RICHARDSON, Texas – The Lone Star Conference will grow to 10 member institutions as league officials announced Friday the University of Texas of the Permian Basin has accepted an invitation to join the conference in the fall of 2016. The UT System Board of Regents approved the move Thursday morning.
The LSC Council of Presidents gathered at the NCAA Convention in Washington D.C. in January for their annual winter meeting, where they unanimously voted to extend an invitation to Texas-Permian Basin.
"We are extremely pleased to have a program with great athletic and academic traditions in UTPB joining the Lone Star Conference," said Angelo State President Dr. Brian May, chair of the LSC President's Council.
Located in Odessa, Texas, UTPB is a dynamic, growing campus with over 5,000 students. The Falcons sponsor 11 NCAA Division II sports (volleyball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's basketball, softball, baseball, men's and women's tennis). UTPB recently added football, and men’s and women’s golf, which all begin competition in 2016.
“We are incredibly excited to welcome Texas-Permian Basin to the Lone Star Conference,” said LSC Interim Commissioner Jay Poerner. “UTPB is an institution with tremendous leadership that shares the same core values as our current members. They are an ideal fit for the LSC academically, athletically and geographically.”
The addition of UTPB represents the LSC first membership change since 2012, when Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word left the league. UTPB will be the 29th institution to compete as a member of the 83-year-old LSC.
A former NAIA program, UTPB joined the NCAA Division II ranks as a provisional member of the Heartland Conference in the fall of 2006. The Falcons, who became a full member of Division II in Fall 2008, have won six Heartland Conference titles.
The LSC, founded on April 25, 1931, started as a five-team conference of Texas-based schools and with UTPB will become a 10-member league with eight members in Texas, one in Oklahoma and one in New Mexico.
The LSC conducts conference championships in 16 sports (seven men and nine women). Men's championships include football, cross country, basketball, baseball, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field and golf. Women's titles are determined in volleyball, soccer, cross country, basketball, softball, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, tennis and golf.