|NCAA||Division I (FCS)|
|Sports fielded||1 (football) (men's: 1; women's: 0)|
|Headquarters||St. Louis, Missouri|
|Commissioner||Patty Viverito (since 1994)|
The Pioneer Football League is a college athletic conference which operates in the East, Midwest, and California of the United States. It has member schools that range from New York, North Carolina, and Florida in the east to California in the west. The conference participates in the NCAA's Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) as a football-only conference. Unlike most other Division I FCS conferences, the Pioneer League consists of institutions which choose not to award athletic scholarships ("grants-in-aid") to football players.
|Butler Bulldogs||Indianapolis, Indiana||Butler Bowl|
|Campbell Fighting Camels||Buies Creek, North Carolina||Barker-Lane Stadium|
|Davidson Wildcats||Davidson, North Carolina||Richardson Stadium|
|Dayton Flyers||Dayton, Ohio||Welcome Stadium|
|Drake Bulldogs||Des Moines, Iowa||Drake Stadium|
|Jacksonville Dolphins||Jacksonville, Florida||D.B. Milne Field|
|Marist Red Foxes||Poughkeepsie, New York||Leonidoff Field|
|Mercer Bears||Macon, Georgia||Mercer University Stadium|
|Morehead State Eagles||Morehead, Kentucky||Jayne Stadium|
|San Diego Toreros||San Diego, California||Torero Stadium|
|Stetson Hatters||DeLand, Florida||Spec Martin Stadium|
|Valparaiso Crusaders||Valparaiso, Indiana||Brown Field|
Following an NCAA rule change passed in January 1991, which required Division I schools to conduct all sports at the Division I level by 1993, the conference was formed by charter members Butler University, the University of Dayton, Drake University, the University of Evansville, and Valparaiso University. The University of San Diego joined in 1992, and the league played its first season in 1993. Talk of Creighton University and Bradley University joining the league in its origins never materialized by 1993. The six original schools which played in the 1993 season had previously sponsored football at the Division I, Division II and Division III levels.
The league was narrowed back to five members after Evansville downgraded football from Division I to club status in 1997. Evansville explored upgrading football again to NCAA Division I in 2007, but plans fell through. Studies still continue about a possible football resurrection, which would most likely lead to Evansville re-joining the league.
In 2001, the conference nearly doubled in size and was reorganized with the five current members forming the North Division, and newcomers Austin Peay State University, Davidson College, Jacksonville University and Morehead State University forming the South Division. This reorganization also spawned a new championship system in which the best record holders from each division would play in a title game for the conference championship.
2005-2008 Membership Changes
On April 8, 2005, Austin Peay announced that it would be leaving the Pioneer Football League after the 2005 season and returning to scholarship-granting competition in 2007 with the Ohio Valley Conference in which it competes in other sports. As a result, the conference was reverted to round-robin play and the divisions and championship game were removed. However, on April 7, 2006 Campbell University announced it would bring back football at the non-scholarship level for the 2008 season, and on December 5, 2007 it accepted an invitation to the PFL. In February 2008, Marist College announced that it would join the PFL for the 2009 season, after the MAAC stopped sponsoring football.
|Institution||Location||Founded||First Football Year||Affiliation||Enrollment (Undergraduate)||Joined||Nickname||Primary Conference|
|Butler University||Indianapolis, Indiana||1855||1887||Private||3,897||1991||Bulldogs||Horizon League|
|Campbell University||Buies Creek, North Carolina||1887||1925 (2008)||Private/Baptist||9,471||2008||Fighting Camels||Atlantic Sun Conference|
|Davidson College||Davidson, North Carolina||1837||1897||Private/Presbyterian||1,700||2001||Wildcats||Southern Conference|
|University of Dayton||Dayton, Ohio||1850||1905||Private/Catholic||7,426||1991||Flyers||Atlantic 10 Conference|
|Drake University||Des Moines, Iowa||1881||1883||Private||3,164||1991||Bulldogs||Missouri Valley Conference|
|Jacksonville University||Jacksonville, Florida||1934||1934 (1998)||Private||7,426||2001||Dolphins||Atlantic Sun Conference|
|Marist College||Poughkeepsie, New York||1929||1985||Private||4,200||2009||Red Foxes||MAAC|
|Morehead State University||Morehead, Kentucky||1922||1927||Public||7,921||2001||Eagles||Ohio Valley Conference|
|University of San Diego||San Diego, California||1949||1956||Private/Catholic||4,904||1992||Toreros||West Coast Conference|
|Valparaiso University||Valparaiso, Indiana||1859||1919||Private/Lutheran||2,917||1991||Crusaders||Horizon League|
|Institution||Location||Founded||First Football Year||Affiliation||Enrollment (Undergraduate)||Joined||Left||Nickname||Left for|
|University of Evansville||Evansville, Indiana||1854||1898||Private/Methodist||3,050||1991||1997||Purple Aces||Downgraded football from NCAA Division I to club status|
|Austin Peay State University||Clarksville, Tennessee||1927||1970||Public||8,650||2001||2006||Governors||Ohio Valley Conference|
Locations of current Pioneer Football League member institutions.=== PFL Champions===
|2005||San Diego||Championship Game|
PFL Championship GameEdit
|Season||Season Champion||Record||Date||Game Champion||Score||Runner-Up||Location|
|2001||Dayton||4–0||Nov. 17, 2001||Dayton||46–14||Jacksonville||Dayton, OH|
|2002||Dayton||4–0||Nov. 23, 2002||Dayton||28–0||Morehead State||Morehead, KY|
|2003||Valparaiso||3–1||Nov. 22, 2003||Valparaiso||54–42||Morehead State||Valparaiso, IN|
|2004||Drake||4–0||Nov. 20, 2004||Drake||20–17||Morehead State||Morehead, KY|
|2005||San Diego||4–0||Nov. 19, 2005||San Diego||47–40||Morehead State||San Diego, CA|
The Pioneer Football League has had alliances with the Gridiron Classic and the Sports Network Cup. In addition, league members are allowed to accept at-large invitations to other college bowl games and teams are eligible to compete in the FCS playoffs, but can only receive at-large bids because the league is not an automatic qualifier.
Members Pre-PFL Postseason ResultsEdit
Pioneer Football League members have a tradition of football excellence. Below are postseason accomplishments by past and current members prior to the formaion of the Pioneer Football League.
|1945||Drake||13||Fresno State||12||Raisin Bowl|
|1946||Evansville||19||Northern Illinois||7||Turkey Bowl|
|1947||Evansville||20||Northern Illinois||0||Hoosier Bowl|
|1948||Evansville||13||Missouri Valley||7||Refrigerator Bowl|
|1950||Wisconsin-La Crosse||47||Valparaiso||14||Cigar Bowl|
|1969||Arkansas State||29||Drake||21||Pecan Bowl|
|1972||Tennessee State||29||Drake||7||Pioneer Bowl|
|1973||Wittenberg||21||San Diego||14||Division III Playoffs|
|1974||Central(Iowa)||31||Evansville||14||Division III Playoffs|
|1983||Cal Davis||25||Butler||3||Division II Playoffs|
|1988||Tennessee-Martin||23||Butler||3||Division II Playoffs|
|1989||Dayton||17||Union (NY)||7||Stagg Bowl|
|1991||Pittsburg State||26||Butler||16||Division II Playoffs|
PFL Sports Network Cup ResultsEdit
The Sports Network Cup was a yearly series between mid-major programs which concludes by coaches votes on the first week of December. The final two finishers are ranked by first place votes of the coaches in the now defunct Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), Northeast Conference (NEC) and the Pioneer Football League (PFL).
*Note: Score equals the number of first place votes
PFL Gridiron Classic ResultsEdit
On May 16, 2006, the Pioneer Football League (PFL) and Northeast Conference (NEC) announced a four-year agreement to meet in the Gridiron Classic, an exempted postseason football game that match the champions of the two FCS football conferences.
|2009||Butler||28||Central Connecticut State||23|
|Jacksonville||D. B. Milne Field||5,500|
|Morehead State||Jayne Stadium||10,000|
|San Diego||Torero Stadium||6,000|