Twelve new college football programs launch in 2013, 11 more in 2014-16
The rest of the economy may not be so fortunate, but the jobs report for college football coaching has never been healthier.
According to a report released by the National Football Foundation on Tuesday, a dozen new football programs are set to officially put the pads on less than a month from now. That's in addition to the five that launched in 2012, the nine in 2011, the six in 2010, the five in 2009 and the eight in 2008. On top of that, 11 more programs will begin play from 2014-16.
Overall, college football's membership will grow by 56 members from 2008-16.
That begs the question, especially in light of the concussion issues the sport is battling right now, why so many schools are racing to build programs.
“Football on campus really completes the college experience for students, and a lot of people felt that was lacking once football was dropped," said East Tennessee State athletic director Richard Sadler, whose school will join the Southern Conference of FCS in 2015. "We see football as the part of the brand of the university to reach out to the community and create opportunities for a lot of folks. There are just a tremendous number of reasons to add football.”
For small schools, adding football benefits the university by boosting male enrollment. For others, it's a way to get alumni more involved in the university. Most often, schools add football programs simply because there's no better way to enhance the profile of an entire university.
"It’s ironic given all of the concern about the concussion issue with football that you don’t see schools dropping, but you do see schools adding because of what it gives you," said Southern Conference commissioner John Iamarino. "It elevates the school to a different level. It gives you an activity that becomes the central rallying point for the entire campus for the alumni, the boosters, to a far greater extent than any other sport, and that is where the attraction is."
Spread from Florida to Oregon, the 56 new teams hail from 25 states and will join 23 separate conferences spread across all four divisions of the NCAA, the NAIA and the United States Collegiate Athletic Association.
The below list is courtesy of the National Football Foundation.
- Alderson Broaddus University (Philippi, W.Va.): NCAA Division II, Independent – President Richard A. Creehan, Athletics Director and Head Coach Dennis Creehan.
- Berry College (Mount Berry, Ga.): NCAA Division III, Southern Athletic Association – President Stephen R. Briggs, Athletics Director TBA, Head Coach Tony Kunczewski.
- Florida Tech (Melbourne, Fla.): NCAA Division II, Gulf South Conference – President Anthony J. Catanese, Athletics Director Bill Jurgens, Jr., Head Coach Steve R. Englehart II.
- Hendrix College (Conway, Ark.): NCAA Division III, Southern Athletic Association – Interim President Ellis Arnold, Athletics Director Amy Weaver, Head Coach Justin Buchanan.
- Houston Baptist University (Houston, Texas): NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision, (Developmental season in 2013, joining the Southland Conference in 2014) – President Robert B. Sloan, Jr., Athletics Director Steve Moniaci, Head Coach Vic Shealy.
- Mercer University (Macon, Ga.): NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision, Pioneer Football League (joining the Southern Conference in 2014) – President William D. Underwood, Athletics Director Jim Cole, Head Coach Bobby Lamb.
- Oklahoma Baptist University (Shawnee, Okla.): NAIA, Central States Football League – President David W. Whitlock, Athletics Director Robert Davenport, Head Coach Chris Jensen.
- Reinhardt University (Waleska, Ga.): NAIA, Mid-South Conference – President J. Thomas Isherwood, Athletics Director Bill Popp, Head Coach Danny Cronic.
- Southwestern University (Georgetown, Texas): NCAA Division III, Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference - President Edward B. Burger, Athletics Director Glada Munt, Coach Joe Austin.
- Stetson University (DeLand, Fla.): NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision, Pioneer Football League – President Wendy B. Libby, Athletics Director Jeff Altier, Head Coach Roger Hughes.
- University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Charlotte, N.C.): NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision, Independent (starting in 2013 and subsequently joining the Football Bowl Subdivision and Conference USA in 2015) – Chancellor Philip L. Dubois, Athletics Director Judy Rose, Head Coach Brad Lambert.
- Warner University (Lake Wales, Fla.): NAIA, Independent (2013) – President Greg Hall, Athletics, Director Kevin Jones, Head Coach Jeff Schaum.
- College of Idaho (Caldwell, Idaho): NAIA, Applying to the Frontier Conference (2014) – President Marv Henberg, Athletics Director Marty Holly, Head Coach Mike Moroski.
- George Fox University (Newberg, Ore.): NCAA Division III, Northwest Conference (2014) – President Robin Baker, Athletics Director Craig Taylor; Head Coach Chris Casey.
- Missouri Baptist University (Saint Louis, Mo.): NAIA, Mid-States Football Association (2014) - President R. Alton Lacey, Athletics Director Tom Smith and Head Coach Jason Burianek.
- Paine College (Augusta, Ga.): NCAA Division II, Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (2014) - President George C. Bradley, Athletics Director Tim Duncan and Head Coach Gregory Ruffin.
- Southeastern University (Lakeland, Fla.): NAIA, Conference TBA (2014) – President Kent Ingle, Athletic Director Drew Watson and Head Coach Keith Barefield.
- East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, Tenn.): NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision, Southern Conference (2015, with a full conference schedule in 2016) -- President Brian Noland, Athletics Director Richard Sander, Head Coach Carl Torbush.
- Kennesaw State University (Kennesaw, Ga.): NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision, Conference TBA (2015) – President Daniel S. Papp, Athletics Director Vaughn Williams, Head Coach Brain Bohannon.
- Lyon College (Batesville, Ark.): NAIA, Conference TBA (2015) – President Donald Weatherman, Athletics Director Kevin Jenkins, Head Coach TBA.
- Finlandia University (Hancock, Mich.): NCAA Division III, Conference TBA (Date TBA) – President Philip Johnson, Athletics Director Chris Salani, Head Coach TBA.
- University of New Orleans (New Orleans, La.): NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision, Southland Conference (Date TBA) – President Peter J. Fos, Athletics Director Derek Morel, Head Coach TBA.
- Bluefield College (Bluefield, Va.): NAIA, Mid-South Conference
- Lindenwood University-Belleville (Belleville,Ill.): NAIA, Mid-States Football Association
- Misericordia University (Dallas, Pa.): NCAA Division III, Middle Atlantic Conferences
- Point University (West Point, Ga.): NAIA, Independent
- Wayland Baptist University (Plainview, Texas): NAIA, Central States Football League
- Ave Maria University (Ave Maria, Fla.): NAIA, Independent
- Concordia University (Ann Arbor, Mich.): NAIA, Mid-States Football Association
- Ohio Mid-Western College (Sharonville, Ohio): U.S. Collegiate Athletics Association, Independent
- Presentation College (Aberdeen, S.D.): NCAA Division III, Upper Midwest Athletic Conference
- Robert Morris University (Chicago, Ill.): NAIA, Mid-States Football Association
- Siena Heights University (Adrian, Mich.): NAIA, Mid-States Football Association
- Stevenson University (Owings Mills, Md.): NCAA Division III, Middle Atlantic States Collegiate Athletics Conference
- University of Texas at San Antonio (San Antonio, Texas): NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, Conference USA
- Virginia University of Lynchburg (Lynchburg, Va.): U.S. Collegiate Athletics Association, Independent
- Georgia State University (Atlanta, Ga.): NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, Sun Belt Conference
- Lamar University (Beaumont, Texas): NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision, Southland Conference
- Lindsey Wilson College (Columbia, Ky.): NAIA, Mid-South Conference
- Notre Dame College (South Euclid, Ohio): NAIA, Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (Currently a Candidate for NCAA Division II)
- Pacific University (Forest Grove, Ore.): NCAA Division III, Northwest Conference (2010
- University of South Alabama (Mobile, Ala.): NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, Sun Belt Conference
- Anna Maria College (Paxton, Mass.): NCAA Division III, Eastern Collegiate Football Conference
- Castleton State College (Castleton, Vt.): NCAA Division III, Eastern Collegiate Football Conference
- Old Dominion University (Norfolk, Va.): NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, Conference USA
- University of New Haven (West Haven, Conn.): NCAA Division II, Northeast-10 Conference
- University of the Incarnate Word (San Antonio, Texas): NCAA Division II, Lone Star Conference (Beginning play and the transition to the Football Championship Subdivision and the Southland Conference in 2014)
- College of St. Scholastica (Duluth, Minn.): NCAA Division III, Upper Midwest Athletic Conference
- Colorado State University–Pueblo (Pueblo, Colo.): NCAA Division II, Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference
- Dordt College (Sioux Center, Iowa): NAIA, Great Plains Athletic Conference
- Grand View University (Des Moines, Iowa): NAIA, Mid-States Football Association
- Kentucky Christian University (Grayson, Ky.): NAIA, Mid-South Conference
- Lake Erie College (Painesville, Ohio): NCAA Division II, Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
- Lincoln University of Pennsylvania (Lincoln University, Pa.): NCAA Division II, Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association