GCAC History

The Girls Catholic Athletic Conference was established in 1974, three years before the IHSA recognized girls’ sports.  Twelve women athletic directors got together to form what eventually become the largest all girls’ conference in the country.  At one point in its history the conference had 36 member schools.  The schools came from as far south as Chicago Heights, as far east as 102nd near the Indiana border, as far west as Rolling Meadows and as far north as Lake Forest. 

In light of school closings, mergers and economic strife, the number of schools has diminished, but not their accomplishments.  One of the things that make the GCAC unique is that it offers parity as a determining factor for placing schools in divisions.  This, of course, allows for a greater number of student-athletes, coaches and schools to experience and receive recognition that they truly deserve.  Hundreds of women athletes, coaches, and administrators have been able to benefit from their experiences in the GCAC in countless ways.

We have had numerous teams compete in state championship finals in a variety of sports.  During the last 37 years of competing in IHSA tournaments, some schools have attained 24 State Championships, six runner-up finishes and 14 individuals took 1st place in their event.  Our athletes have been recognized within and outside of the conference as All Area, All State, Players of the Year and All Americans.  They have gone on to experience success at the college level and beyond.  They have returned to our schools as coaches and administrators.  All of this has been possible because of the groundwork laid by the founders in 1974 and the work ethic displayed on the part of the athletes and the guidance and dedication of the coaches.

Today, we not only celebrate the GCAC, but we are here to honor some of those who have been responsible for the success of our conference.  Their contributions have brought honor and recognition to them, their schools and the GCAC.