2023 Mississippi College vs North Greenville

North Greenville Football In 2023: What To Know About The Crusaders

North Greenville Football In 2023: What To Know About The Crusaders

The North Greenville University football team returns in 2023 as a member of the Gulf South Conference. Here’s what to know about the program.

Oct 10, 2023 by Matt Cannizzaro
North Greenville Football In 2023: What To Know About The Crusaders

The North Greenville University football team finished the 2022 season with a 4-7 overall record, which included two losses to open the year and three losses to close things out. The team was 3-5 in conference play.

The Crusaders’ last winning season was in 2016. That included a 9-5 final record and a playoff appearance. 

Since joining the Gulf South Conference for the 2018 season, North Greenville is 16-26 overall and 10-20 in conference play. 

Jeff Farrington will be back for his 10th full season as the head coach of the Crusaders. Overall, he is 49-51. He has led North Greenville to one bowl victory (2014) and one playoff appearance (2016).

In 2023, the Gulf South Conference will include nine teams (up from eight) and return three that finished with winning records in 2022. Among the returning teams are the University of West Florida and Delta State, which posted 6-1 records in conference play to share the Gulf South title. 

West Florida finished 2022 with a 12-2 overall record, and Delta State was 11-2. West Florida made the NCAA Division II semifinals, losing to eventual national champion Ferris State.

Gulf South football action will be streamed live on FloFootball and the FloSports app, including all of North Greenville’s Gulf South games.

Here’s What To Know About North Greenville University Football:

What Year Did North Greenville Start Playing Football?

North Greenville University began playing varsity football at the junior college level in 1988.

Between the 1993 and 1994 football seasons, North Greenville University transitioned to a four-year school, and the football team went from competing at the junior college level to NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as an independent. 

The team joined the Mid-South Conference for the 1995 season and remained there through 2000, when the Crusaders made the jump to Division II, again playing as an independent. It remained that way until North Greenville joined the Gulf South Conference as an affiliate member for football for the 2018 season.

In What Division Of College Football Does North Greenville University Play? 

North Greenville University plays football at the NCAA Division II level, which the Crusaders joined for the 2001 season.

How Many Times Has North Greenville Football Made It To The Playoffs?

North Greenville’s first appearance in the Division II Playoffs came in 2011, and the Crusaders advanced to the national quarterfinals. They lost to Delta State, 28-23.

They made the postseason again in 2016 and advanced to their regional final, where they fell to North Alabama, 38-0.

They’ve also won the Victory Bowl three times—in 2006, 2010 and 2014.

The Victory Bowl is a championship game for schools that are members of the National Christian College Athletic Association and didn’t qualify for the NCAA or NAIA playoffs. 

When Did North Greenville Football Join The Gulf South Conference?

North Greenville University joined the Gulf South Conference as a football-only affiliate in time for the 2018 football season.

The relationship will come to an end for the 2025 season, however, as North Greenville will move to Conference Carolinas, which is adding football.

Conference Carolinas will debut six programs for football in 2025: Barton, Chowan, Erskine, UNC Pembroke, North Greenville and Shorter. 

North Greenville and Shorter currently play in the Gulf South Conference, Chowan University is moving to the GSC for the 2023 and 2024 seasons and Erskine’s football team will join the GSC for the 2024 season, before moving on again. Shorter will play as an independent in 2024 prior to the move.

Has North Greenville University Football Ever Won The Gulf South Title?

North Greenville University has never won the Gulf South Conference football title.

In 1998, however, the Crusaders did share the Mid-South Conference football title with Georgetown (Kentucky). 

Who Is The North Greenville University Football Head Coach?

The head coach of the North Greenville University football team is Jeff Farrington, who took over the program in 2013.

Farrington previously coached at the Virginia Military Institute, where he was the defensive coordinator. That came after a year at Mercer University. 

From 2002-2010, he was a defensive assistant coach and eventually the defensive coordinator at Furman. He helped the team to the playoffs four times. 

From 1997-2001, Farrington was a defensive and second coach at East Tennessee State.

From 1992-1996, he was the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at West Georgia College. 

Additional stops included his alma mater, The Citadel, then East Carolina, Florida State, Lenoir-Rhyne and Presbyterian College.

During his playing days, Farrington was a high school quarterback and then a defensive back at The Citadel. 

At North Greenville, Farrington is 49-51 overall and 10-20 in Gulf South Conference games.

Who Is North Greenville University Football’s Biggest Rival? 

North Greenville University’s short history and path from junior college to NAIA to Division II as an independent to the Mid-South Conference to the Gulf South Conference hasn’t left much opportunity for any insanely heated rivalries, not to mention a general lack of success outside of a few great seasons.

As the Crusaders bounce to another home—Conference Carolinas in 2025—there will be some familiar faces from the GSC, so maybe there will be a chance for some excitement and animosity to have built up.

Where Is North Greenville University?

North Greenville University’s main campus is located in Tigerville, South Carolina, and there’s a secondary campus in Greer, South Carolina.

The idea for the school was born in 1891, the first building was completed in 1892 and the doors opened to the first students—as a high school—in 1893.

North Greenville High School got its official charter in 1904. Shortly after, it became part of the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Mountain Mission School System, which lasted 25 years.

The school’s name was changed to the North Greenville Baptist Academy in 1915, and the North Greenville Baptist Association took control in 1929.

In 1934, an adjusted charter allowed for a junior college to join the high school, and 15 years later, control shifted to the General Board of the South Carolina Baptist Convention.

The school became North Greenville Junior College in 1950 and North Greenville College in 1972. 

Growth continued, accreditations were amended, and the school shifted to a four-year setup and Level II accreditation in 1994. In 2006, continued growth resulted in a status and name change to North Greenville University. 

Notable North Greenville University Alums

Christian musician Seth Condrey, Steven Furtick (founder of Elevation Church), former NFL players Clayton Holmes and Freddie Martino, American Idol finalist Chris Sligh and South Carolina senator Josh Kimbrell.

North Greenville University Football Schedule 2023

  • Aug. 31: at Charleston Southern University, 6 p.m. ET
  • Sept. 9: at Newberry College, 7 p.m. ET, FloSports
  • Sept. 16: University of West Alabama, 7 p.m. ET, FloSports
  • Sept. 23: at Valdosta State, 7 p.m. ET, FloSports
  • Sept. 30: University of West Florida, 7 p.m. ET, FloSports
  • Oct. 7: at Chowan University, 1 p.m. ET, FloSports
  • Oct. 14: at Delta State University, 7 p.m. ET, FloSports
  • Oct. 21: at University of West Georgia, 6 p.m. ET, FloSports
  • Oct. 28: Mississippi College, 2 p.m. ET, FloSports
  • Nov. 4: Shorter University, 1 p.m. ET, FloSports