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UT Tyler Accepted into NCAA Division II

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July 13, 2018

Media Contact: Lucas Roebuck
Vice President for Marketing and Chief Communications Officer
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.566.7041

The University of Texas at Tyler announced today that it has been accepted into the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II membership process.

"Our athletic programs have never been stronger, and we are ready for the challenge of NCAA Division II competition," said Dr. Michael Tidwell, UT Tyler president. "UT Tyler's mission aligns well with the student-athlete philosophy of NCAA Division II. We know the higher level of excitement will enhance student engagement and create scholarship opportunities — both leading to improved student success."

UT Tyler is expected to join the Lone Star Conference.

"The Lone Star Conference is the best of the many great NCAA Division II conferences in our region, and there is no other conference we'd want our Patriot teams to play in," said Tidwell.

"I couldn't be more proud of our student-athletes, coaches and staff. The privilege to move into the NCAA Division II membership process was earned by the same hard work, Patriot spirit and raw talent that has made so many of our teams true champions," said Dr. Howard Patterson, Patriots Athletic Director. "We look forward to continuing our tradition of creating champions on the NCAA Division II stage."

During a three-year transitional period, UT Tyler teams are not eligible to compete for NCAA championships. The Patriots applied for NCAA Division II status in February, after a nearly year-long vetting process with guidance from an expert consultant and internal research led by Patterson.

UT Tyler Patriot coaches offered comments on the NCAA Division II Transition:

Adam Cohen – Tennis Head Coach
"I am looking forward to a number of things, including a higher level of competition and athletic scholarships. I believe our thriving University, administrative leadership, dedicated coaches and committed student athletes will be the foundation of our success."

Jamon Copeland – Men's Basketball Head Coach
"What an exciting time for the Tyler community, UT Tyler and our athletic department as we transition to NCAA Division II. Our athletic department will thrive at this level because of the hard work and dedication of our student-athletes, coaches, and administrators as well as the support we receive from our administration and community. This is an exciting time to be a Patriot."

Kenny Jones – Men's Soccer Head Coach
"Transitioning to NCAA Division II is exciting on many fronts, but I am most excited about how this transition will aid our ability to develop our student-athletes on and off the field."

Lyndsay Mashe – Volleyball Head Coach
"We are really looking forward to the Division II transition as we will be joining one of the best conferences in the country. It's an opportunity for our student-athletes to play against the best of Division II. The ability to be able to give athletic scholarships will be a huge plus for our program. I think UT Tyler will thrive at this level because we have great support from the University, a top-notch athletics program, and amazing facilities. Our student-athletes also will get a great education while becoming a part of a family atmosphere."

Michael McMunn – Men's Golf Head Coach
"I think the move to NCAA Division II is a great move for the University. There will be some growing pains but this will be great for everyone, especially the student-athletes. We are excited to get started with the process and compete at the Division II level."

Jeannette Mosher – Women's Basketball Head Coach
"Being a new coach on staff I look forward to working with the rest of the athletic department as we work together making the transition to Division II. UT Tyler has everything in place to succeed at the next level. We are excited to develop new rivalries that create enthusiasm for people to come and watch."

Brent Porche – Baseball Head Coach
"We are looking forward to the opportunity to compete at a higher level. We are excited about what that means for our program and our players. There's no more perfect time for our program to make this transition then after winning our first National Championship in Division III. We were able to attract some of the best student-athletes in Division III baseball and expect to be able to do the same as a Division II program. We are looking forward to the new challenge."

Mike Reed – Softball Head Coach
"It is a very exciting day for UT Tyler and our athletic department. We are looking forward to the exciting changes as we move forward to Division II."

Grant Spencer – Women's Golf Head Coach
"I am looking forward to competing with a new and different group of schools and forming new relationships with their coaches. I am also very excited to be competing at a higher level and getting our women's golf program to the top of Division II just like we were in Division III."

Chris Stonestreet – Track & Field/Cross Country Head Coach
"Having been with the track and cross country programs from the very beginning, I'm very excited to be part of this new challenge and see the program grow even more. It's an exciting time to be a part of UT Tyler athletics. I have no doubt in my mind we're ready for this move."

Stefani Webb – Women's Soccer Head Coach
"What an exciting time to be a Patriot. Ever since I walked onto this campus we have worked hard as a department to continue to provide great student-athlete experiences, and I think this move to NCAA Division II is just another example of the commitment of our institution to take a huge step not only for our student athletes, but also for the entire UT Tyler community."

A member of the prestigious UT System, The University of Texas at Tyler focuses on student success and innovative research in the more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered. With more than 10,000 students, UT Tyler has facilities in Tyler, Longview, Palestine and Houston.

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