Courtesy: Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – On the final day of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Conference, the national governing body formally accepted and approved membership applications of Oakwood University and Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) to join the association and Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) for the 2022-23 season.
The Council of Presidents approved the applications of four institutions for membership, including Oakwood and SUNO, and will be effective July 1, 2022. Formal approval was voted upon by the NAIA Council of Presidents on April 10 at the NAIA Convention COP Business Meeting.
Oakwood joins the NAIA after competing in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association, winning a host of championships on the national level. SUNO returns to the GCAC after restarting athletics at the university level beginning in 2022-23.
The two schools along with Wiley College, which was also extended and accepted membership in the league back in January, will put the conference at eight institutions as Edward Waters will depart the conference this summer and compete in the NCAA.
The addition of Oakwood sees the GCAC footprint return to the state of Alabama, while Wiley College becomes the first institution from the state of Texas to join the league.
The GCAC is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The conference is made up of members representing Historically Black Colleges and Universities and is only one of five in the United States across all intercollegiate sports made up of HBCU institutions. The GCAC membership includes Dillard University, Edward Waters University, Fisk University, Philander Smith College, Rust College and Tougaloo College. The conference will expand by three members with the additions of Southern University at New Orleans, Oakwood University and Wiley College. The GCAC will celebrate 40 years in 2022.