The Sunshine State Conference was originally formed in 1975 as an NCAA Division II men's basketball conference. It has since expanded to sponsor championships in 14 sports, including men's and women's basketball, baseball, men's and women's golf, women's rowing, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis, and women's volleyball. SSC institutions have won a total of 83 NCAA national team championships, including two in the 2008-09 academic year.
The conference was preceded by the Florida Intercollegiate Conference, which was disbanded in the mid-1960s. The Sunshine State Conference was founded in 1975 by St. Leo University (then a college) Basketball Coach & Athletic Director Norm Kaye. Kaye served as Commissioner the first year until Dick Pace was named Commissioner in 1976. Kaye continued as Executive Director of the Conference for an additional 12 years. Pace was inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.
Jay Jones became commissioner of the conference in 2009. Jones replaced Mike Marcil, who served as commissioner from 2004. Marcil had previously replaced retired SSC Hall of Famer Don Landry. Gregg Kaye (no relation to Norm Kaye) was named assistant commissioner in 2001 and promoted to associate commissioner in 2005. Kelly Harrison was originally named assistant to the commissioner in 2002 and returned to that position in 2006 after a one-year absence and remains on the conference office staff to date as an assistant commissioner and senior woman administrator.
The six charter Conference members were: Biscayne College (now called St. Thomas University), Florida Technological University (now University of Central Florida), Eckerd College, Florida Southern, Rollins College, and St. Leo College.
The Conference has had dozens of athletes go on to have successful professional careers. Some examples include: Current PGA Tour players Lee Janzen and Rocco Mediate went to Florida Southern. Janzen won golf's U.S. Open in 1993 & 1998; on the baseball side are Tim Wakefield (Florida Tech) and Bob Tewksbury (St. Leo). Wakefield tied a career high of 17 wins pitching for the 2007 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox and Tewksbury was third in balloting for the National League Cy Young Award while going 16-5 for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1992.
Famous quotes containing the words sunshine, state and/or conference:
“The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
—Thomas Paine (17371809)
“I thought that a Jewish state would be free of the evils afflicting other societies: theft, murder, prostitution.... But now we have them all. And thats a thing that cuts to the heart ...”
—Golda Meir (18981978)
“Politics is still the mans game. The women are allowed to do the chores, the dirty work, and now and thenbut only occasionallyone is present at some secret conference or other. But its not the rule. They can go out and get the vote, if they can and will; they can collect money, they can be grateful for being permitted to work. But that is all.”
—Mary Roberts Rinehart (18761958)