The Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) is an affiliated conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), consisting of 12 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.
Learn more about our GPAC members by clicking the school link on the left.
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).
In 2015 the GPAC added College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Nebraska, as its 12th member.
Nebraska Wesleyan's membership in the GPAC will cease after the 2015-2016 academic year.
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. 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 for their overall GPA in the 2013-2014 academic year. In conjuction with the Christipherson All-Academic Award annually the GPAC boasts more than 500 NAIA Scholar-Athletes.
Through our first 15 years as a conference the GPAC has 22 NAIA team National Champions.
The GPAC remains committed to Academic and Athletic Excellence!