SUWANEE, Ga. — The Southern
Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) announced today that Texas
Lutheran University has accepted an invitation to join the
"We are pleased and honored that Texas Lutheran University will join the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference beginning July 1, 2013,” said Austin College president Marjorie Hass, who currently serves as the chair of the SCAC Board of Directors. “Managing the membership of an athletic conference is challenging work. It is wonderful to know that another private, liberal arts and sciences college from the southwest region with an engaging curriculum and similar commitment to the philosophy of the NCAA Division III athletics program will join the Conference. The addition of Texas Lutheran will bring the SCAC membership back to eight, which will be helpful to the overall scheduling of the Conference. We look forward to many competitive contests in the future."
Currently a member of the American Southwest Conference, Texas Lutheran will join the SCAC at the beginning of the 2013-14 academic year, becoming the eighth member of the reconstructed league.
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“This is an exciting opportunity for TLU athletics,” said Texas Lutheran University President Stuart Dorsey. “We are honored to be invited to join a conference of institutions that have such an outstanding reputation for academics and athletics success. We believe that the SCAC is an excellent fit for TLU.”
Texas Lutheran, which is located in Seguin, Texas (34 miles east of San Antonio), joins Austin College of Sherman, Texas; Centenary College of Shreveport, Louisiana; Colorado College of Colorado Springs, Colorado; the University of Dallas of Irving, Texas; Schreiner University of Kerrville, Texas; Southwestern University of Georgetown, Texas; and Trinity University of San Antonio, Texas. Centenary’s membership in the SCAC begins in 2012-13 while Schreiner and Texas Lutheran come aboard in 2013-14.
Dorsey cited several factors that led to the decision to join the SCAC, including TLU’s similarity with the conference schools in size, mission, curriculum, and athletics philosophy.
“TLU, like the other SCAC schools, provides an excellent educational experience for all of our students, including our student-athletes,” Dorsey said. “We’re proud that TLU has been recognized repeatedly through the years by US News & World Report and other national publications as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the region. Membership in the SCAC also will allow TLU to re-establish some historical rivalries.”
Dorsey stressed that TLU will continue to emphasize and support excellence in its athletics program.
“SCAC competition will be keen, and we intend to challenge for conference championships in all sports. Intercollegiate athletics is an important part of the fabric of TLU, and we have a long, rich history of team championships and outstanding individual performances that we wish to continue.”
“The addition of Texas Lutheran University marks a significant step in the advancement of the SCAC,” said SCAC commissioner Dwayne Hanberry. “Less than eight months ago, we began the process of seeking new members who fit the profile we consider to be a special and unique blend of academics and athletics. With the additions of Centenary College of Louisiana, Schreiner University and now Texas Lutheran University, we feel like we are well on our way to achieving that goal.”
“We are excited that Texas Lutheran has agreed to become a member of our conference and welcome them into the SCAC family.”
The addition of Texas Lutheran insures that the SCAC will retain its automatic bids in nine of its 14 AQ sports, including baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, softball, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and volleyball.
The SCAC will continue to explore its options in other AQ sports such as football, men’s golf, women’s golf, men’s lacrosse and women’s lacrosse.
Thirteen of TLU’s 14 intercollegiate sports programs will join the SCAC. Football will play as an independent until the SCAC has enough football members to qualify for the automatic post-season bid that goes to NCAA Division III conference champions. Trinity and Austin College are the only SCAC members that currently field football teams, with Southwestern slated to launch a football program in 2013.
“TLU is committed to fielding a football program that will compete for the national championship,” said Dorsey. “We anticipate that the SCAC will eventually reach the minimum number of seven football-playing schools so that the conference champion automatically qualifies for post-season play, but until then we will build a competitive schedule against regional and national opponents that we think will get us to that level.”
TLU’s director of athletics Bill Miller expressed pleasure about TLU’s move to the SCAC and continuing to compete against ASC schools on a non-conference basis.
"We are excited about the opportunities being a member of the SCAC presents us,” Miller said. “It will be a new, great chapter for TLU and for our intercollegiate athletics program. As we make this transition, we also look forward to continuing our relationship with the ASC schools."
"The ASC was our home for football when we revived the sport in 1998, and it became the home for our 13 other sports starting in 2000. As a proud member of the ASC, TLU has won 16 conference and 19 division championships and has made 35 NCAA DIII national championship appearances. The ASC will always be a significant part of our athletics history.”
Founded in 1891 in Brenham, Texas as an academy of the First German Evangelical Lutheran Synod in Texas, Texas Lutheran moved to Seguin in 1912. After merging with Trinity College of Round Rock, Texas and Clifton College, the school was renamed Texas Lutheran College in 1930. The institution was once again renamed to its present title of Texas Lutheran University in 1996.
Texas Lutheran is recognized as one of America’s best and most diverse liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report, and has been named as one of the “Best Western Colleges” by The Princeton Review.
TLU sponsors 14 sports: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball for women; and baseball, basketball, football, golf, soccer and tennis for men. The Bulldogs have won 10 national championships: two in football, two in women's volleyball, three individual titles in golf, and three individual event titles in women's track and field. Approximately one-third of TLU’s 1,300 full-time students participate in intercollegiate athletics.