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Southwestern Athletic Conference Celebrates 100 Years

By Keisha J Kelley

In 1920, eight men representing six colleges from the state of Texas met to discuss collegiate athletics and the many challenges that face their respective institutions. By the time the session in Houston had concluded, they had founded an athletic league that has slowly became one of the leading sports associations in the world of collegiate athletics, the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

The founding fathers of the original "Super Six" were C.H. Fuller of Bishop College, Red Randolph and C.H. Patterson of Paul Quinn, 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.

The SWAC is considered one of the premier HBCU conferences in the country and currently ranks among the elite in the nation in terms of HBCU alumni playing with professional sports teams. The league continues to set the bar for college football attendance leading all Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) conferences for 42 of the past 43 seasons as of 2019. 

Current championship competition offered by the league includes competition for men in Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field and Tennis. Women’s competition is offered in the sports of Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field, Soccer, Softball, Tennis and Volleyball.

Member Institutions

Alabama A&M University Hunstville, Ala.

Alabama State University Montgomery, Ala.

Alcorn State University Lorman, Miss.

Grambling State University Grambling, La. 

Jackson State University Jackson, Miss.

Mississippi Valley State University Itta Bena, Miss.

Prairie View A&M University Prairie View, Texas

 Southern University Baton Rouge, La.

Texas Southern University Houston, Texas

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Pine Bluff, Ark. 

Membership Timeline

* Bishop College1920-56 *

Paul Quinn College1920-29

* Samuel Huston College  1920-59

* Texas College1920-68

* Wiley College1920-68

* Prairie View A&M University 1920-present

Langston University 1931-57

Southern University 1934-present

Arkansas AM&N University 1936-70

Texas Southern University 1954-present

Grambling State University 1958-present

Jackson State University 1958-present

Alcorn State University 1962-present

Mississippi Valley State University 1968-present

Alabama State University 1982-present

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff 1997-present

Alabama A&M University 1999-present

* Indicates Charter Member 

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