|American Southwest Conference|
|Commissioner||Amy Carlton (since 2006)|
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 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.
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 departed at the end of the 2011-12 season after joining the ASC in that same season; Schreiner and Texas Lutheran 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. Additionally, Mississippi College announced that it would be also leaving the conference and reclassifying to Division II in 2014. Mississippi College will re-join the Gulf South Conference, a league that it had been a member of until 1996.
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. 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  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. The following month, UT Tyler was officially unveiled as an incoming LSC member.
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.
|Belhaven University||Jackson, Mississippi
|East Texas Baptist University||Marshall, Texas
(Regional College: West)
|LeTourneau University||Longview, Texas
|University of the Ozarks||Clarksville, Arkansas
(Regional College: South)
|University of Texas at Dallas||Richardson, Texas
(University of Texas)
|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
|$120,430,000||Cowboys and Cowgirls||1996||N/A||Yes|
|Howard Payne University||Brownwood, Texas
(Regional College: West)
|University of Mary Hardin-Baylor||Belton, Texas
|$59,500,000||Crusaders||1997||CRUnk the Sader||Yes|
|McMurry University||Abilene, Texas
(Regional College: West)
|Sul Ross State University||Alpine, Texas
(Texas State University)
|2,070||not ranked||Lobos and Lady Lobos||1996||Sully||Yes|
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. Austin College joins as an affiliate member in football in 2021.
|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.
|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)
|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)
* Austin College rejoins the ASC for football in 2021.
** Texas Lutheran University rejoined the ASC for football in 2016.