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About the Great Plains Athletic Conference

Welcome From the GPAC Commissioner...

Welcome to the GPAC website!  The membership of the Great Plains Athletic Conference welcomes you to our on-line home.  We hope that you find all the infomation you need about the GPAC on this site, but if you have additional questions please contact me at corey.westra@gpacsports.com

The GPAC is extremely proud of our athletic accomplishments, but we are also pleased that annually our league boasts over 600 NAIA Scholar-Athletes.  Our student athletes work very hard to balance academics with athletics and this is a testament to the administrators, faculty, and coaches in the league.  2016-17 marks our 17th year as the Great Plains Athletic Conference, with the league founded originally as the Nebraska-Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NIAC) in 1969. 
The GPAC has celebrated 26 NAIA National Championship teams.  To learn more about our National Champions and National Honorees Click Here.

Thank you again for taking the time to visit our website, please visit often, and thank you for supporting the more than 5,000 student-athletes in the GPAC!     
Yours in Athletics,
Corey Westra
GPAC Commissioner

Click Here to Learn More About GPAC Commissioner Corey Westra

The History of the Great Plains Athletic Conference...
The Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) is an affiliated conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), consisting of 11 private, faith-based colleges and universities in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota. Originally founded in 1969 as the Nebraska Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NIAC), the league retains four of the six charter members - Concordia, Doane, Hastings, and Midland.

In 1992, the NIAC added Northwestern and became the Nebraska-Iowa Athletic Conference. Eight years later, Dakota Wesleyan, Dordt, Mount Marty and Sioux Falls joined the conference which became the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) in 2000-2001.

Briar Cliff entered the league in 2002-2003 and Morningside joined starting with the 2003-2004 school year.  Both schools are in Sioux City, Iowa.

In the summer of 2010 Dana College ceased operations (Member from 1969-2010) and in 2011 The University of Sioux Falls discontinued membership in the GPAC (Member from 2000-2011).  Nebraska Wesleyan discontinued membership in 2016 (Member from 1969-2016).

In 2015 the GPAC added College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Nebraska, as a member.

The University of Jamestown in Jamestown, North Dakota, will join the GPAC in 2018-19 as a new member.  Jamestown will be an affiliate member for 2017-18 in select sports.

The GPAC sponsors 19 intercollegiate sports - nine for women, ten for men, and cheer & dance as a co-ed offering - and awards an All-Sports Trophy based on the final league standings and conference meet results at the end of each school year.  Competitive Cheer and Dance is offered in the GPAC as an invitational sport (since 2013-2014).

Since the 2005-2006 school year the GPAC has awarded the Christopherson All-Academic Award.  The award is a traveling trophy to be presented annually to the GPAC institution with the best academic performance by its student-athletes in all sports.  The award is named in honor of Dr. Myrvin Christopherson, former President of Dana College.  Christopherson had served as the first chair of the GPAC Council of Presidents. Concordia is the most recent winner of the Christopherson All-Academic Award.

Through our first 16 years as  a conference the GPAC has 23 NAIA team National Champions. 

First and foremost, the GPAC remains committed to Academic and Athletic Excellence!  Last year 641 student-athletes from the conference earned Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors.  In addition, 164 teams in the GPAC were honored as NAIA Scholar-teams.

Corey Westra of Sioux City, Iowa, is the GPAC Commissioner and Lucas Mohrman of Columbus, Nebraska, is the GPAC Assistant Commissioner for Sports Information.

The GPAC has 26 NAIA National Champions...

In 2000-2001 the Northwestern women and men won NAIA Division II National Basketball Championships, while the Doane women shared the outdoor NAIA Track and Field title.  2001-2002 brought two NAIA titles to the league.  The Hastings women won the NAIA Division II National Basketball title, while Doane's women won the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championship outright.  In 2002-2003 the GPAC won two more National Championships with the Hastings women repeating as NAIA Division II National Basketball Champions (defeating GPAC foe Dakota Wesleyan in the title game), and the Northwestern men winning the NAIA Division II crown for the second time in three years.  The Morningside women's basketball teams won the 2004 and 2005 titles in front of the hometown Sioux City fans at the Tyson Events Center.  In 2006 the Hastings women's basketball team won their third basketball title in five years. The GPAC won six straight NAIA Division II Women's Basketball National Championships from 2001 to 2006.  Also, in 2006 Dana College claimed the NAIA National Wrestling Championship.  In the fall of 2006 Sioux Falls won the Football National Championship in Savannah, Tennessee.  The Northwestern women's basketball team capped a 35-2 season in winning the 2008 NAIA Division II National Championship.  The University of Sioux Falls won their second NAIA Football Title in three years by claiming the 2008 National Championship in Rome, Georgia.  In March of 2009 the Morningside Women's Basketball team capped a perfect 38-0 season by claiming the NAIA Division II Women's Basketball Championship (defeating GPAC foe Hastings in the title game).  In 2009 the Sioux Falls Football Team Claimed Back-to-Back National Titles and won their fourth overall National Title while capping a 15-0 season in Rome, Georgia.  In March of 2010 Northwestern's women's basketball team won the NAIA Division II National Championship.  The fall of 2010 saw the Hastings Men's Soccer Team cap a perfect 25-0 season by claiming the NAIA National Title.  The Hastings Women's Soccer team were NAIA National Runner-Ups also in the fall of 2010.  Northwestern repeated as NAIA women's basketball champions in 2010-11.  The Red Raiders made it a three-peat in 2011-12 for basketball marking the eleventh champion from the GPAC in NAIA Division II basketball in 12 years (2001-06, 2008-12).  In 2015 Morningside College capped a 37-1 season with by claiming the NAIA Division II women's basketball title and Concordia's outdoor men's track and field program claimed the NAIA national championship.  The GPAC's 23rd National Title was the Concordia women's outdoor track and field team in 2016.  National Championships 24 and 25 came on the same day, from the same school, as Hastings College won the NAIA volleyball and men's soccer titles on December 3, 2016. In March of 2017 Midland won the inaugural NAIA Competitive Cheer National Title.

The GPAC has many individual NAIA National Champions in track and field as well as in wrestling.

How the GPAC was Named...

The new conference name (GPAC) was selected from among dozens of entries from students in a contest conducted in the fall of 1999.  Five students submitted the winning conference name and two of them - Miles Ruch of Doane and Northwestern's Brian Pike - were selected at random to receive $250 scholarships from the GPAC in recognition of their winning entries.  The other three students who submitted "Great Plains Athletic Conference" for the new league name were Dana's Kevin Stull, Kim Walquist of Concordia, and Doane's Wayne Webster.
The Original GPAC Logo...

The original GPAC logo was designed by former league commissioner Paul Clark and was used from 2000-2015. The three stars in the GPAC logo symbolize the three states represented in the conference.

The New GPAC Logo...
A new GPAC logo was unveiled in the summer of 2015.  The new logo was created by Mongoose Graphics from Denver, Colorado.  To learn more about the new GPAC logo click here.

GPAC Conference Staff (2016-17)

GPAC Council of Presidents Chair -
Jacque Carter, Doane
GPAC President (FAR Chair) - Stephanie Bell, Briar Cliff
GPAC Chair of Steering Committee (Athletic Directors) -
Steve Gast, Briar Cliff
(Briar Cliff's term ends with the GPAC spring meeting in 2018)
GPAC Commissioner- Corey Westra
GPAC Assistant Commisioner/Sports Information Director: Lucas Mohrman
GPAC Executive Committee: Jacque Carter (Doane, Chair), Erik Hoekstra (Dordt, Vice-Chair), Stephanie Bell (Briar Cliff), Jeff Spencer (College of Saint Mary), Chuck Iverson (Mount Marty), and Corey Westra (ex-officio)
GPAC Treasurer- Peggy Hart, Doane
GPAC Eligibility Chair- Byron Noordewier, Northwestern
GPAC Eligibility Committee: Byron Noordewier (Northwestern - Chair), Peggy Hart (Doane), Dale Zevenbergen (Dordt), Jim Dugan (Hastings), and Susanne Lubbers (Morningside)
GPAC Conduct and Ethics Committee- Glenn Bouma (Dordt, Chair), Rita Bristol (Midland), and Devin Smith (Concordia)
NAIA Council of Presidents Liaison- John Reynders, Morningside (At-Large - NAIA COP Chair) and Amy Novak, Dakota Wesleyan (GPAC Representative)
NAIA Council of Faculty Athletic Representatives Liaisons -
Byron Noordewier, Northwestern and Dale Zevenbergen, Dordt
NAIA National Administrative Council Liasions -
Corey Westra, Commissioner (CCA Vice-Chair)
Devin Smith (Concordia, GPAC Representative)
Jill McCartney (Doane, At-Large)
NAIA Competitive Experience Committee -
Corey Westra (At-Large Member)
NAIA Constitution and By-Laws Committee -
Corey Westra (At-Large Member)
NAIA Conference Commissioners Association -
Corey Westra (Vice President)
NAIA National Eligibility Committee Member-
Byron Noordewier, Northwestern

GPAC Officials Assigners and Supervisors
GPAC Supervisor of Football Officials-
Pete Hansen and Justin Ingalls
GPAC Assigner of Volleyball Officials- Jean Ellis
Assigner of Soccer Officials- GPISOA/Wayne Wilson
GPAC Supervisor of Basketball Officials (W&M) - Pete Hansen and Justin Ingalls
GPAC Assigner of Softball Umpires- Kevn Killingsworth
GPAC Assigner of Baseball Umpires- Sean Johnston and Andrew Fulton

GPAC Sport Group Chairs
GPAC Football Coaches Chair-
Vance Winter, Concordia
GPAC Volleyball Coaches Chair- Scott Mattera, Concordia
GPAC Cross Country Coaches Chair- Scott Bahrke, Northwestern
GPAC Women's Soccer Coaches Chair- Greg Jarosik, Midland
GPAC Men's Soccer Coaches Chair- Pat Herbst, Briar Cliff
GPAC Golf Coaches Chairs- Ben Irlbeck, Briar Cliff (men) and Brett Muller, Concordia (women)
GPAC Women's Basketball Coaches Chair- Chris Yaw, Northwestern
GPAC Men's Basketball Coaches Chair- Ben Limback, Concordia
GPAC Baseball Coaches Chair- Boyd Pitkin, Briar Cliff
GPAC Softball Coaches Chair- Jeff Zomer, Dordt
GPAC Indoor and Outdoor Track Coaches Chair- Scott Bahrke, Northwestern
GPAC Tennis Coaches Chair- Larry Mason, Morningside
GPAC Wrestling Coaches Chair- Rik Dahl, Northwestern

To contact any of these individuals please call or e-mail:

Corey Westra, GPAC Commissioner
4728 Birch Way, Sioux City, Iowa, 51106
Phone/Cell: 712.226.4722 

Home Page: www.gpacsports.com