Stillman Baseball Considering a Move to HBCU Gulf Coast Athletic Conference

The Stillman College baseball program, according to reliable sources, is set to leave the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) and will join the HBCU Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) when approved, positioning the college and their student-athletes for increased stability and success.

This could be a new chapter for Stillman and a strong consideration is necessary to remain competitive in NAIA athletics. The GCAC is a conference on the rise increasing support for HBCU baseball programs with the recent additions of Dillard University, Oakwood University, Philander Smith University, Southern University at New Orleans, and Wiley College joining existing members Rust College and Tougaloo College.

If the move is made official, aligning with the GCAC will be a key factor for the Stillman leadership. When the governing board of the GCAC and the institutions presidents agree, the move will help create a strong regional footprint for the conference that will extend current rivalries, create new ones, and offer regional travel for student-athletes and a strong host site.

Stillman College will learn its fate in the coming weeks. If the board permits the baseball program into the conference, sources have stated the move will become effective with the 2024-2025 athletic season.

The exposure and visibility, as well as the resources from the conference, will help the Stillman baseball program compete for championships. With enhanced ability to recruit in baseball, good days are ahead.

Stillman joined the SSAC in the 2018-2019 academic year followed by Talladega College which joined the SSAC in the 2021-2022 academic year. Recent talks with Talladega becoming NCAA Division II members in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) fell through. Sources have stated that Talladega College left the SSAC and will also compete in the GCAC for baseball.

One of Stillman biggest considerations in this whole process is the welfare of their student-athletes, and the GCAC Conference is among the best since it extended membership for its baseball programs. The conference offers an opportunity to compete with some of the finest student-athletes in the country.

The GCAC leadership would be doing a great service to the conference to increase baseball membership to other HBCU Baseball programs like Arkansas Baptist College, Morris College, Voorhees University and Wilberforce University. This will give the conference the ability to petition the NAIA governing body to allow two HBCU baseball teams to compete in the NAIA National Tournament each year as the regular season champion and conference champion. The current format has just the conference champion receiving automatic postseason play to the National Championship Opening Round.

With additional members, the GCAC becomes a powerhouse baseball conference in the NAIA.

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