South Atlantic Conference

South Atlantic Conference
Established 1975
Association NCAA
Division Division II
Members 11 (12 in 2019)
Sports fielded
  • 20
    • men's: 10
    • women's: 10
Region Southeastern United States
Headquarters Rock Hill, South Carolina
Commissioner Patrick Britz (since 2008)

The South Atlantic Conference (SAC) is a collegiate athletic conference which operates in the southeastern United States. It participates in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)'s Division II level. The SAC was founded in 1975 as a football-only conference and became an all-sports conference beginning with the 1989–90 season.

The league currently sponsors nine sports for men (football, cross country, soccer, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, outdoor track & field, tennis and golf) and nine sports for women (volleyball, cross country, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, outdoor track & field, softball, tennis and golf).


South Atlantic Conference
Location of SAC members: current and future

The distant forerunner of the South Atlantic Conference was the North State Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NSIAC). The NSIAC was formed when the "Little Six", as it was called, broke from the North Carolina Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 1930. The charter members included Appalachian State Teachers College (now Appalachian State University), Lenoir–Rhyne College (now Lenoir–Rhyne University), Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College), Catawba College, Guilford College, Elon College (now Elon University), and High Point College (now High Point University).

The North State continued to grow over the next 30 years, adding Western Carolina University (1933), East Carolina University (1947) and Pfeiffer College (now Pfeiffer University) (1960). A name change became necessary when the league accepted Newberry College as its first member from the state of South Carolina in 1961. The league took on the name Carolinas Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (CIAC) on May 20 of that year.

The CIAC saw several changes in the following years as East Carolina withdrew from the league in 1962. Appalachian State and Western Carolina followed in 1971 and 1976. All three landed in the Southern Conference (SoCon).

The South Atlantic Conference was founded in 1975 solely as a football conference. The league received its name from a contest in which Kurt Brenneman of Greensboro, North Carolina became the first to submit the SAC-8 moniker.

The SAC-8 consisted of Carson–Newman College (now Carson–Newman University), Catawba College, Elon College, Gardner–Webb College (now Gardner–Webb University), Lenoir–Rhyne College, Mars Hill College (now Mars Hill University), Newberry College, and Presbyterian College. Dr. Fred Bentley, of Mars Hill College, was named league president for its inaugural year, by a vote of the member institutions.

After the first season of play in the SAC-8, the Bears of Lenoir–Rhyne College captured the first football title.

In 1989, the league's 15th year of operation, the South Atlantic Conference became a comprehensive, multi-sport conference. Doug Echols was named the league's first Commissioner. That year the South Atlantic Conference sponsored 10 sports – football, men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball, men's soccer, volleyball, men's golf, men's and women's tennis. Later the conference grew to 14 championship sports by adding women's soccer (1990), men's and women's cross country (1993) and women's golf (1999). In 2013, the sports of men's and women's lacrosse and men's and women's track and field were added, increasing the number of championship sports to 18.

The South Atlantic Conference was composed of the same eight member institutions from 1975–76 until 1988–89, when Wingate College (now Wingate University) replaced Newberry College as the eighth member institution. Newberry College later re-joined the conference in the 1996–97 season.

In July 1998, Tusculum College was admitted as a member of the league, and Lincoln Memorial University began play in the conference in the 2006–07 academic year. Brevard College was admitted to the SAC as a provisional member in 2007 and a full member in 2008.

In 2008, Echols retired after serving as Commissioner for 19 years and Patrick Britz was hired as the new Commissioner.

In July 2010, Anderson University became the league's 10th member. Three years later in July 2013, Coker College and Queens University of Charlotte joined the conference.[1] On April 13, 2018, UVA-Wise announced that it was joining the South Atlantic Conference for the 2019-20 season.[2]

Member schools

Charter members

Newberry College left the SAC in 1989 (as a football member), and re-joined in 1996 (as an all-sport member). Wingate replaced Newberry College as the final member for the birth of the all-sport SAC in 1989. Former members Elon, Gardner–Webb, and Presbyterian were charter members of both the SAC-8 football era and the SAC all-sport era.

Current members

Institution Location Founded Enrollment Nickname Colors Joined
Anderson University Anderson, South Carolina 1911 2,900 Trojans           2010
Carson–Newman University Jefferson City, Tennessee 1851 2,115 Eagles           1975
Catawba College Salisbury, North Carolina 1851 1,300 Indians           1975
Coker College Hartsville, South Carolina 1908 1,000 Cobras           2013
Lenoir–Rhyne University Hickory, North Carolina 1891 1,800 Bears           1975
Lincoln Memorial University Harrogate, Tennessee 1897 2,579 Railsplitters           2006
Mars Hill University Mars Hill, North Carolina 1856 1,300 Lions           1975
Newberry College Newberry, South Carolina 1856 1,070 Wolves           1975;
Queens University of Charlotte Charlotte, North Carolina 1857 2,100 Royals           2013
Tusculum College Tusculum, Tennessee 1794 2,053 Pioneers           1998
Wingate University Wingate, North Carolina 1896 2,300 Bulldogs           1989

Future full member

Institution Location Founded Joining Enrollment Current Conference Nickname Colors
University of Virginia's College at Wise Wise, Virginia 1954 2019 2,000 Mountain East Conference Highland Cavaliers          

Affiliate members

Institution Location Founded Enrollment Nickname Colors Joined Sport Primary
Limestone College Gaffney, South Carolina 1845 3,300 Saints           2017 football Carolinas

Former members

Institution Location Founded Nickname Joined Left Current
Brevard College Brevard, North Carolina 1934 Tornados 2008 2017 USA South
Elon University Elon, North Carolina 1889 Phoenix 1975 1997 Colonial Athletic
Gardner–Webb University Boiling Springs, North Carolina 1905 Runnin' Bulldogs 1975 2000 Big South
Presbyterian College Clinton, South Carolina 1880 Blue Hose 1975 2007 Big South

Membership timeline

 Full member (all sports)   Full member (non-football)   Associate member (football-only)   Associate member (sport) 


Conference sports
Cross Country
Track & Field Indoor
Track & Field Outdoor

Men's sponsored sports by school

School Baseball Basketball Cross
Football Golf Lacrosse Soccer Tennis Track
& Field
& Field
Anderson 8
Carson–Newman 9
Catawba 10
Coker 9
Lenoir–Rhyne 10
Lincoln Memorial 9
Mars Hill 10
Newberry 10
Queens 8
Tusculum 9
Wingate 10
Totals 10 11 11 8 11 9 11 11 10 11 103
Future Members
UVA–Wise 6
Affiliate Members
Limestone 1
  • Queens — Baseball begins play in 2018.[3]

Women's sponsored sports by school

School Basketball Cross
Golf Lacrosse Soccer Softball Tennis Track
& Field
& Field
Volleyball Total
Anderson 9
Carson–Newman 9
Catawba 10
Coker 10
Lenoir–Rhyne 10
Lincoln Memorial 10
Mars Hill 10
Newberry 10
Queens 10
Tusculum 9
Wingate 10
Totals 11 11 11 9 11 11 11 10 11 11 107
Future Members
UVA–Wise 7

Other sponsored sports by school

School Men Women
& Diving
Volleyball Wrestling Beach
Bowling Field
& Diving
Carson–Newman BMC IND BMC
Catawba BMC BMC
Lenoir–Rhyne BMC BMC
Lincoln Memorial IND IND ECC
Mars Hill ASC ASC
Newberry ECAC ECAC
Wingate BMC BMC
  • — D-I sport

Conference stadia and arenas

School Football Basketball
Stadium Capacity Arena Capacity
Anderson Trojans
non-football school
Abney Athletic Center 1,500
Carson–Newman Eagles Burke–Tarr Stadium 5,500 Holt Fieldhouse 2,000
Catawba Indians Shuford Stadium 4,500 Goodman Gym 3,500
Coker Cobras
non-football school
Timberlake-Lawton Gymnasium 700
Lenoir–Rhyne Bears Moretz Stadium 8,500 Shuford Memorial Gymnasium 2,770
Lincoln Memorial Railsplitters
non-football school
Tex Turner Arena 5,000
Mars Hill Lions Meares Stadium 5,000 Stanford Arena 2,800
Newberry Wolves Setzler Field 4,000 Eleazer Arena 1,600
Queens Royals
non-football school
Curry Arena 2,500
Tusculum Pioneers Pioneer Field 1,850 Pioneer Arena 2,500
Wingate Bulldogs Irwin Belk Stadium 3,000 Cuddy Arena 2,300


This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.