By Jacob Trimmer
Inside The Pew
Texas Wesleyan University, Northwood University, and Southwestern Assemblies of God University are on the move.
The three Christian-based universities– all longtime members of the Red River Athletic Conference – are among four universities slated to join Sooner Athletic Conference beginning in the 2013-14 academic year.
Also joining the SAC is Southwestern Christian University in Bethany, Okla.
The announcement was made jointly by the schools’ presidents – Texas Wesleyan’s Frederick G. Slabach, SAGU’s Kermit Bridges, and Northwood’s Kevin Fegan on Sept. 18
Texas Wesleyan, located in Fort Worth, as well as Cedar Hill’s Northwood and Waxahachie’s SAGU, have enjoyed their tenure with RRAC, but are looking forward to what the new relationship will offer, Slabach said.
“This move isn’t just about joining a more competitive conference,” Slabach said. “The closer proximity of other conference schools gives our student-athletes the benefit of spending more time in class and less time on the road.”
Having 10 schools in the SAC — which is based in Oklahoma City — means the conference will be able to advance two teams out of the conference to post-season competitions.
“The competitive environment in the Sooner is demanding,” Slabach said. “But we look forward to the challenge.”
SAC Commissioner John Hudson said the conference is delighted with the additions of these three great institutions and believes the move creates one of the strongest conferences in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
“These are exciting times in the conference,” Hudson said during the press conference. “Expansion into the Metroplex area is great for the Sooner Athletic Conference and brings Northwood, Texas Wesleyan, and Southwestern Assemblies into the NAIA’s premier league.”
Current SAC schools are John Brown in Siloam Springs, Ark.; Mid-America Christian in Oklahoma City; Oklahoma Baptist and St. Gregory’s in Shawnee, Okla., Wayland Baptist in Plainview, Texas; and the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, in Chickasha, Okla.