Sports
Austin College Joins ASC as Football Affiliate
By media release
Aug 13, 2020
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Richardson, Texas — The American Southwest Conference announced August 13 that Austin College will rejoin the NCAA Division III conference as an affiliate member in the sport of football following approval of the ASC Council of Presidents.
 
The ASC agreement with Austin College formally begins July 1, 2021 and will be for four academic years and the 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024 football seasons. AC will be immediately eligible for the Conference's automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Championship along with team and individual awards. The College will fill the Louisiana College spot in the American Southwest Conference schedule as LC moves to membership with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics on June 30, 2021.
 
“We are pleased to welcome Austin College back to the American Southwest Conference football lineup,” said Amy Carlton, ASC commissioner. “The affiliate membership with AC enhances what is one of the top NCAA Division III football conferences and represents an opportunity for all 10 football programs to continue playing a competitive conference schedule in front of their student peers, families and fans.
 
"Austin College is a solid football program with student-athletes who will make an impact academically and athletically with the American Southwest Conference," Carlton added.
 
The ‘Roos resume play with the ASC after a 15-year hiatus, maintaining non-conference games with several conference teams during the break. Austin College played football for 10 seasons in the ASC (1996-2005) garnering a trio of finishes among the top half of the league. During its prior tenure in the ASC, 47 students earned All-Conference accolades for their on-field performance, including the 2000 Offensive Player of the Year Aaron Kernek.
 
“We’re excited to renew our football program’s affiliation with the American Southwest Conference,” said David Norman, Austin College Director of Athletics. “This is a move that enables our football team to compete within the region with less travel expectations, opening up more opportunities for the families of our student-athletes to travel to games played primarily within the state of Texas.  We have and will continue exploring non-conference scheduling opportunities with SAA institutions for all of our sports programs. “
 
Austin College is currently a football member of the Southern Athletic Association and will close their four-year affiliation after the 2020-21 academic year. Previously, Austin College played football under the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference banner for 11 seasons (2006-16).
 
Institutions who will be competing in football with the ASC beginning in the 2021-22 academic year include Austin College, Belhaven University, East Texas Baptist University, Hardin-Simmons University, Howard Payne University, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, McMurry University, Southwestern University, Sul Ross State University and Texas Lutheran University.
 
ASC teams have made 30 NCAA Division III Championship appearances with a national title from Mary Hardin-Baylor in 2018 and a runner-up finish in 2004. Coaches and administrators have been active with NCAA sport and rules committees with Sul Ross State head coach John Pearce currently representing Division III on the NCAA Football Rules Committee.