Kansas City, Mo. — The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Council of Presidents (COP) yesterday approved Rust (Miss.) College as the newest member of the NAIA, and the 8th member institution of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Rust will join the GCAC for the 2018-2019 season.
The Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Council of Presidents (COP) voted unanimously to approve Rust at their annual meeting this past December in Holly Springs, Miss. The meeting was held on the campus of Rust College. The NAIA Membership Committee voted last month to elevate Rust to full, active membership in the NAIA.
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Commissioner Steve B. Martin praised the work of the conference’s Council of Presidents in helping to expand the conference’s membership.
“The growth of the GCAC continues with the addition of Rust,” said Martin. “I’d like to thank the GCAC Council of Presidents for working to bring Rust into the conference, especially Presidents [Billy] Hawkins and [Roderick] Smothers, whose tireless efforts greatly contributed to our expansion.”
Rust, which was previously an NCAA Division III school, offers 12 sports. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross-country, tennis, track & field and volleyball; while women’s sports include basketball, cross-country, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball.
Founded in 1866, Rust is one of the nation’s oldest historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The private college is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.