"I think the G-MAC right now, is a conference in transition in general. I think the potential is exponential for the conference to grow and to become a model conference for the rest of Division-II," Davis and Elkins Men's Basketball Head Coach Chris Cottrell said.
Potential is a strong word. But for the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, travel will be the biggest word.
"We're going to Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio. The big thing is the Tennessee trip. It's about an 11-hour bus drive we've heard from our volleyball team," Alderson Broaddus Women's Basketball Head Coach Josh Allen said.
The G-MAC is currently comprised of 11 member institutions, spanning as far east as Elkins, West Virginia, and as far west as Nashville, Tennessee. The conference does not yet offer football, so basketball will carry the torch for the new league.
"Being in the G-MAC, with a lot of good teams; Kentucky Wesleyan, Cedarville, Alderson Broaddus, Central State, Trevecca-Nazarene, Ohio Valley and D&E. It's a really good league. It's very competitive and to get your name out there and get your kids some press," Salem International Men's Basketball Head Coach Randy Unger said.
The G-MAC certainly offers instant credibility, especially in the basketball department. The Kentucky Wesleyan men have won eight National Championships. The Cedarville men also add a National Championship. Local coaches agree it's going to be a tough league.
"Kentucky Wesleyan whose been a national power. They've won eight National Championships and highly ranked right now. Cedarville whose won a national championship in NAIA. So it's going to be good. It's going to be a lot of travel, I know that," Alderson Broaddus Men's Basketball Head Coach Greg Zimmerman said.
Salem, D&E and Alderson Broaddus are the local teams making the jump. If you thought the travel was rough, well players think the opposite.
"I think it's going to be fine. Obviously, the rides will be a little bit longer. As crazy as that sounds, the kids are excited about that because we'll have more overnight trips and kind of get that Division-I feel," Davis & Elkins Women's Basketball Head Coach Jason Asbell said.