UAFS Set To Join Lone Star Conference

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) – UAFS Chancellor Dr. Paul B. Beran and Athletics Director Curtis Janz announced Wednesday that the school has accepted an invitation to join the Lone Star Conference beginning in the fall of 2019.

The LSC Council of Presidents voted unanimously this summer to offer full membership to current Heartland Conference members UAFS, Dallas Baptist, Lubbock Christian, Oklahoma Christian, Rogers State, St. Edward’s, St. Mary’s and Texas A&M International, and each of those schools has accepted the invitation.

“The Lone Star Conference has existed for nearly 90 years, and over that time it has established a reputation as one of the most well-respected and prestigious NCAA Division II conferences in the country. The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is proud to become a member of this expanded conference,” Beran said. “The LSC is destined to not only be the biggest Division II conference, but the conference that also sets a national standard of excellence on and off the field. This conference is a perfect fit for UAFS, and we look forward to facing a new group of competitors and competing for the conference title.”

UAFS, which begins its ninth season as a member of NCAA Division II, joined the Heartland Conference in 2009. It will continue to compete in the Heartland Conference for the next two seasons.

“We are very proud to be a new member of what we consider to be arguably the best conference in the country. We look forward to being a member of a conference that strives for excellence in every aspect from the conference office to communication and competition,” Janz said. “I believe we can compete at a very high level in the Lone Star Conference and have our student-athletes experience the very best of NCAA Division II.”

With the addition of the eight Heartland Conference schools, the LSC now boasts its largest membership of its 86-year history, and with 19 members, the LSC will become the largest conference in NCAA Division II.

The LSC, which was founded on April 25, 1931, started as a five-member conference of Texas-based schools, and with the latest expansion, it will become a 19-member league with 13 members in Texas, three in Oklahoma, two in New Mexico and one in Arkansas.

Its membership will consist of Angelo State, Cameron, Eastern New Mexico, Midwestern State, Tarleton State, Texas A&M-Commerce, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Texas Woman’s University, UT Permian Basin, West Texas A&M, Western New Mexico and the eight incoming Heartland Conference schools.

“This is an exciting time for the Lone Star Conference. The addition of these eight schools makes the LSC the largest and most dynamic conference in NCAA Division II. These 19 institutions will represent the very best in Division II through a shared commitment to excellence in academics, athletics and student-athlete development,” LSC Commissioner Jay Poerner said.  “I am thankful to the leadership of the LSC Council of Presidents for its guidance in leading this expansion effort.”

The LSC’s mission is to foster student participation and success among member institutions in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of each institution’s total educational program. The LSC pursues student-athlete development with highest regard to the principles of academic excellence, graduation success, sportsmanship, ethical conduct, resourcefulness, community service, gender equity and diversity.

Since the LSC joined the NCAA Division II ranks in 1982, its member schools have won 76 NCAA Division II team national championships.

The conference awards 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 championships include volleyball, soccer, cross country, basketball, softball, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, tennis and golf.

UAFS currently competes in 10 sports – volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s tennis.

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