The upcoming football season in the Great Plains Athletic Conference will be the final one with an eight game schedule. The University of Jamestown in North Dakota will become a full member of the GPAC in the fall of 2018.
The Conference went to an eight game football schedule prior to last season after Nebraska Wesleyan left to join the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
“Most of the conferences in the N-A-I-A do have a full schedule with themselves”, said GPAC Commissioner Corey Westra. “So you want to make sure you are strong internally with conference games. When we go to nine games next year that will help us out and finding those non-conference games becomes much easier.”
Conference schools currently get one non-conference game with the GPAC’s annual challenge against the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Jamestown will become an affiliate member of the conference this season and compete in wrestling and competitive dance. The addition will bring the total membership in the GPAC to 12 schools. The College of Saint Mary in Omaha and Mount Marty do not offer football.
“In intercollegiate athletics and especially at the N-A-I-A level you are always open to possibilities”, added Westra. “We certainly feel very strong that the addition of Jamestown is a tremendous step in the right direction and 12 is a very strong number.”
Four Iowa schools are members of the GPAC: Briar Cliff, Dordt, Morningside and Northwestern.