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Gateway Football Conference

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Title: Gateway Football Conference  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Missouri Valley Football Conference, Rodney Harrison, Kevin Glenn, Mike Furrey, Aaron Stecker, Russell Stuvaints, Terry Allen (American football coach), ESPNU College Football, Brent Hawkins, Jack Harbaugh
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Gateway Football Conference

Missouri Valley Football Conference
Missouri Valley Football Conference logo
Established 1982 (chartered)[1]
1985 (began football)
Association NCAA
Division Division I FCS
Members 10
Sports fielded 1 (football) (men's: 1; women's: 0)
Region Midwest
Former names Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference (1982–1992)
Gateway Football Conference (1992–2008)
Headquarters St. Louis, Missouri
Commissioner Patty Viverito (since 1982)

The Missouri Valley Football Conference (formerly the Gateway Football Conference) is a collegiate 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.


The Missouri Valley Football Conference has a convoluted history that involves three other conferences:

  • Missouri Valley Conference (MVC): A long-established conference, in existence since 1907, that sponsored football until 1985. In its last years as a football conference, it was a hybrid league that included teams in NCAA Divisions I-A (today's FBS) and I-AA (now FCS).
  • Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference (Gateway): A women's sports conference founded in 1982 by MVC member schools.[1][2]
  • Association of Mid-Continent Universities (AMCU): An all-sports conference, also founded in 1982, that sponsored football at the I-AA level through the 1984 season. The AMCU had absorbed the Mid-Continent Athletic Association, a football-only league founded in 1978. (After dropping football, the AMCU later became the Mid-Continent Conference, and is now The Summit League.)

In 1985, the MVC stopped sponsoring football. At that time, the two remaining I-AA members from the MVC (Illinois State and Southern Illinois) joined Eastern Illinois, Northern Iowa, Southwest Missouri State, and Western Illinois from the AMCU and together became a football conference under the Gateway's auspices.[3] Indiana State, which had left MVC football after the 1981 season to become a Division I-AA independent while remaining a full MVC member, would join the next year.[4]

In 1992, when the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference merged with the MVC,[1] 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 University (WKU) 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, WKU's Board of Regents approved a proposal by the school's president to upgrade the Hilltoppers football program to the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS; formerly Division I-A). WKU 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.[5] WKU will move to Conference USA in 2014.

Due to WKU'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.[6] On March 7, 2007, the conference announced that both schools would join the conference beginning with the 2008 season.[7]

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.[8]

On November 4, 2010, the University of South Dakota was invited as the 10th member. This renewed an in-state rivalry with fellow MVFC member South Dakota State.

Member schools

Current members

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Nickname Primary
the MVFC
Illinois State University Normal, Illinois 1857 Public 20,762 1985 Redbirds Missouri Valley Missouri Valley
Indiana State University Terre Haute, Indiana 1865 Public 11,120 1986 Sycamores Missouri Valley Missouri Valley
Missouri State University Springfield, Missouri 1905 Public 23,092 1985 Bears Summit Missouri Valley
North Dakota State University Fargo, North Dakota 1890 Public 14,189 2008 Bison Summit Summit
University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, Iowa 1876 Public 13,201 1985 Panthers Summit Missouri Valley
University of South Dakota Vermillion, South Dakota 1862 Public 10,151 2012 Coyotes Summit Summit
South Dakota State University Brookings, South Dakota 1881 Public 12,816 2008 Jackrabbits Summit Summit
Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Illinois 1869 Public 19,800 1985 Salukis Missouri Valley Missouri Valley
Western Illinois University Macomb, Illinois 1899 Public 13,600 1985 Leathernecks Summit Summit
Youngstown State University Youngstown, Ohio 1908 Public 12,585 1997 Penguins Summit Horizon

Former members

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Left Nickname Primary
Eastern Illinois University Charleston, Illinois 1895 Public 11,651 1985-86 1995-96 Panthers Summit OVC
Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, Kentucky 1906 Public 21,048 2001-02 2006-07 Hilltoppers Sun Belt

Membership timeline

DateFormat = yyyy

ImageSize = width:1000 height:auto barincrement:20

Period = from:1985 till:2015

TimeAxis = orientation:horizontal

PlotArea = right:20 left:0 bottom:50 top:5 #> to display a count on left side of graph, use "left:20" to suppress the count, use "left:20"<#

Colors = id:barcolor value:rgb(0.99,0.7,0.7)

         id:line     value:black
         id:bg       value:white
         id:Full value:rgb(0.742,0.727,0.852) # Use this color to denote a team that is a member in all sports
         id:FullxF value:rgb(0.551,0.824,0.777) # Use this color to denote a team that is a member in all sports except for football
         id:AssocF value:rgb(0.98,0.5,0.445) # Use this color to denote a team that is a member for football only
         id:AssocOS value:rgb(0.5,0.691,0.824) # Use this color to denote a team that is a member in some sports, but not all (consider identifying in legend or a footnote)
         id:OtherC1 value:rgb(0.996,0.996,0.699) # Use this color to denote a team that has moved to another conference
         id:OtherC2 value:rgb(0.988,0.703,0.383) # Use this color to denote a team that has moved to another conference where OtherC1 has already been used, to distinguish the two


  width:15 textcolor:black shift:(5,-5) anchor:from fontsize:s
  bar:1 color:AssocOS  from:1985 till:1992 text:Eastern Illinois (1985–1995)
  bar:1 color:AssocF  from:1992 till:1996 
  bar:2 color:AssocOS  from:1985 till:1992 text:Illinois State (1985–present)
  bar:2 color:AssocF  from:1992 till:end 
  bar:3 color:AssocOS  from:1985 till:1992 text:Missouri State (1985–present)
  bar:3 color:AssocF  from:1992 till:end 
  bar:4 color:AssocOS  from:1985 till:1992 text:Northern Iowa (1985–present)
  bar:4 color:AssocF  from:1992 till:end 
  bar:5 color:AssocOS  from:1985 till:1992 text:Southern Illinois (1985–present)
  bar:5 color:AssocF  from:1992 till:end 
  bar:6 color:AssocOS  from:1985 till:1992 text:Western Illinois (1985–present)
  bar:6 color:AssocF  from:1992 till:end 
  bar:7 color:AssocOS  from:1986 till:1992 text:Indiana State (1986–present)
  bar:7 color:AssocF  from:1992 till:end 
  bar:8 color:AssocF  from:1997 till:end text:Youngstown State (1997–present)
  bar:9 color:AssocF  from:2001 till:2007 text:WKU (2001–2006)
  bar:10 color:AssocF  from:2008 till:end text:North Dakota State (2008–present)
  bar:11 color:AssocF  from:2008 till:end text:South Dakota State (2008–present)
  bar:12 color:AssocF  shift:(-50) from:2012 till:end text:South Dakota (2012–present)
  bar:N color:powderblue  from:1985 till:1992 text:Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference
  bar:N color:yellow  from:1992 till:2008 text:Gateway Football Conference
  bar:N color:pink  from:2008 till:end text:Missouri Valley Football Conference

ScaleMajor = gridcolor:line unit:year increment:2 start:1986

TextData =

   pos:(0,30) tabs:(400-center)
   text:^"MVFC Membership History"
  1. > If the chart uses more than one bar color, add a legend by selecting the appropriate fields from the following six options (use only the colors that are used in the graphic.) Leave a blank line after the end of the timeline, then add a line with the selected values from the list, separated by a space. Full members Full members (non-football) Assoc. members (football only) Assoc. member (list sports) Other Conference Other Conference <#


  • 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 & WKU (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)
  • 2012: North Dakota State (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
North Dakota State
2011, 2012
Youngstown State
2005, 2006
Illinois State
Western Kentucky
Indiana State
South Dakota State
South Dakota

NCAA Football Championship Subdivision national championships

Team Titles Title Years Finals Runner-up
Youngstown State 4 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997 6 1992, 1999
North Dakota State 2 2011, 2012 2
Southern Illinois 1 1983 1
WKU # 1 2002 1
Northern Iowa 0 1 2005

# = Now a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).


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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