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A new college football program is launching next year

Despite claims of its demise seemingly around every corner, football continues to be one of the biggest growth spots in college sports. The game grows every year, and on Monday another school joined the fray.

Lawrence Tech University, an NAIA school of 4,500 students located in suburban Detroit, will launch its football program in 2018, bringing the sport back to campus after a 70-year hiatus.

Coupled with the program re-launch was the Blue Devils' announcement of hiring Jeff Duvendeck as head coach. Duvendeck spent the past six years as head coach at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo. He has experience in Michigan as a graduate assistant under Mark Dantonio at Michigan State, as the offensive coordinator at Northern Michigan, as the offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Michigan Tech and as a graduate assistant at Grand Valley State.

Like most others launching the sport, LTU views football as an avenue to boost campus involvement and school spirit.

"We anticipate that we will continue to attract strong scholars to our new football program," Lawrence Tech president Virinder K. Moudgil said in a statement. "Indeed, when we examine the GPA's earned by our current student athletes, they are consistently higher than the GPA's of our overall student population."

Lawrence Tech recently installed an multi-sport AstroTurf field on which the Blue Devils will play, with plans of adding stands to surround the turf and essential facilities in the works.