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San Angelo Standard-Times (Texas)
The Lone Star Conference is set to become the biggest conference in NCAA Division II.
The LSC — which includes Angelo State University — announced Monday that the University of Texas at Tyler will join the league on July 1, 2019.
UT Tyler will become the LSC's 20th school. The Patriots are transition from Division III. They will compete in the LSC in all sports beginning in the fall of 2019 and will become a full member of Division II in the fall of 2021 after fulfilling several requirements over the three-year period.
However, UT Tyler does not have a football program, so the LSC still has only nine teams in that sport. UT Tyler President Michael Tidwell said in January at a city council meeting that he hoped to bring football to the school if it became a Division II university.
"The Lone Star Conference is perhaps the most exciting and dynamic NCAA Division II conference in the nation, and The University of Texas at Tyler is honored to join," Tidwell said in Monday's press release. "We are also pleased to be in a conference that shares our values of academic excellence, sportsmanship, and community service as we educate successful student-athletes."
LUT Tyler was founded in 1971 and enrolls more than 10,000 students. The Patriots sponsor intercollegiate teams in 17 sports: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track and field, men's and women's indoor track and field and volleyball.
UT Tyler has won NCAA Division III national championships in men's golf (2013), softball (2016), and baseball (2018).
"We're excited to welcome UT Tyler to NCAA Division II and the Lone Star Conference," said LSC Commissioner Jay Poerner. "Their location, tradition and history of academic and athletic success make them a natural fit for the LSC."
The addition of UT Tyler continues recent expansion as eight institutions were announced in 2017. The Patriots will be the 39th institution to compete as a member of the 87-year-old LSC.
UT Tyler joins the league along with the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, Dallas Baptist University, Lubbock Christian University, Oklahoma Christian University, Rogers State University, St. Edward's University, St. Mary's University and Texas A&M International University.
The LSC, founded on April 25, 1931, started as a five-member conference of Texas-based schools and with the latest expansion will become a 20-member league with 14 members in Texas, three in Oklahoma, two in New Mexico and one in Arkansas.
The LSC conducts conference championships in 17 sports (eight men and nine women). Men's championships include football, cross country, basketball, baseball, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, golf and tennis. Women's titles are determined in volleyball, soccer, cross country, basketball, softball, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, tennis and golf.
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