News Release

Dalton State College to join the Southern States Athletic Conference

December 9, 2013

Dr. Randall Griffus and Sarah Key

Dalton State College will become a provisional member of the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) in the 2014-15 academic year. The SSAC will immediately begin working with Dalton’s leadership on scheduling and will be formally welcomed at the Spring Jamboree in May. Dalton State will fully participate in SSAC championship play next season.

“I am very pleased that Dalton State has joined the ranks of the Southern States Athletic Conference,” said Dr. Mark Foley, President of the Board of SSAC Presidents and President of the University of Mobile. “Dalton brings strength and balance to the SSAC Eastern division and to the conference as whole. Speaking on behalf of the University of Mobile and the SSAC member presidents, we welcome the Dalton family of student athletes, coaches, faculty, and staff to the NAIA and to the SSAC."

Dalton State College is a four-year, baccalaureate degree granting institution with a 23 to one professor to student classroom ratio offering approximately 17 different majors. The current enrollment is approximately 5,000 headcount and 4,500 full-time equivalent. Dalton State’s colors are navy and gray, and the mascot is the roadrunner.

Dr. John O. Schwenn serves as president of Dalton State College. "Admission of Dalton State to the Southern States Athletic Conference will be a benefit to both us and them,” Schwenn said. “We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship and are proud to join the other outstanding academic institutions represented in the SSAC."

SSAC Commissioner Mike Hall also looks forward to Dalton’s addition adding, "I am very excited to welcome Dalton State into the Southern States Athletic Conference. They have a very committed administration and a strong core of coaches that will be a tremendous addition to our conference. We look forward to seeing the Roadrunner program continue its growth as they begin competing in the SSAC."

Accepted into the NAIA in April of 2013, Dalton State will participate in SSAC competition in six different championship sports including: men’s basketball, volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis. Dalton State also sponsors a competitive cheer program. School officials are looking to add men’s and women’s soccer along with track in field in the future. Located in Dalton, Ga., Dalton State lies well within the geographic boundary of the SSAC.

Dalton State’s athletic program is led by Athletic Director Derek Waugh who says, “We are honored to become a member of the Southern States Athletic Conference. Not only is the geographic footprint ideal for rivalries, but it is an elite conference and we want to compete with the best at the NAIA level as everyone in the league strives to win conference and national championships.”

Dalton State has developed several key partnerships in securing local facilities including the Northwest Georgia Trade Center where the men’s basketball games will be played. The City of Dalton tennis courts, synthetic turf soccer stadium and track complex will also be used by the roadrunners, while the Bandy Gym is currently being renovated to house both volleyball and weight room facilities.

The current members of the SSAC are Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), Belhaven (Miss.), Bethel (Tenn.), Blue Mountain (Miss.), Brenau (Ga.), Brewton-Parker (Ga.), Coastal Georgia, Emmanuel (Ga.), Faulkner (Ala.), Loyola (La.), Martin Methodist (Tenn.), Mobile (Ala.), Southern Poly (Ga.), Southern Wesleyan (S.C.) Spring Hill (Ala.) and William Carey (Miss.).

For more information please contact Mike Hall at or (864)266-3621.

Dalton State, 650 College Drive, Dalton, GA 30720
706.272.4436 • 1.800.829.4436 •