The Sunshine State Conference is a collegiate athletic conference that participates in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II. Its member institutions are located in the state of Florida, which is popularly known as the Sunshine State.
The conference was originally formed in 1975 as a men's basketball conference. It has since expanded to sponsor championships in 18 sports, including men's and women's basketball, baseball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's lacrosse, women's rowing, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's tennis, women's volleyball.
SSC institutions have won a total of 102 NCAA national team championships, including five in the 2015–16 academic year. The conference has also claimed a total of 80 national runner-up trophies, including one in 2015–16.
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 Saint Leo University (then Saint Leo 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.
The six charter Conference members were: Biscayne College (now St. Thomas University), Florida Technological University (now University of Central Florida), Eckerd College, Florida Southern College, Rollins College, and Saint Leo College.
The Conference has seen 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 Tino Martinez (Tampa), Tim Wakefield (Florida Tech), Ryan Hanigan (Rollins), Bob Tewksbury (Saint Leo), and J. D. Martinez (Nova Southeastern). 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.
|Barry University||Miami Shores||1940||9,030||Buccaneers||1988|
|Eckerd College||St. Petersburg||1958||1,850||Tritons||1975|
|Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University||Daytona Beach||1926||6,794||Eagles||2015|
|Florida Southern College||Lakeland||1883||2,185||Moccasins||1975|
|Florida Institute of Technology||Melbourne||1958||6,451||Panthers||1981|
|Lynn University||Boca Raton||1962||2,297||Fighting Knights||1997|
|Nova Southeastern University||Davie||1964||24,148||Sharks||2002|
|Palm Beach Atlantic University||West Palm Beach||1968||3,764||Sailfish||2015|
|Rollins College||Winter Park||1885||2,946||Tars||1975|
|Saint Leo University||St. Leo||1889||2,235||Lions||1975|
|University of Tampa||Tampa||1931||7,600||Spartans||1981|
|University of Central Florida||Orlando||1963||Knights||1975||1984||The American
|University of North Florida||Jacksonville||1969||Ospreys||1992||1997||Atlantic Sun
|St. Thomas University||Miami Gardens||1961||Bobcats||1975||1987||Sun
Full member (all sports) Full member (non-football) Associate member (football-only) Associate member (sport)
|Barry||Health and Sports Center||1,938|
|Florida Southern||Jenkins Field House||2,500|
|Florida Tech||Clemente Center||1,500|
|Lynn||de Hoernle Center||1,000|
|Nova Southeastern||Rick Case Arena at the Don Taft University Center||5,500|
|Palm Beach Atlantic||Rubin Arena||2,000|
|Saint Leo||Marion Bowman Activities Center ||2,000|
|Tampa||Bob Martinez Sports Center||3,432|
Sunshine State Conference schools have won 102 NCAA Division II National Championships.
|2009–10||3||Florida Southern golf (M) • Nova Southeastern golf (W) • Barry tennis (M)|
|2010–11||2||Nova Southeastern golf (W) • Barry tennis (W)|
|2011–12||2||Nova Southeastern golf (M) • Nova Southeastern golf (W)|
|2012–13||6||Tampa baseball • Barry golf (M) • Lynn golf (W) • Nova Southeastern rowing • Lynn soccer (M) • Barry tennis (M)|
|2013–14||3||Barry golf (M) • Lynn golf (W) • Barry tennis (W)|
|2014–15||7||Tampa baseball • Florida Southern basketball (M) • Nova Southeastern golf (M) • Barry rowing • Lynn soccer (M) • Barry tennis (M) • Tampa volleyball|
|2015–16||5||Nova Southeastern baseball • Saint Leo golf (M) • Rollins golf (W) • Florida Southern lacrosse (W) • Barry rowing|
|2016–17||3||Barry tennis (W)  • Barry golf (W) • Florida Southern golf (M)|
|Florida Southern||30||2017 — Men's Golf|
|Barry||19||2017 — Women's Tennis|
|Rollins||15||2016 — Women's Golf|
|Tampa||15||2015 — Baseball|
|Lynn||12*||2014 — Men's Soccer|
|Nova Southeastern||8||2016 — Baseball|
|Florida Tech||2||1991 — Men's Soccer|
|Saint Leo||1||2016 — Men's Golf|
|North Florida||1||1994 — Women's Tennis|
On July 17, 2007, NCAA vacated Lynn's 2005 Women's Division II Softball Championship due to extra benefits given to two players. The NCAA found that former coach Thomas Macera gave two Lynn softball players cash payments totaling more than $3,000. Lynn was also placed on probation for two years. Lynn University originally won 13 National Championships at the Division II level, but now the NCAA only recognizes 12 of them because of the unsanctioned actions.
The Mayors' Cup was originally presented following the 1986–87 academic year to recognize the annual SSC all-sports champion. The men's division recognizes competition in eight sports: cross country, soccer, basketball, swimming, baseball, golf, lacrosse, and tennis. The women's division recognizes competition in nine sports: cross country, soccer, volleyball, basketball, swimming, golf, rowing, softball, and tennis.
|Swimming & Diving|
|Palm Beach Atlantic||7|
|Palm Beach Atlantic||8|
|Palm Beach Atlantic||IND||IND|