McMurry University will compete as the Lone Star Conference's eighth football team beginning in the 2014 season, LSC Commissioner Stan Wagnon announced Tuesday at the league's annual media day at a downtown Fort Worth hotel.
The decision to invite McMurry was reached earlier this year in conjunction with the LSC Council of Presidents' decision to implement a two-week conference playoff for the 2014 season.
The agreement, which will be reviewed annually, stipulates that
McMurry's football team is eligible to compete for the LSC round robin
and tournament championships, and earn weekly and postseason awards.
The WarHawks also will be entitled to representation as a voting member of
the football coaches' Advisory Group.
"It is with great anticipation for the future that we are welcoming
McMurry's football team back into the Lone Star Conference," LSC
commissioner Stan Wagnon said. "This a decision that should bring great
benefit to the student-athletes at McMurry as they will enjoy competing
in the Football Festival at Cowboys Stadium, taking part in our
exciting new conference playoff and competing alongside some of the best NCAA Division II programs around."
"This move also adds great value to the LSC. McMurry has been very competitive as it transitions into membership at the Division II level, winning seven ballgames last year. Additionally, their location in Abilene is ideal, and bringing to eight the total number of LSC football teams is a perfect fit for our new scheduling model."
With the addition of McMurry, the league's eight teams are set to play
a 7-week round robin of conference games in 2014, before splitting into
two brackets to conduct a 2-week conference playoff, believed to be the
first of its kind.
In the LSC's playoff, the top four teams will comprise a championship
bracket, with higher seeds hosting each round. Week 10 winners will
play for the league title in Week 11, whereas Week 10 losers will meet for
third place. The other half of the bracket will play over those same
two weeks to decide fifth and seventh places.
McMurry, located in Abilene, Texas, and affiliated with the Heartland
Conference for most sports, has been competing as an independent in
football since beginning its transition from Division III into Division
II. The War Hawks, which won the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl last
year, will have a new head coach in Mason Miller for the 2013 season.
McMurry is set to become an active Division II member in July 2015.
This is McMurry's second stint with the LSC, after holding full
membership in the league for eight years and competing as an LSC
football team for six seasons from 1964 through 1971.
Information for this story provided by Lone Star Conference staff.