Azusa Pacific University is permanently closing its football program, sources told FootballScoop on Tuesday.

APU is a private college of 5,000 undergraduates in Azusa, Calif., near Los Angeles. The Cougars competed in Division II’s Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

Azusa Pacific launched football in 1965 and was led by Victor Santa Cruz from 2006 through his departure in 2019 to become Hawai’i’s defensive coordinator in January. Rudy Carlton, an APU alum, then took over the program; his tenure will now end without coaching a game. The club went 1-9 in 2019 but won or shared GNAC championships in 2013, ’14 and ’16.

Like all Division II schools, Azusa Pacific did not compete in the fall season, but that temporary shut down has now turned permanent. Coupled with the shut down at Humboldt State, our nation’s most popular state will now have no college football offerings at the Division II level.

The staff at Azusa Pacific is made up of the following coaches.

Rudy Carlton Head Coach
Bo Beatty Assistant HC / LBs
Kylle Shoemaker Defensive Coordinator
Cory Harkey Special Teams Coordinator / TEs
Richard Brown Wide Receivers / Recruiting Coordinator
Jacob Thomas Offensive Line / Run Game Coordinator
Kyle Klanpour Football Operations / Assistant Quarterbacks
Marques Cooper Cornerbacks
Craigston Robbins Running Backs
Zach Minter Defensive Line
Lavell Thomas Video Coordinator

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.

Update> The University has now issued a released confirming our report:

After significant review and careful consideration, Azusa Pacific University ends its intercollegiate football program this month after 55 years of competition in the NCAA and NAIA. Director of Athletics Gary Pine announced the decision today. 

This decision was reached by the university’s President’s Cabinet with support by the Board of Trustees after discussions throughout the fall that included analysis on multiple fronts with key stakeholders. It reflects the trajectory of intercollegiate athletics in California and upholds the best interests of Cougar Athletics and the university moving forward.

National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.