Southwestern Athletic Conference

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Southwestern Athletic Conference
Southwestern Athletic Conference logo
DivisionDivision I FCS
Sports fielded18 (men's: 8; women's: 10)
HeadquartersBirmingham, Alabama
CommissionerDuer Sharp
Southwestern Athletic Conference locations
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Southwestern Athletic Conference
Southwestern Athletic Conference logo
DivisionDivision I FCS
Sports fielded18 (men's: 8; women's: 10)
HeadquartersBirmingham, Alabama
CommissionerDuer Sharp
Southwestern Athletic Conference locations

The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) is a collegiate athletic conference headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, which is made up of historically black universities in the Southern United States. It participates in the NCAA's Division I for all sports; in football, it participates in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), still frequently referred to by its former designation of Division I-AA.

The SWAC is one of two conferences – the other being the Ivy League – that does not participate in the FCS football playoffs, and is the only one of the two whose members offer a full complement of scholarships for football.[1] The SWAC instead splits its schools into two divisions, and plays a conference championship game. Furthermore, one SWAC game, the Bayou Classic between Southern and Grambling State, is positioned on the schedule after the NCAA tournament has begun. In addition, Alabama State plays Division II rival Tuskegee annually on Thanksgiving Day (The Turkey Day Classic). These moves have been criticized by other conferences containing historically black universities,[citation needed] especially the only other Division I conference made up entirely of such schools, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, which annually places its champion into the FCS tournament.


In 1920, athletic officials from six Texas HBCUs — C.H. Fuller of Bishop College, Red Randolph and C.H. Patterson of Paul Quinn College, E.G. Evans, H.J. Evans and H.J. Starns of Prairie View A&M, D.C. Fuller of Texas College and G. Whitte Jordan of Wiley College — met in Houston, Texas, to discuss common interests. At this meeting, they agreed to form a new league, the SWAC.

Paul Quinn became the first of the original members to withdraw from the league in 1929. When Langston University of Oklahoma was admitted into the conference two years later, it began the migration of state-supported institutions into the SWAC. Southern University entered the ranks in 1934, followed by Arkansas AM&N (now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff) in 1936 and Texas Southern University in 1954.

Rapid growth in enrollment of the state-supported schools made it difficult for the church-supported schools to finance their athletics programs and one by one they fell victim to the growing prowess of the state-supported colleges. Bishop withdrew from the conference in 1956, Langston in 1957 and Huston-Tillotson (formerly Samuel Huston) in 1959, one year after the admittance of two more state-supported schools: Grambling College and Jackson State College. The enter-exit cycle continued in 1961 when Texas College withdrew, followed by the admittance of Alcorn A&M (now Alcorn State University) in 1962. Wiley left in 1968, the same year Mississippi Valley State College entered. Arkansas AM&N exited in 1970 and Alabama State University entered in 1982. Arkansas–Pine Bluff (formerly Arkansas AM&N) rejoined the SWAC on July 1, 1997, regaining full-member status one year later. Alabama A&M University became the conference’s tenth member when it became a full member in September, 1999 after a one year period as an affiliate SWAC member.[2] Most of the former SWAC members that have left the conference are currently a part of the Red River Athletic Conference of the NAIA.

Today, the SWAC, considered the premier HBCU conference, ranks among the elite in the nation in terms of alumni playing with professional sports teams, particularly in football.[citation needed] On the gridiron, the conference has been the biggest draw on the Football Championship Subdivision level of the NCAA, leading the nation in average home attendance for 19 of the 20 years the FCS has been in existence.[citation needed] In 1994, the SWAC fell just 40,000 fans short of becoming the first non-Football Bowl Subdivision conference to attract one million fans to its home games.[citation needed]

Current championship competition offered by the SWAC includes competition for men in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, indoor track, outdoor track & field and tennis. Women’s competition is offered in the sports of basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, indoor track, outdoor track & field, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.[2]

Member schools[edit]

Current full members[edit]

The SWAC comprises ten schools.

FoundedTypeEnrollmentJoinedMascoteColorsU.S. News
HBCU Ranking[3]
East Division
Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical UniversityHuntsville, Alabama
1875Public6,0001999Bulldogs         [4]22
Alabama State UniversityMontgomery, Alabama
1867Public6,0001982Hornets         40–72
Alcorn State UniversityLorman, Mississippi1871Public3,2001962Braves         27
Jackson State UniversityJackson, Mississippi
1877Public8,3001958Tigers         [5]27
Mississippi Valley State UniversityItta Bena, Mississippi
1950Public2,5001968Delta Devils         40–72
West Division
University of Arkansas at Pine BluffPine Bluff, Arkansas
Golden Lions         40–72
Grambling State UniversityGrambling, Louisiana
1901Public6,9001958Tigers         36
Prairie View A&M UniversityPrairie View, Texas
1876Public8,3001920Panthers         35
Southern University and A&M CollegeBaton Rouge, Louisiana
1880Public7,3001935Jaguars         40–72
Texas Southern UniversityHouston, Texas
1947Public11,0001954Tigers         [6]40–72

Former members[edit]

InstitutionLocation (Population)FoundedTypeEnrollmentJoinedLeftNicknameCurrent Conference
Bishop CollegeMarshall, Texas
Dallas, Texas
1881Privaten/a19201956TigersClosed in 19881
Langston UniversityLangston, Oklahoma
1897Public3,92219311957LionsRRAC/Red River (NAIA)
Paul Quinn CollegeDallas, Texas
1872Private1,02019201929TigersRRAC/Red River (NAIA)
Huston–Tillotson University2Austin, Texas
1881Private90019201959RamsRRAC/Red River (NAIA)
Texas CollegeTyler, Texas
1894Private60019201961SteersRRAC/Red River (NAIA)
CSFL (football)
Wiley CollegeMarshall, Texas
1873Private1,20019201968WildcatsRRAC/Red River (NAIA)


  1. - Bishop College is now part of Paul Quinn College as a site campus.
  2. - Huston–Tillotson University was formerly known as Samuel Huston College.

Membership timeline[edit]

Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical UniversityAlabama State UniversityMississippi Valley State UniversityAlcorn State UniversityJackson State UniversityGrambling State UniversityTexas Southern UniversityUniversity of Arkansas at Pine BluffSouthern UniversityLangston UniversityWiley CollegeTexas CollegeHuston–Tillotson UniversityPrairie View UniversityPaul Quinn CollegeBishop College


The SWAC sponsors championship competitions in eight men's and ten women's NCAA sanctioned sports:[7]

Teams in Southwestern Athletic Conference competition
Cross Country
Track and Field (Indoor)
Track and Field (Outdoor)


SchoolFootball stadiumCapacityBasketball arenaCapacityBaseball stadiumCapacity
Alabama A&MLouis Crews Stadium21,000Elmore Gymnasium6,000Bulldog FieldN/A
Alabama StateHornet Stadium26,500ASU Acadome7,400Wheeler–Watkins Baseball Complex500
Alcorn StateJack Spinks Stadium22,500Davey Whitney Complex7,000Foster Baseball Field at McGowan StadiumN/A
Arkansas-Pine BluffGolden Lion Stadium12,500K. L. Johnson Complex4,500Torii Hunter Baseball/Softball ComplexN/A
Grambling StateEddie Robinson Stadium19,600Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center7,500Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones Park and Wilbert Ellis FieldN/A
Jackson StateMississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium62,000Williams Assembly Center8,000Braddy Field800
Mississippi ValleyRice–Totten Field10,000Harrison HPER Complex5,000Magnolia FieldN/A
Prairie View A&MEdward L. Blackshear Field6,000William Nicks Building5,520Panther Baseball FieldN/A
SouthernAce W. Mumford Stadium29,000F. G. Clark Center7,500Lee–Hines FieldN/A
Texas SouthernBBVA Compass Stadium (primary)
Reliant Stadium (secondary)
Health and Physical Education Arena8,100MacGregor ParkN/A

SWAC Championships[edit]


Games from 1999 - 2012 were played at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. The conference moved the game in 2013 to Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.

YearWinnerRunner UpScore
1999SouthernJackson State31-30
2000Grambling StateAlabama A&M14-6
2001Grambling StateAlabama State38-31
2002Grambling StateAlabama A&M31-19
2003SouthernAlabama State20-9
2004Alabama StateSouthern40-35
2005Grambling StateAlabama A&M45-6
2006Alabama A&MArkansas–Pine Bluff22–13
2007Jackson StateGrambling State42–31
2008Grambling StateJackson State41-9
2009Prairie View A&MAlabama A&M30-24
2010Texas SouthernAlabama State11-6
2011Grambling StateAlabama A&M16-15
2012Arkansas-Pine BluffJackson State24-21
2013SouthernJackson State34-27

Men's basketball[edit]

YearRegular SeasonCoachTournamentCoach
1956–1957Texas SouthernEd Adamsnot held
1957–1958Texas SouthernEd Adamsnot held
1958–1959GramblingFred Hobdynot held
1959–1960GramblingFred Hobdynot held
1960–1961Prairie View A&MLeroy Moore, Jr.not held
1961–1962Prairie View A&MLeroy Moore, Jr.not held
1962–1963GramblingFred Hobdynot held
Jackson State
Fred Hobdy
Harrison Wilson
not held
1964–1965SouthernRichard Macknot held
1965–1966Alcorn State
E.E. Simmons
Fred Hobby
not held
1966–1967Alcorn State
Arkansas AM&N
E.E. Simmons
Hubert Clemens
Fred Hobby
not held
1967–1968Alcorn State
Jackson State
Bob Hopkins
Paul Covington
not held
1968–1969Alcorn StateBob Hopkinsnot held
1969–1970Jackson StatePaul Covingtonnot held
1970–1971GramblingFred Hobdynot held
1971–1972GramblingFred Hobdynot held
1972–1973Alcorn StateDavey L. Whitneynot held
1973–1974Jackson StatePaul Covingtonnot held
1974–1975Jackson StatePaul Covingtonnot held
1975–1976Alcorn StateDavey L. Whitneynot held
1976–1977Texas SouthernRobert Morelandnot held
1977–1978SouthernCarl StewartJackson StatePaul Covington
1978–1979Alcorn StateDavey L. WhitneyAlcorn StateDavey L. Whitney
1979–1980Alcorn StateDavey L. WhitneyAlcorn StateDavey L. Whitney
1980–1981Alcorn State
Davey L. Whitney
Carl Stewart
SouthernCarl Stewart
1981–1982Alcorn State
Jackson State
Davey L. Whitney
Paul Covington
Alcorn StateDavey L. Whitney
1982–1983Texas SouthernRobert MorelandAlcorn StateDavey L. Whitney
1983–1984Alcorn StateDavey L. WhitneyAlcorn StateDavey L. Whitney
1984–1985Alcorn StateDavey L. WhitneySouthernBob Hopkins
1985–1986Alcorn State
Davey L. Whitney
Bob Hopkins
Mississippi Valley StateLafayette Stribling
1986–1987GramblingBob HopkinsSouthernBen Jobe
1987–1988SouthernBen JobeSouthernBen Jobe
Texas Southern
Bob Hopkins
Ben Jobe
Robert Moreland
SouthernBen Jobe
1989–1990SouthernBen JobeTexas SouthernRobert Moreland
1990–1991Jackson StateAndy StoglinJackson StateAndy Stoglin
1991–1992Texas Southern
Mississippi Valley State
Robert Moreland
Lafayette Stribling
Mississippi Valley StateLafayette Stribling
1992–1993Jackson StateAndy StoglinSouthernBen Jobe
1993–1994Texas SouthernRobert MorelandTexas SouthernRobert Moreland
1994–1995Texas SouthernRobert MorelandTexas SouthernRobert Moreland
1995–1996Jackson State
Mississippi Valley State
Andy Stoglin
Lafayette Stribling
Mississippi Valley StateLafayette Stribling
1996–1997Mississippi Valley StateLafayette StriblingJackson StateAndy Stoglin
1997–1998Texas SouthernRobert MorelandPrairie View A&MElwood Plummer
1998–1999Alcorn StateDavey L. WhitneyAlcorn StateDavey L. Whitney
1999–2000Alcorn StateDavey L. WhitneyJackson StateAndy Stoglin
2000–2001Alabama StateRob SpiveryAlabama StateRob Spivery
2001–2002Alcorn StateDavey L. WhitneyAlcorn StateDavey L. Whitney
2002–2003Prairie View A&MJerome FrancisTexas SouthernRonnie Courtney
2003–2004Mississippi Valley StateLafayette StriblingAlabama StateRob Spivery
2004–2005Alabama A&ML. Vann PettawayAlabama A&ML. Vann Pettaway
2005–2006SouthernRob SpiverySouthernRob Spivery
2006–2007Mississippi Valley StateJames GreenJackson StateTevester Anderson
2007–2008Alabama StateLewis JacksonMississippi Valley StateJames Green
2008–2009Alabama StateLewis JacksonAlabama StateLewis Jackson
2009–2010Jackson StateTevester AndersonArkansas–Pine BluffGeorge Ivory
2010–2011Texas SouthernTony HarveyAlabama StateLewis Jackson
2011–2012Mississippi Valley StateSean WoodsMississippi Valley StateSean Woods
2012–2013Texas SouthernMike DavisSouthernRoman Banks

Men's basketball tournament performance by school[edit]

SchoolChampionshipsChampionship Years
1981, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1993, 2006, 2013
Alcorn State
1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1999, 2002
Jackson State
1978, 1991, 1997, 2000, 2007
Mississippi Valley State
1986, 1992, 1996, 2008, 2012
Texas Southern
1990, 1994, 1995, 2003
Alabama State
2001, 2004, 2009, 2011
Prairie View A&M
Alabama A&M
Arkansas–Pine Bluff

Women's basketball[edit]

YearRegular seasonCoachTournamentCoach
1981–1982Jackson StateSadie MageeJackson StateSadie Magee
1982–1983Jackson StateSadie MageeJackson StateSadie Magee
1983–1984Alcorn StateShirley WalkerJackson StateSadie Magee
1984–1985Alcorn StateShirley WalkerJackson StateSadie Magee
1985–1986Alcorn StateShirley WalkerAlcorn StateShirley Walker
1986–1987GramblingPatricia BibbsMississippi Valley StateJessie Harris
1987–1988Mississippi Valley StateJessie HarrisGramblingPatricia Bibbs
1988–1989GramblingPatricia BibbsAlabama StateRon Mitchell
1989–1990Jackson StateAndrew Pennington
1990–1991Alcorn StateShirley WalkerAlcorn StateShirley Walker
1991–1992Alcorn StateShirley WalkerAlcorn StateShirley Walker
1992–1993Alcorn State
Shirley Walker
Herman Hartman
Mississippi Valley StateJessie Harris
1993–1994Alcorn StateShirley WalkerGramblingPatricia Bibbs
1994–1995Alcorn State
Jackson State
Shirley Walker
Patricia Bibbs
Andrew Pennington
Jackson StateAndrew Pennington
1995–1996Alcorn State
Jackson State
Shirley Walker
Andrew Pennington
GramblingPatricia Bibbs
1996–1997GramblingPatricia BibbsGramblingPatricia Bibbs
1997–1998GramblingDavid PontonGramblingDavid Ponton
1998–1999GramblingDavid PontonGramblingDavid Ponton
1999–2000GramblingDavid PontonAlcorn StateShirley Walker
2000–2001Alcorn StateShirley WalkerAlcorn StateShirley Walker
2001–2002SouthernSandra PughSouthernSandra Pugh
2002–2003Alabama State
Jackson State
Freda Freeman-Jackson
Denise Taylor
Alabama StateFreda Freeman-Jackson
2003–2004Alabama StateFreda Freeman-JacksonSouthernSandra Pugh
2004–2005Alcorn StateShirley WalkerAlcorn StateShirley Walker
2005–2006Jackson State
Denise Taylor
Sandy Pugh
SouthernSandra Pugh
2006–2007Prairie View A&M
Jackson State
Cynthia Cooper
Denise Taylor
Prairie View A&MCynthia Cooper
2007–2008Prairie View A&MCynthia CooperJackson StateDenise Taylor
2008–2009Prairie View A&MCynthia CooperPrairie View A&MCynthia Cooper
2010–2011SouthernPrairie View A&MCynthia Cooper
2011-2012Mississippi Valley StatePrairie View A&M
2012-2013Texas SouthernCynthia CooperPrairie View A&M


This is a list of the last 10 SWAC Baseball Tournament champions. For the full history, see Southwestern Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament.

2004Texas Southern
2006Prairie A&M
2007Prairie A&M
2008Texas Southern
2010Grambling State
2011Alcorn State
2012Prairie View
2013Jackson State


  1. ^ The Ivy League does not award athletic scholarships at all. One other FCS conference does not award football scholarships, namely the football-only Pioneer Football League (PFL). The Patriot League (which offers scholarships in other sports) also prohibited football scholarships until the 2013 season, when it will begin phasing in scholarship football over a four-year period. Nonetheless, the Patriot League has long accepted an automatic berth in the FCS playoffs. Until 2013, PFL teams were eligible for the playoffs, but the league had no automatic berth and no team was ever selected for an at-large berth. Beginning in 2013, the PFL will receive an automatic berth into the FCS playoffs. Since the 2010 playoffs, all scholarship-awarding FCS conferences apart from the SWAC receive and accept playoff berths.
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
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External links[edit]