Middle Georgia State College has been invited to become the newest member of the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC). The Knights were extended the invitation on Tuesday, June 3 at the SSAC Council of Presidents meeting in Montgomery, Ala.
The SSAC, originally founded in 1999 as the Georgia Alabama Carolina Conference, now covers five states in the Southeast and is headquartered in Montgomery.
Since its inception, conference members have won 34 NAIA national championships in 9 of the conference’s 13 sponsored sports. The MGSC Knights, which have eight intercollegiate teams in basketball, soccer, tennis, baseball and softball, have been invited to join the SSAC for the 2014-15 season, becoming the 14th member of the conference.
Dr. Christopher Blake, president of Middle Georgia State, said the conference decision is another vote of confidence for the steps the college is taking as it looks to the future. “We continue to transition our athletics program from junior college status to senior college status, and it is our expectation that soon we will be at university status. Four-year athletics and our affiliation with the SSAC represents a new level of opportunity for our athletes, in line with a broader elevation of the institution. We are most grateful to Southern States for extending this invitation and we look forward to becoming an active and successful member of this prestigious conference.”
SSAC teams have won three NAIA national championships so far in the 2013-14 season, with the runners-up in three sports. The SSAC has also ranked as one of the top conferences for the NAIA’s Champions of Character program, with every institution receiving a 5 Star rating for the 2012-13 year. (Learn more about the Champions of Character program at www.NAIA.org.)
In addition to success on the field and in the community, SSAC members also have a strong history of classroom success. The 2012-13 year resulted in 176 student-athletes from SSAC institutions receiving the award of Scholar-Athlete from the NAIA.
SSAC Commissioner Mike Hall said, “The Southern States Athletic Conference welcomes Middle Georgia State College into our conference. We look forward to seeing their many classroom achievements and athletic successes continue at the NAIA ranks and especially within the SSAC. The Knights have a very solid administrative team, a strong commitment to student-athletes in the classroom and a very experienced coaching staff to lead their athletic teams. They are an excellent fit for our conference both from a geographic standpoint and from a facilities and resources allocation. This is a great day for our conference.”
MGSC Athletic Director Charles Mullis stated, “Today’s announcement by the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) accepting Middle Georgia State College into its conference is another milestone in our college’s transition from 2-year athletics to 4-year athletics. I am very excited by this news and what it will mean for our student-athletes and our coaches. We will be playing against the best teams the NAIA has to offer and it is a testament to the strength of our athletic program and its storied past that such a prestigious conference wants us to join. This announcement is the culmination of our staff’s efforts and I just want to say thanks to our coaches and administrators who helped make this happen. The future of the Knights athletic program could not be brighter as we enter into a new era. Go Knights!”
SSAC members for the 2014-15 season include: Auburn University at Montgomery, Belhaven University, Bethel University, Blue Mountain College, Brenau University, Brewton-Parker College, College of Coastal Georgia, Dalton State College, Faulkner University, Loyola University of New Orleans, Martin Methodist College, University of Mobile, and William Carey University.
For more information about the SSAC, visit www.ssacsports.com or for more information about the Knights, visit www.mgknights.com.
Assistant Director of Athletics and Recreation
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