At a press conference held August 20, Southland Conference Commissioner Tom Burnett officially invited the University of the Incarnate Word to join the conference, effective July 1, 2013. The membership will coincide with the San Antonio-based institution’s four-year transition to NCAA Division I.
Currently a member of the Division II Lone Star Conference, UIW will begin the four-year shift to Division I with the Southland Conference’s assistance and oversight. It is expected that UIW will begin counting as an NCAA Division I team for scheduling purposes in 2014-15, and will be fully eligible for NCAA Championship events in 2017-18. UIW sponsors a total of 21 teams in men’s and women’s sports, more than any other NCAA Division II school in Texas.
“We are truly blessed to be joining such an outstanding conference like the Southland,” said UIW President Dr. Louis Agnese. “We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with the SLC that will be equally rewarding to our students and the residents of San Antonio.”
“The Southland Conference Board of Directors is very pleased to extend an offer of membership to the University of the Incarnate Word,” said Dr. Baker Pattillo, Southland Board Chairman and the president at Stephen F. Austin State University. “Further, we are honored to learn of the institution’s acceptance of our offer, and we are gratified by the approval of the UIW Board of Trustees and the visionary leadership of the university’s administration. The Southland presidents look forward to a beneficial partnership with UIW, its athletic program and the San Antonio community.”
In July, UIW hosted a four-person delegation from the NCAA’s Southland Conference. The visit by the SLC site committee was a fact-finding mission, to familiarize SLC representatives UIW as a university and with Cardinal athletics.
Since 2007-08, more than 20 Cardinals’ squads have claimed league titles and advanced to national postseason play. UIW’s 2011-12 athletic year was highlighted by a conference tournament championship in softball, a tournament title game appearance in women’s basketball, a second-place league finish in men’s tennis, an NCAA men’s soccer tournament berth, and upper division finishes in men’s basketball and women’s tennis.
The Southland Conference participates in the NCAA’s Division I for all sports; for football, it participates in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).
Member schools of the SLC are: University of Central Arkansas, Lamar University, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, Northwestern State University, Oral Roberts University, Sam Houston State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, Stephen F. Austin State University, and Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi.
For more information, contact Shane Meling, Sports Information Director, at (210) 210-829-3828 or firstname.lastname@example.org.