The Shawnee State Bears are the athletic teams for Shawnee State University. SSU has a rich tradition of success in athletics since its inception in 1986. Shawnee State is currently a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. SSU has participated in 24 National Championships in 6 of 11 sponsored sports. The SSU women’s basketball team won the NAIA Division II National Championship on March 16, 1999 with an 80-65 win over the University of Saint Francis.
Shawnee State was a member of the American Mideast Conference from 1991 until 2010, the Bears have won 17 conference championships. In November 2009 the university announced it was would leave the AMC at the conclusion of the 2009-10 academic year and join the Mid-South Conference starting in the Fall of 2010.