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Missouri Valley 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 Football Conference (1992–2008)
Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference (1982–1992)
Headquarters St. Louis, Missouri
Commissioner Patty Viverito (since 1982)
Missouri Valley Football Conference locations

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.


File:GatewayFootballConference 1.png
Gateway Conference logo

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

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

Locations of current Missouri Valley Football Conference member institutions.

Current members

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Nickname Primary
the MVFC
Illinois State University Normal, Illinois 1857 Public 20,272 1985 Redbirds Missouri Valley Missouri Valley
Indiana State University Terre Haute, Indiana 1865 Public 12,114 1986 Sycamores Missouri Valley Missouri Valley
Missouri State University Springfield, Missouri 1905 Public 21,059 1985 Bears Summit Missouri Valley
North Dakota State University Fargo, North Dakota 1890 Public 14,629 2008 Bison Summit Summit
University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, Iowa 1876 Public 12,159 1985 Panthers Summit Missouri Valley
University of South Dakota Vermillion, South Dakota 1862 Public 10,284 2012 Coyotes Summit Summit
South Dakota State University Brookings, South Dakota 1881 Public 12,725 2008 Jackrabbits Summit Summit
Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Illinois 1869 Public 17,964 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 14,483 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 C-USA

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 <# </timeline>


  • 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)
  • 2013: North Dakota State (8-0)
  • 2014: Illinois State (7-1) & 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 <center>5 2003†. 2004, 2005‡, 2008†, 2009
Western Illinois <center>5 1988, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002†
North Dakota State <center>4 2011†, 2012, 2013, 2014
Missouri State <center>2 1989, 1990†
Eastern Illinois <center>2 1986, 1995†
Youngstown State <center>2 2005‡, 2006
Illinois State <center>2 1999, 2014
Western Kentucky <center>1 2002†
Indiana State <center>0 N/A
South Dakota State <center>0 N/A
South Dakota <center>0 N/A

2-way tie for conference championship
3-way tie for conference championship

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 4 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 4
Southern Illinois 1 1983 1
WKU 1 2002 1
Northern Iowa 0 1 2005
Illinois State 0 1 2014

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


School Football Stadium Capacity Future Stadium Capacity
Illinois State Hancock Stadium 13,391
Indiana State Memorial Stadium 12,764
Missouri State Plaster Sports Complex 17,500
North Dakota State Fargodome 19,000 Fargodome Expansion (?)[9] ~25,000
Northern Iowa UNI-Dome 16,324
South Dakota DakotaDome 10,000
South Dakota State Coughlin–Alumni Stadium 15,000 Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium (2015) 19,340
Southern Illinois Saluki Stadium 15,000
Western Illinois Hanson Field 17,168
Youngstown State Stambaugh Stadium 20,630


  1. ^ a b c "This is the Missouri Valley Conference". Missouri Valley Conference. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Gateway Conference Adding Six Teams in Men's Football". St. Louis, Missouri: Los Angeles Times. August 25, 1985. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Universities plan new football conference" (in Carbondale and Illinois). St. Joseph Gazette. July 9, 1985. p. 2G. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Indiana State Historical Data". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  5. ^ "WKU Regents Approve Move To Division 1-A (sic) Football". Western Kentucky University. 2006-11-02. Retrieved 2006-11-03. 
  6. ^ "Gateway Eyes Dakotas For Expansion". ESPN. 2006-10-26. Retrieved 2006-11-19. 
  7. ^ "Gateway Expands to Nine Members". Gateway Football Conference. 2007-03-07. Retrieved 2007-03-09. 
  8. ^ "Gateway Football Conference Changes Its Name". Gateway Football Conference. 2008-06-06. Retrieved 2008-06-07. 
  9. ^

External links