- Ohio Valley Conference
Ohio Valley Conference
Established 1948 Association NCAA Division Division I FCS Members 11 Sports fielded 17 (men's: 8; women's: 9) Region Midwest and South Headquarters Brentwood, Tennessee Commissioner Beth DeBauche (since 2009) Website ovcsports.com Locations
The Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) is a college athletic conference which operates in the midwestern and southeastern United States. It participates in Division I of the NCAA; the conference's football programs compete in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS; formerly known as Division I-AA), the lower of two levels of Division I football competition. The OVC has 11 members, 9 of which compete in football in the conference.
The Ohio Valley Conference can trace its roots to 1941 when Murray State athletic director Roy Stewart, Eastern Kentucky athletic director Charles "Turkey" Hughes, and Western Kentucky public relations director Kelly Thompson first formulated the idea of establishing a regional athletics conference. The plan was put on hold due to World War II, but it was resurrected after the conclusion of the war. In 1948, the three schools joined with Louisville, Morehead State, and Evansville to form the Ohio Valley Conference.
Historically, OVC was a pioneer in racial desegregation. During times of racial segregation, league member Morehead State became one of the first non-traditionally black mid-southern institutions to accept a black student. In 1958, Marshall Banks received athletically-related aid at Morehead, which signed a second black athlete, Howard Murphy, a year later. In 1961, Murphy earned all-conference recognition as a halfback in football. With racial barriers broken, the rest of the institutions in the league began to provide educational and athletic opportunities to African-Americans.
Today, the OVC is unique among NCAA Division I conferences in that it includes one historically black university, Tennessee State University, in a conference that otherwise consists of non-traditionally black institutions. All other HBCUs in NCAA Division I are members of either the MEAC or SWAC, conferences made up entirely of HBCUs. (Savannah State University is a probationary member of the MEAC; all others are full members of one of the two HBCU conferences.)
In the wake of Title IX, the OVC established women's championships in the sports of basketball, tennis and track in 1977, with cross country and volleyball added over the next four years. Those sports were initially governed by the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, but were continued when the NCAA became the governing body in 1982.
Founded Type Enrollment Year Joined Football
Nickname Austin Peay State University Clarksville, Tennessee
1927 Public 9,192 1962 Yes Governors and Lady Govs Eastern Illinois University Charleston, Illinois
1895 Public 11,651 1996 Yes Panthers Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, Kentucky
1874 Public 16,183 1948 Yes Colonels and Lady Colonels Jacksonville State University Jacksonville, Alabama
1883 Public 9,504 2003 Yes Gamecocks Morehead State University Morehead, Kentucky
1922 Public 9,509 1948 No[a] Eagles Murray State University Murray, Kentucky
1922 Public 10,416 1948 Yes Racers Southeast Missouri State University Cape Girardeau, Missouri
1873 Public 9,615 1991 Yes Redhawks Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Edwardsville, Illinois
1957 Public 14,133 2008 No Cougars Tennessee State University Nashville, Tennessee
1912 Public 10,450 1986 Yes Tigers and Lady Tigers Tennessee Technological University Cookeville, Tennessee
1912 Public 9,217 1949 Yes Golden Eagles University of Tennessee at Martin Martin, Tennessee
1901 Public 5,810 1992 Yes Skyhawks
Founded Type Enrollment Year Joined Football
Nickname Belmont University Nashville, Tennessee
1890 Private/Non-denominational 5,800 2012 No Bruins
Institution Tenure New Conference Classification University of Akron 1980–1987 Independent (now in Mid-American) Division I FBS East Tennessee State University 1958–1978 Southern (now in Atlantic Sun) Division I FCS University of Evansville 1948–1952 ?? (now in Missouri Valley) Division I Non-football University of Louisville 1948–1949 Independent (now in Big East) Division I FBS Marshall University 1949–1952 Mid-American Conference (now in Conference USA) Division I FBS Middle Tennessee State University 1952–1998 Independent (now in Sun Belt) Division I FBS Samford University 2003–2008 Southern Division I FCS Western Kentucky University 1948–1982, (1999–2000 for football only) Sun Belt Division I FBS Youngstown State University 1981–1992 (1981–1987 for football) Mid-Continent/Football Independent (now in Horizon League/Missouri Valley Football Conference) Division I FCS
The Ohio Valley Conference currently offers 17 sports, 8 for men and 9 for women.
Football conference champions
This is a partial list of the last 10 champions. For the complete history, see List of Ohio Valley Conference football champions.
Year Regular Season Champion Record FCS Championship Result 2000 Western Kentucky 7-0 Quarterfinals 2001 Eastern Illinois 6-1 First Round 2002 Eastern Illinois
5–1 First Round 2003 Jacksonville State 7-1 First Round 2004 Jacksonville State 7–1 First Round 2005 Eastern Illinois 8–0 First Round 2006 UT Martin
First Round 2007 Eastern Kentucky 8-0 First Round 2008 Eastern Kentucky 7-1 First Round 2009 Eastern Illinois $ 6-2 First Round 2010 Southeast Missouri State 7-1 First Round
$ - Jacksonville State (6-1) had the best record in the conference, but was ineligible for the championship due to Academic Progress Rate sanctions.
This is a partial list of the last 10 champions. For the complete history, see List of Ohio Valley Conference men's basketball champions.
Year Regular Season Champion Record Tournament Champion 2001–02 Tennessee Tech 15–1 Murray State 2002–03 Austin Peay
13-3 Austin Peay 2003–04 Austin Peay 16–0 Murray State 2004–05 Tennessee Tech 12–4 Eastern Kentucky 2005–06 Murray State 17-3 Murray State 2006–07 Austin Peay 16–4 Eastern Kentucky 2007–08 Austin Peay 16–4 Austin Peay Tournament 2008–09 UT Martin 14-4 Morehead State Tournament 2009–10 Murray State 17-1 Murray State Tournament 2010–11 Murray State 14-4 Morehead State Tournament
School Football stadium Basketball arena Baseball stadium Name Capacity Name Capacity Name Capacity Austin Peay Governors Stadium 10,000 Dunn Center 9,000 Raymond C. Hand Park 1,000 Eastern Illinois O'Brien Stadium 10,000 Lantz Arena 5,300 Coaches Stadium 500 Eastern Kentucky Roy Kidd Stadium 20,000 Alumni Coliseum 6,300 Turkey Hughes Field N/A Jacksonville State JSU Stadium 24,000 Pete Mathews Coliseum 5,800 Rudy Abbott Field 1,000 Morehead State Jayne Stadium[a] 10,000 Ellis Johnson Arena 6,500 John "Sonny" Allen Field 1,200 Murray State Roy Stewart Stadium 16,800 CFSB Center 8,602 Johnny Reagan Field N/A Southeast Missouri State Houck Stadium 11,015 Show Me Center 6,972 Capaha Park N/A SIU-Edwardsville Non-Football School N/A Vadalabene Center 4,000 SimmonsCooper Complex N/A UT Martin Graham Stadium 8,000 Skyhawk Arena 7,000 Skyhawk Baseball Field 1,000 Tennessee State LP Field 68,000 Gentry Complex 10,500 Non-Baseball School N/A Tennessee Tech Tucker Stadium 16,500 Eblen Center 10,152 Bush Stadium 1,500
- Austin Peay's football team competed in the Pioneer Football League for the 2001–2005 seasons, then became an independent for the 2006 season, and returned to OVC football competition in 2007.
- Eastern Illinois and SIUE compete as Affiliate Members of the Missouri Valley Conference in Men's Soccer.
- Eastern Illinois is an Associate Member of The Summit League in Swimming and Diving.
Ohio Valley Conference Current members Future member
Belmont Bruins (2012)
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