North Greenville University Crusaders Join Gulf South Conference, 10th Member of the GSC
By Florida Tech // February 13, 2016
10th Football team in the gulf south conference
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA- The Gulf South Conference continued to increase its membership Monday by announcing the addition of the North Greenville University as a football-only affiliate member. The GSC Board of Directors unanimously approved the recommendations of the Executive and Expansion Committees, following an early January visit to the NGU campus.
“Gulf South Conference football is the standard for Division II and is an aspirational league for many programs. We welcome North Greenville University to the conference, and I am confident that they will add to the already impressive depth of quality programs within the GSC,” Commissioner Matt Wilson said.
“Our membership worked diligently to create this mutually beneficial relationship, and we are excited to partner with NGU. I appreciate the work by Dr. Russell Pannell (interim president), Jan McDonald (Director of Athletics), Micah Sepko (Associate AD) and Coach Jeff Farrington to help the GSC throughout the process.”
Located in Tigerville, S.C., just north of Greenville, NGU will be the second football-only member for the GSC and may begin appearing on some GSC teams’ schedules in 2016 and 2017.
The Crusaders will have full integration into the schedule and access to championships and awards in 2018, boosting the conference’s football membership to 10 teams. Eight football teams competed in the GSC in 2015, with the University of West Florida scheduled to begin play in 2016.
“It is very exciting for everyone at North Greenville University as we become affiliate members of the Gulf South Conference in football,” said Jan McDonald, North Greenville’s athletic director.
“We have needed a home for our football program for many years. The Gulf South is considered one of the very best, if not the best, NCAA Division II football conference, and we will have to continue to make improvements in our football program as we compete against these institutions. As members, it will make our scheduling process much easier in the future. Again, we are very excited, we are thankful and we look forward to playing in the Gulf South.”
NGU has appeared in four National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Victory Bowls, winning three (2006, 2010, 2014). The Crusaders are 1-3 all-time against GSC teams, beating Shorter in the 2014 Victory Bowl.
The Gulf South Conference is a charter member of NCAA Division II dating back to its creation in the summer of 1970. The league is now composed of 12 active members and four affiliate members. The addition of North Greenville expands the GSC’s footprint to six states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee).
GSC teams have claimed 49 NCAA Division II national championships in 13 sports, including 11 in football. GSC football teams have competed in the NCAA Division II semifinals 31 times and advanced to 16 national championship games. Valdosta State was the most recent GSC team to win a national title in 2012.
The GSC has produced 33 Harlon Hill Trophy (Division II version of the Heisman Trophy) finalists and five winners.
More than 100 GSC student-athletes have played professionally in the National Football League or Canadian Football League, including 26 who have participated either in the Super Bowl of CFL’s Grey Cup.
Each week, the GSC features the Florida’s Space Coast GSC-TV Football Game of the Week live on ESPN3.com (Watch ESPN).