RICHARDSON, Texas — The Lone Star Conference will expand to 16 teams in July 2010 when the league adds San Antonio-based University of Incarnate Word.
The LSC Council of Presidents voted unanimously to extend the invitation to Incarnate Word at its annual winter meeting Jan. 16 at the NCAA convention in Washington, D.C.
The expansion to add UIW represents the LSC’s first membership change since 2000, when Harding (Ark.) and Ouachita Baptist (Ark.) departed the league. Incarnate Word will be the 28th institution to compete as a member of the 78-year-old LSC, and the second San Antonio school to play in the league — Trinity was a league member from 1931-34 and 1946-49.
The school sponsors 19 sports (nine men’s and 10 women’s), including the recent addition of football. The Cardinals will play their first football game on Aug. 29 of this year and compete in 2009 as an independent with games scheduled against three current LSC members — Eastern New Mexico, Midwestern State and East Central.
A former NAIA program, UIW joined the NCAA Division II ranks as a member of the Heartland Conference in 1999. The school has advanced 27 teams to NCAA postseason play since then.