinals finished the season 8–4, 5–3 in Southland play to finish in a three-way tie for third place. The eight win overall and five win conference record matched the Cardinals' best overall win record in both categories as a four year program.
The Texas–Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros is a collegiate athletic program that represents the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). The Vaqueros inherited the NCAA Division I status of the Texas–Pan American Broncs and compete in the Western Athletic Conference.
The 2015 Lamar Cardinals football team represented Lamar University in the 2015 NCAA Division I FCS football season. The Cardinals were led by sixth-year head coach Ray Woodard and played their home games at Provost Umphrey Stadium. They are a member of the Southland Conference.
The 2015 Abilene Christian Wildcats football team represented Abilene Christian University in the 2015 NCAA Division I FCS football season. The Wildcats were in their third transition season of at the FCS level. They were led by fourth-year head coach Ken Collums. They play their home games at Shotwell Stadium. This was the Wildcats second season in the Southland Conference since their return to the conference. They finished the season 3–8, 3–6 in Southland play to finish in a three-way tie for eighth place.
The 2018 Lamar Cardinals football team represented Lamar University in the 2018 NCAA Division I FCS football season. The Cardinals were led by second-year head coach Mike Schultz and played their home games at Provost Umphrey Stadium. They played as a member of the Southland Conference. They finished the season 7–5, 6–3 in Southland play to finish in third place. They received an at-large berth to the FCS Playoffs, where they lost in the first round to Northern Iowa.
The 2018 Southland Conference Women's Soccer Tournament, the postseason women's soccer tournament for the Southland Conference, was held from October 31–November 4, 2018. The seven-match tournament took place at the Lamar Soccer Complex in Beaumont, Texas. The eight-team single-elimination tournament consisted of three rounds based on seeding from regular season conference play.
The University of Texas at Arlington announced today that it has accepted an invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) starting on July 1, 2012.
Total enrollment numbers for Fall 2020, including all parts of terms, reached a total of 17,448 students, an 8% increase over Fall 2019.
Opened during the 1993 season, the 500-seat ballpark boasts one of the better playing surfaces in the state.
Configured for Privateers basketball Lakefront Arena has 8,701 theatre style seats, along with 84 chairback seatsfor the Courtside Krewe, for an official capacity of 8,785.
Fans will get their first glimpse at the new board and all it has to offer when the Wildcats play their first game in the new stadium on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, against Houston Baptist.