American Southwest Conference
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American Southwest Conference
American Southwest Conference
American Southwest Conference logo
DivisionDivision III
Sports fielded
  • 16
    • men's: 8
    • women's: 8
RegionGulf Coast
HeadquartersRichardson, Texas
CommissionerAmy Carlton (since 2006)
American Southwest Conference locations

The American Southwest Conference (ASC) is a college athletic conference, founded in 1996, whose member schools compete in the NCAA's Division III. The schools are located in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi. The conference competes in baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, football, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track and field, and women's volleyball.

The American Southwest Conference shares operates from the same headquarters complex in the Dallas suburb of Richardson as the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference.


American Southwest Conference
Location of ASC members: Location dot dark red.svg full and Location dot grey.svg departing

The American Southwest Conference was announced in May 1996. The new league included some former members of the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association (TIAA). Founding members of the ASC were Howard Payne University, Austin College, Hardin-Simmons University, McMurry University, Mississippi College, Sul Ross State University, the University of Dallas and the University of the Ozarks.

The expansion soon began as the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor joined the ASC in 1997; followed by East Texas Baptist University, LeTourneau University, Schreiner University and the University of Texas at Dallas in 1998; then Concordia University Texas in 1999, and finally Louisiana College and Texas Lutheran University in 2000.

The University of Dallas was a member of the ASC until the end of the 2000-01 season to become an Independent; and Austin College withdrew the ASC in the 2005-06 season to join the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC). The University of Texas at Tyler began athletics in 2002 and became a member in 2003, but as a provisional member of the NCAA, was ineligible to participate in ASC or NCAA postseason tournaments until 2007. Centenary College of Louisiana joined the conference in 2011, after completing their transition from Division I to Division III, but almost immediately announced its departure for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.[1][2]

Recently, however, several schools have announced plans to leave the conference in favor of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, which lost seven of its members at the end of the 2011-12 school year. Centenary[3] departed at the end of the 2011-12 season after joining the ASC in that same season; Schreiner[4] and Texas Lutheran[5] left at the end of the 2012-13 season.

In 2012, McMurry left the ASC and completed the process of reclassifying to a full-scholarship, Division II institution and joined the Heartland Conference.[6] Additionally, Mississippi College announced that it would be also leaving the conference and reclassifying to Division II in 2014.[7] Mississippi College will re-join the Gulf South Conference, a league that it had been a member of until 1996.[8]

The departures of McMurry, Texas Lutheran and Mississippi College will leave the conference with only six football playing members, below the minimum seven participating schools required to receive an automatic bid to the NCAA football playoffs. The conference has not announced a plan to maintain its automatic bid.

ASC officials announced on March 13, 2014 the forthcoming addition of McMurry University and Belhaven University to its membership.[9][10] McMurry will re-join the ASC after a two-year stint in the Division II level, competing as a member of the Heartland Conference; while Belhaven is scheduled to join the ASC as a provisional member in 2015.

On December 3, 2015, ASC officials reported that Texas Lutheran University and Southwestern University would join the conference for football in 2017 [11] as football-only members. Both schools are members of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, but the conference only had four remaining schools competing in football. Two other SCAC schools. Austin College and Trinity University (Texas), announced they would play football in the Southern Athletic Association beginning with the 2017 season. The SCAC dropped football as a conference sport after the 2016 season.

In July 2018, the NCAA approved UT Tyler's application to begin a transition to NCAA Division II effective with the 2019-20 school year. Accordingly, UT Tyler left the ASC at the end of the 2018-19 school year. While the school did not immediately announce its future affiliation, it stated that it expected to join the Lone Star Conference.[12] The following month, UT Tyler was officially unveiled as an incoming LSC member.[13]

In July 2020, Louisiana College announced that it would leave the NCAA and applied to rejoin the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics after the 2020-21 school year.[14]

The most recent change in the ASC membership was announced on August 13, 2020, when Austin announced it would return to the conference as a football-only affiliate beginning with the 2021 season, committing to at least four years as an affiliate.[15]

Member schools

Current members

Institution Location
Founded Type Enrollment U.S. News
Ranking [17]
Endowment [17] Nickname Joined Mascot Football?
East Division
Belhaven University Jackson, Mississippi
1883 Private 3,245 59
(Regional: South)
$4,952,872 Blazers 2015 N/A Yes
East Texas Baptist University Marshall, Texas
1912 Private/Baptist 1,714 19
(Regional College: West)
$58,780,000 Tigers 1998 Toby Yes
LeTourneau University Longview, Texas
1946 Private 3,758 27
(Regional: West)
$10,500,000 Yellowjackets 1998 Buzz No
University of the Ozarks Clarksville, Arkansas
1834 Private/Presbyterian 630 6
(Regional College: South)
$87,540,000 Eagles 1996
University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, Texas
(103,297/1,241,000 metro)
1961 Public
(University of Texas)
24,554 142 National $273,570,000 Comets 1998 Temoc No
West Division
Concordia University Texas Austin, Texas
1926 Private/Lutheran 1,200 not ranked $18,570,000 Tornados 1999 Mr. Tornado No
Hardin-Simmons University Abilene, Texas
1891 Private/Baptist 2,333 39
(Regional: West)
$120,430,000 Cowboys and Cowgirls 1996 N/A Yes
Howard Payne University Brownwood, Texas
1889 Private/Baptist 1,400 14
(Regional College: West)
$45,700,000 Yellow Jackets 1996 Buzzsaw Yes
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Belton, Texas
1845 Private/Baptist 2,713 54
(Regional: West)
$59,500,000 Crusaders 1997 CRUnk the Sader Yes
McMurry University Abilene, Texas
1923 Private/Methodist 1,430 15
(Regional College: West)
$84,000,000 War Hawks 1996,
Sul Ross State University Alpine, Texas
1917 Public
(Texas State University)
2,070 not ranked
Lobos and Lady Lobos 1996 Sully Yes


1 - McMurry left the ASC to join the NCAA Division II ranks and the Heartland Conference from 2012-13 to 2013-14 before rejoining the conference.

Affiliate members

UC Santa Cruz joined the conference as an affiliate member in women's golf in 2013. Southwestern University and Texas Lutheran University joined as affiliate members in football in 2017.[18] Austin College joins as an affiliate member in football in 2021.[15]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined Current
Austin College Sherman, Texas 1849 Private 1,278 'Roos 2021* SCAC Yes
Southwestern University Georgetown, Texas 1840 Private 1,536 Pirates 2017 SCAC Yes
University of California, Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, California 1965 Public 18,783 Banana Slugs 2013 CAC No
Texas Lutheran University Seguin, Texas 1891 Private 1,400 Bulldogs 2017** SCAC Yes


* - Austin College will rejoin the conference for football only in 2021, but was a full member before leaving in 2006 for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
** - Texas Lutheran University rejoined the conference for football only in 2017, but was a full member before leaving in 2013 for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Former members

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Current
Austin College Sherman, Texas 1849 Private 1,320 Kangaroos 1996 2006 SCAC Yes*
Centenary College of Louisiana Shreveport, Louisiana 1825 Private 787 Gentlemen (men's)
Ladies (women's)
2011 2012 SCAC No
University of Dallas Irving, Texas 1956 Private 2,977 Crusaders 1996 2001 SCAC No
Louisiana College Pineville, Louisiana 1906 Private/Baptist 1,265 Wildcats and Lady Wildcats 2000 2021 RRAC
Mississippi College Clinton, Mississippi 1826 Private/Baptist 4,162 Choctaws 1996 2014 Gulf South
Schreiner University Kerrville, Texas 1923 Private 1,117 Mountaineers 1998 2013 SCAC No
Texas Lutheran University Seguin, Texas 1891 Private 1,400 Bulldogs 2000 2013 SCAC Yes**
University of Texas at Tyler Tyler, Texas 1971 Public
University of Texas)
5,326 Patriots 2002 2019 Lone Star

* Austin College rejoins the ASC for football in 2021.
** Texas Lutheran University rejoined the ASC for football in 2016.

Membership timeline

Belhaven UniversitySouthern Collegiate Athletic ConferenceCentenary College of LouisianaLone Star ConferenceUniversity of Texas at TylerSouthern Collegiate Athletic ConferenceTexas Lutheran UniversityLouisiana CollegeConcordia University TexasUniversity of Texas at DallasSouthern Collegiate Athletic ConferenceSchreiner UniversityLeTourneau UniversityEast Texas Baptist UniversityUniversity of Mary Hardin-BaylorSul Ross State UniversityUniversity of the OzarksGulf South ConferenceMississippi CollegeLone Star ConferenceMcMurry UniversityHoward Payne UniversityHardin-Simmons UniversitySouthern Collegiate Athletic ConferenceNCAA Division III independent schoolsUniversity of DallasSouthern Collegiate Athletic ConferenceAustin College


  1. ^ "Centenary Approved for Div. III Reclassification". American Southwest Conference. July 20, 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  2. ^ "Centenary College of Louisiana to Join the SCAC". SCAC. Retrieved 2012.
  3. ^ Members leave ASC for SCAC Archived July 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "SU News 2012: SCHREINER UNIVERSITY TO JOIN SOUTHERN COLLEGIATE ATHLE...". August 5, 2012. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ "Texas Lutheran University to join Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference". Texas Lutheran University. Archived from the original on October 17, 2015. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ "NCAA accepts McMurry's application to transition to Division II - The Official Site of McMurry War Hawks". The Official Site of McMurry War Hawks. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ "Mississippi College chooses Division II". D3 Sports. Retrieved 2012.
  8. ^ "Mississippi College Takes Steps to Rejoin NCAA Division II". D3 Sports. Retrieved 2012.
  9. ^ "American Southwest Conference - American Southwest Conference Announces McMurry and Belhaven as Future Additions". Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ "McMurry University and Belhaven University Set to Join ASC". Archived from the original on April 21, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ "ASC Announces Football Expansion - The Official Site of McMurry War Hawks". The Official Site of McMurry War Hawks. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ "UT Tyler Accepted into NCAA Division II" (Press release). University of Texas at Tyler. July 13, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ "Lone Star Conference to Add UT Tyler in 2019" (Press release). Lone Star Conference. August 13, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ "Louisiana College applies for NAIA for 2021-22 school year". WBRZ. Associated Press. July 3, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  15. ^ a b "'Roo Football to Join ASC as Affiliate Member". Austin College Athletics. August 13, 2020. Retrieved 2021.
  16. ^ US Census via Google
  17. ^ a b Rankings Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "The American Southwest Conference". American Southwest Conference. Retrieved 2017.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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