Gateway Football Conference changes its name
Presidents of the nine-member Gateway Football Conference and the 10-member Missouri Valley Conference have approved a rebranding initiative that changes the football conference name from the Gateway Football Conference to the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The change is effective immediately.
It represents the second name change for the football league, which begins its 24th season this fall. Initially, the conference competed under the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference (1985-91) and the Gateway Football Conference (1992-2007).
"This is going to allow the Missouri Valley Football Conference members to take advantage of year-long positive exposure received by the Missouri Valley Conference," said Missouri Valley Football Conference commissioner Patty Viverito. "Both leagues have developed a tremendous brand name, but the timing for the name change is right. The league expands July 1 with two new members, and with this new, stronger lineup, rebranding now makes sense."
Although the league will share the Missouri Valley name, the football-playing members will compete under a separate administrative umbrella, as the Missouri Valley Conference and the Missouri Valley Football Conference will remain separate entities.
Members of the Missouri Valley Football Conference (and initial year of membership) include Illinois State University (1985), Indiana State University (1986), Missouri State University (1985), North Dakota State University (2008), the University of Northern Iowa (1985), South Dakota State University (2008), Southern Illinois University (1985), Western Illinois University (1985), and Youngstown State University (1997).
Five Missouri Valley Football Conference members also compete in the Missouri Valley Conference (Illinois State, Indiana State, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, and Southern Illinois). Three league schools compete in the Summit League (North Dakota State, South Dakota State, and Western Illinois), while Youngstown State competes in the Horizon League for its other sports.