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 quesitons please contact me at email@example.com
The GPAC is extremely proud of our athletic accomplishments, but we are also pleased that annually our league boasts over 500 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. 2013-14 marks our 14th year as the Great Plains Athletic Conference, with the league founded originally as the Nebraska-Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NIAC) in 1969.
In 2011-12 the GPAC celebrated our 20th NAIA National Championship. 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 4,000 student-athletes in the GPAC!
Yours in Athletics,
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 five of the six charter members - Concordia, Doane, Hastings, Midland and Nebraska Wesleyan.
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 became the 13th member starting with the 2003-2004 school year. Both schools are in Sioux City, Iowa.
In the summer of 2010 Dana College ceased operations and in 2011 The University of Sioux Falls left the GPAC to join NCAA Division II and the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
The GPAC sponsors 19 intercollegiate sports - nine for women and ten for men - and awards an All-Sports Trophy based on the final league standings and conference meet results at the end of each school year. Wrestling has added as a sanctioned GPAC sport for 2006-2007. The GPAC is the only NAIA conference in the country to sponsor wrestling.
Beginning with the 2005-2006 school year, the GPAC started awarding 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, who recently retired as President of Dana College. Christopherson had served as the first chair of the GPAC Council of Presidents.
In 2012-2013 the GPAC boasted 506 NAIA Scholar-Athletes. The GPAC remains committed to Academic and Athletic Excellence!
The GPAC has 20 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 our 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, while the Nebraska Wesleyan's men's golf team won the NCAA III National Title. In the fall of 2006 when 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, on December 20. 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). On December 19, 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. In the fall of 2010 the Hastings Men's Soccer Team capped a perfect 25-0 season by claiming the NAIA National Title. The Hastings Women's Soccer team were NAIA National Runner-Ups 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 the last 12 years (2001-06, 2008-12).
The GPAC has many individual NAIA and NCAA Division III National Champions in track and field (Nebraska Wesleyan is dual member of both the NAIA and NCAA Division III).
Corey Westra of Sioux City, Iowa, is the GPAC Commissioner and Information Director.
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 GPAC Logo...
The GPAC logo was designed by former league commissioner Paul Clark. The three stars in the GPAC logo symbolize the three states now represented in the conference.
GPAC Conference Staff (2012-13)
GPAC Council of Presidents Chair - Beverly Wharton, Briar Cliff
GPAC President- Loy Watley, Nebraska Wesleyan
GPAC Chair of Steering Committee (Athletic Directors) -
Ira Zeff, Nebraska Wesleyan
(Nebraska Wesleyan's term ends with the GPAC spring meeting in 2014)
GPAC Commissioner- Corey Westra
GPAC Sports Information Director and Web Site Coordinator: Corey Westra
GPAC Executive Committee: Greg Christy (Northwestern, Chair), Jacque Carter (Doane), Loy Watley (Nebraska Wesleyan), Byron Noordewier (Northwestern), Greg Heier (Doane), and Corey Westra (ex-officio)
GPAC Treasurer- Peggy Hart, Doane
GPAC Eligibility Chair- Byron Noordewier, Northwestern
GPAC Eligibility Committee: Byron Noordewier (Northwestern - Chair), Pam Boline (Dakota Wesleyan), Peggy Hart (Doane), Dale Zevenbergen (Dordt), Gerald Harnisch (Midland)
GPAC Conduct and Ethics Committee- Ira Zeff (Nebraska Wesleyan, Chair), Pam Boline (Dakota Wesleyan), and Greg Heier (Doane)
NAIA Council of Presidents Liaison- John Reynders, Morningside (At-Large - Executive Committee) and Brian Friedrich, Concordia (GPAC Representative)
NAIA Council of Faculty Athletic Representatives Liaisons -
Byron Noordewier, Northwestern (Chair)
NAIA National Administrative Council Liasion -
Corey Westra, Commissioner (Past Chair and Chair of Experience and Enhancement)
NAIA National Coordinating Committee -
Byron Noordewier (Northwestern FAR, At-Large Member)
NAIA Competitive Experience Committee -
Corey Westra (GPAC, At-Large Member)
NAIA Constitution and By-Laws Committee -
Corey Westra (GPAC, At-Large Member)
GPAC Officials Assigners and Supervisors
GPAC Supervisor of Football Officials-
Pete Hansen and Justin Ingalls
GPAC Assigner of Volleyball Officials-
Assigner of Soccer Officials- GPISOA
GPAC Supervisor of Basketball Officials (W&M) -
Pete Hansen and Justin Ingalls
GPAC Assigner of Softball Umpires-
GPAC Assigner of Baseball Umpires-
GPAC Sport Group Chairs
GPAC Football Coaches Chair-
Brian Keller, Nebraska Wesleyan
GPAC Volleyball Coaches Chair-
Kyle Van Den Bosch, Northwestern
GPAC Cross Country Coaches Chair-
Dale Thompson, Northwestern
GPAC Women's Soccer Coaches Chair-
Mark Hiemenz, Hastings
GPAC Men's Soccer Coaches Chair-
Pat Herbst, Briar Cliff
GPAC Golf Coaches Chair-
Adam Anderson, Dakota Wesleyan
GPAC Women's Basketball Coaches Chair-
Tom Schlimgen, Mount Marty
GPAC Men's Basketball Coaches Chair-
Kris Korver, Northwestern
GPAC Baseball Coaches Chair-
Brian Wede, Northwestern
GPAC Softball Coaches Chair-
Jeff Zomer, Dordt
GPAC Indoor and Outdoor Track Coaches Chair-
Dale Thompson, Northwestern
GPAC Tennis Coaches Chair-
Justin Bigsby, Midland
GPAC Wrestling Coaches Chair-
Sean Kelly, Hastings
To contact any of these individuals please call or e-mail: