Arkansas-Fort Smith to Join MIAA in 2024-25

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association announced on Monday that the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith will join the Association with full-time membership in the 2024-2025 academic year.

The MIAA CEO Council approved the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith’s (UAFS) application to join the Association with full membership in the fall of 2024.

“The MIAA is excited to welcome the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith as a new member beginning next summer,” said MIAA Commissioner Mike Racy. “As the MIAA CEOs have approved a plan for steady and strategic membership growth during the next few years, UAFS provides the MIAA with an opportunity to add an outstanding public university, with great leadership and terrific athletic facilities, in a growing community in Northwest Arkansas.”

The university becomes the MIAA’s first full-time member in the state of Arkansas. Harding University, Ouachita Baptist University and Southern Arkansas University – all in Arkansas and all members of the Great American Conference (GAC) – are current associate members of the MIAA for the sport of men’s tennis. Ouachita will also become an associate member of the MIAA for the sport of wrestling beginning with the 2023-24 season.

“An athletic conference should bring like-minded institutions in a geographical area to compete and allow their student-athletes to excel academically and develop life skills, and the MIAA does that for UAFS,” stated UAFS Athletic Director Curtis Janz. “The geographical footprint of the MIAA allows for our student-athletes to participate academically and enhance their experience as collegiate student-athletes. Our fans can travel and support our teams on the road, just as we can welcome more fans from MIAA opponents.”

Established in 1928, UAFS is a four-year public university in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The university currently sponsors ten sports – volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s tennis.

UAFS became a Division II athletic institution in 2009 and has been a member of the Lone Star Conference (LSC) since July 2019. Since becoming an NCAA member, the Lions have won 13 conference championships and have had 19 NCAA postseason appearances.

“I am excited to begin this partnership with the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association,” said Dr. Terisa Riley, UAFS chancellor. “The MIAA shares our commitment to empowering student-athletes in their pursuit of academic and athletic excellence, social growth, and personal development, and I look forward to sharing these values with our fellow MIAA conference institutions.”

“Athletics hold a special place as the front porch to our institution, bringing our campus and community together through competition and camaraderie,” Chancellor Riley continued. “The geographic makeup of this conference will provide even more opportunities our student athletes to engage with their peers, and for their families, friends and fans to show their support at home and on the road. I have no doubt that our student-athletes will continue to shine both on and off the field, representing the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith with dedication, sportsmanship, and pride.”

The MIAA last expanded in 2019 with the addition of Newman University and Rogers State University as associate members. Both institutions became full-time members to begin the 2022-23 academic year.

The MIAA is one of the nation’s oldest conferences and one of the most successful in NCAA Division II. The conference dates all the way back to 1912 and currently has 14 full-time members. MIAA student-athletes have won 54 NCAA Division II team championships and well over 400 individual national titles. In the classroom, hundreds of student-athletes have earned Academic All-America and All-District honors. To learn more about the Association’s storied past and tradition of excellence, click here.

The MIAA is also home to the MIAA Network – the league’s exclusive digital streaming platform. The MIAA Network can be found at, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Roku devices, as well as iOS and Android mobile apps. For more information about the MIAA, visit