LCU Athletics joins Heartland Conference - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

LCU Athletics joins Heartland Conference

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LUBBOCK, Texas (July 1, 2013) – As 2013 turns another calendar page, July 1 marks an important date in the history of Lubbock Christian University athletics. LCU has completed their membership status with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and they are officially Heartland Conference members.

During the 1970-1971 school year, then-Lubbock Christian College made the move from a junior college to a four-year school and made the jump from the NJCAA to the NAIA. They became members of the Texoma Conference in 1970 joining Dallas Baptist, Wayland Baptist College, Texas Wesleyan College, McMurry College, Midwestern State University and Bethany Nazarene College. LCU was ineligible for postseason play until 1972-1973 and their active sports were Men's Basketball, Men's Track & Field and Baseball. Larry Hays served as the men's basketball and baseball head coach and his wife Nell oversaw the cheerleading program. Hugh Rhodes served as the head coach for the track program. The first sporting event (as a four-year program) for LCC was basketball on Monday, Nov. 16, 1970, as LCU went to Marshall, Texas to face East Texas Baptist College (Chaparrals lost 78-70). They lost the following day 92-67 at LeTourneau Institute in Longview, Texas before coming home Friday, Nov. 20, 1970 for their first home game, which resulted in a 77-61 win for their first ever NAIA and four-year win (against Texas College). The first track event was Feb. 12, 1971 in Houston at the Astrodome, and the first baseball game was Mar. 10, 1971 against College of Artesia.

Success eventually stemmed from that 1970-1971 season and over the next 43 seasons the program has grown to support 11 varsity programs and it has led to 14 NAIA National Championship team titles. Men's Cross Country claimed eight consecutive titles during a dynasty from 1990-1997 and also used their running prowess on the track to claim a pair of indoor titles (1991, 1995) and an outdoor title in 1994. Baseball, with over 1,900 wins, produced magical runs in 1983 and 2009 for a pair of titles and also enjoyed 10 trips to the NAIA World Series. Softball, one of LCU's most recently added programs, claimed a NAIA Championship in 2008 during a Cinderella inaugural season. The softball program has produced an .861 winning percentage (337-54) over their history.

The 1994-1995 season marked LCU's first season in the Sooner Athletic Conference. They completed 19 seasons in the SAC, with this past season closing out their SAC and NAIA tenure. The Chaparrals and Lady Chaparrals join the NCAA Div. II's Heartland Conference, which is flourishing with 12 members. The conference was founded in 1999 and its 12 members include seven from Texas, three from Oklahoma, and one each from Arkansas and Kansas. The schools comprising the Heartland Conference stretch from as far north as Wichita, Kan., as far east as Fort Smith, Ark., as far south as Laredo, Texas, and as far west as Goodwell, Okla.

Rogers State (Claremore, Okla.) and Lubbock Christian become the conference's newest members and they join founding members St. Edward's University (Austin, Texas), and St. Mary's University (San Antonio, Texas), and expansion members Dallas Baptist University (Dallas, Texas) in 2002 and again in 2004, Oklahoma Panhandle State University (Goodwell, Okla.) in 2002, and Newman University (Wichita, Kansas), Texas A&M International University (Laredo, Texas) and The University of Texas of the Permian Basin (Odessa, Texas) in 2006, the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith (2009), and McMurry University and Oklahoma Christian University in 2012. Eleven of the 12 Heartland Conference members are former members of the NAIA.

The next date to take shape on LCU's athletic timeline will occur in mid-July, as LCU awaits word from NCAA. The NCAA is to notify the department and officially indicate if they have successfully completed their first year of candidacy and are ready to move to second year candidacy. If plans go accordingly, LCU will receive full NCAA Div. II member status in 2015-2016. The 2015-2016 season will also mark their first season of postseason eligibility.

LCU BY-SPORT-SUCCESS AS NAIA MEMBERS

Volleyball (All-Time Record: 807-450-1 (.642)

Sooner Athletic Conference Championships: 12 – 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009

Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Championships: 1 – 2007

NAIA National Championship Appearances: 7 - 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2009

Elite Eight: 1998, 2008

 

Men's Cross Country

NAIA National Titles: 8 – 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997

Indoor National Champions: 2 – 1991, 1995

Outdoor National Champions: 1 -1994

 

Men's Basketball (All-Time Record: 785-839 (.483) / All-Time Record in NAIA: 630-664 (.487)):

Texoma Conference Championships: None

Sooner Athletic Conference Championships: 1 – 2004

Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Championships: 1 – 2001

NAIA National Championship Appearances: 3 - 2001, 2004, 2005

Quarterfinalist (Elite Eight): 1 - 2001

 

Women's Basketball (All-Time Record: 509-431 (.541)):

Sooner Athletic Conference Championships: 2 – 2007, 2012

Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Championships: 1 – 2013

NAIA National Championship Appearances: 10 - 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Round of 16: 2 - 2007, 2009

Quarterfinalist (Elite Eight): 3 – 2008, 2011, 2013

Fab Four: 2012

National Finalist: 2006

 

Women's Golf

NAIA National Qualifiers: 7 – 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Sooner Athletic Conference Championships: 1 – 2011

 

Softball (All-Time Record: 337-54 (.861))

NAIA National Titles: 1 – 2008

Sooner Athletic Conference Regular Season Championships: 5 -2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Titles: 1 – 2013

NAIA National Championship Appearances: 6 – 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 (finished 3rd in 2013)

 

Baseball (All-Time Record: 1,902-912 (.676))

NAIA National Titles: 2 – 1983, 2009

NAIA World Series Appearances: 10 - 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1991, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011

NAIA National Championship Appearances: 12 - 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1991, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Texoma Conference Championships: 5 - 1973,1974, 1975, 1976, 1979

Sooner Athletic Conference Champions: 5 - 1995, 1998, 2000, 2005, 2010

Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Championships: 2008, 2012

 

Men's Soccer (All-Time Record: 31-16-7 (.639))

Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Appearances: 2 – 2011, 2012

 

Women's Soccer (All-Time Record: 26-23-6 (.527))

Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Appearances: 3 – 2010, 2011, 2012

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