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The VSAC was organized in the 1940s and dissolved in the early 1980s. Member schools were in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Long-term members of the conference included the institutions now known as Belmont University, Bethel College, Bryan College, Carson-Newman College, Christian Brothers University, King University, Lee University, Lincoln Memorial University, Lipscomb University, Milligan College, Tusculum College, Tennessee Wesleyan College, and Union University, as well as the now-defunct Lambuth College. The conference dissolved when the institutions in the eastern portion of the state seceded to form the Tennessee Valley Athletic Conference (TVAC). Those in the western part of the state formed in turn the Tennessee Collegiate Athletic Conference (TCAC). The Appalachian Athletic Conference is the direct successor of the Tennessee Valley Athletic Conference and was known as such until the mid-1990s when the addition of schools in Virginia, Kentucky, and North Carolina necessitated the name change. The current TranSouth Athletic Conference is sometimes regarded as something of a successor to the TCAC. Sponsorship of football by the conference ended after the 1962 season, over two decades before the conference dissolved with regard to its other sports.
Other founding members of the VSAC included East Tennessee State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Austin Peay State University, and Tennessee Technological University; these schools all left the VSAC to join the Ohio Valley Conference, in which Austin Peay and Tennessee Tech continue to hold membership as of 2017.
- Volunteer State Athletic Conference, College Football Data Warehouse, retrieved October 23, 2015.
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