University of Houston-Victoria officials announced today that the university is adding women’s and men’s golf and soccer programs.
“This is exciting news for both the university and the region,” UHV President Tim Hudson said. “We went from ‘dream’ to ‘team’ in record time with our softball and baseball programs because of phenomenal community support from area residents. They will be just as excited about the addition of these new sports.”
The golf teams will start playing during the 2009-2010 school year, while the men’s and women’s soccer teams will begin the following year. Baseball and softball were UHV’s first sports, with both teams playing their inaugural seasons last school year.
The decision to add golf and soccer as the next two sports in UHV’s athletics program was made after an extensive feasibility study, UHV Athletic Director Ashley Walyuchow said. Both sports have a strong presence within the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in Texas, with universities in San Antonio, Brownsville and Houston fielding NAIA teams that UHV could play.
“South Texas is a great region for both golf and soccer,” Walyuchow said. “We’re looking forward to providing opportunities for our supporters to watch these great sports being played and opportunities for student athletes to expand their leadership skills through programs such as the NAIA’s Champions of Character. They’ll also be able to continue playing the sports they love.”
As a member of the NAIA’s Association of Independent Institutions, UHV’s soccer and golf teams will be eligible for postseason play their first seasons. The AII’s postseason tournaments provide a defined path to the NAIA National Championships for schools that are not associated with a conference.
UHV officials plan to start searching for a golf coach immediately, Walyuchow said. The coach will recruit approximately six male and six female student athletes. Both the Victoria and Colony Creek country clubs have offered the use of their golf courses for practices and tournaments.
Each soccer team will bring 20 to 25 student athletes to UHV, Walyuchow said. Soccer practices and games will take place at the St. Joseph-O’Connor Athletic Complex, which also is used by the softball team.
The start of the two sports coincides with UHV’s plans to recruit freshmen and sophomores for expansion to a four-year university. If the Texas Legislature approves the expansion by the end of its next session, UHV hopes to add 190 freshmen and sophomores in the fall of 2010.
“We will continue to research which sports are feasible for us to add to our Jaguars lineup in support of our goal of becoming a university of choice and in line with our principles of student leadership and success,” Hudson said.
“This is a great day at UHV. Athletics are part of a holistic learning experience for students at any university. The addition of these two sports will provide opportunities for our current students, and another way to spread the UHV story and attract new students to Victoria.”
NAIA Men’s and Women’s Golf Programs
Northwood University (Cedar Hill)
Oklahoma Christian University (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
Oklahoma City University
Oklahoma Baptist University (Shawnee, Okla.)
Our Lady of the Lake (San Antonio)
University of the Southwest (Hobbs, N.M.)
Wayland Baptist (Plainview)
Bacone (Muskogee, Okla.)
Texas Wesleyan (Fort Worth)
NAIA Men’s and Women’s Soccer Programs
Bacone (Muskogee, Okla.)
Our Lady of the Lake
Paul Quinn (Dallas)
Southwest Assemblies of God (Waxahachie)
Texas College (Tyler)
University of the Southwest
St. Thomas University (Houston)