NEW ORLEANS — The Gulf Coast Athletic Conference announced Friday the addition of two new members — Philander Smith College of Little Rock, Ark., and Talladega College of Talladega, Ala. — for the 2011-12 academic year.
The additions will give the GCAC eight members next season. Current GCAC members are Xavier University of Louisiana (New Orleans), Dillard University (New Orleans), Edward Waters College (Jacksonville, Fla.), Fisk University (Nashville, Tenn.) Tougaloo College (Tougaloo, Miss.) and Southern University at New Orleans.
“We are very pleased to have these two fine institutions join the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference,” said Tougaloo’s Dr. Beverly Hogan, chair of the GCAC Council of Presidents. “They will strengthen the conference in a variety of ways and move us toward our goal of being one of the top NAIA conferences. Our member institutions join me in welcoming Talladega and Philander Smith to the GCAC.”
Said Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Philander Smith: “We are very excited to join the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. It is important to us to participate with institutions that share like missions and values, and the members of this conference are model institutions academically first.”
Talladega president Dr. Billy C. Hawkins said, “We are happy to be a part of this new conference. The conference membership is outstanding and we look forward to our student-athletes competing next year.”
This will be Talladega’s second stint in the GCAC. The school was a member for three seasons, 1999-2000 through 2001-02. Philander Smith, an NAIA Division II independent this season, competes in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s volleyball and track and field. Talladega, an NAIA Division I independent, competes in men’s basketball, baseball, men’s golf, men’s soccer, women’s basketball, softball and women’s volleyball.
The GCAC was founded in 1981 and competes in NAIA Division I. Xavier, Dillard and Tougaloo are charter members of the GCAC.