DATE:  June 7, 2005
CONTACT: Dan Viola, Athletic Director, (361) 825-5541; and Jorge A. Ramirez, Assistant Vice President, Marketing and Communications, (361) 825-2427

Texas A&M-University Corpus Christi Advances in Effort to Obtain Southland Conference Affiliation

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is one of two universities being considered for membership in the Southland Conference. The University of Central Arkansas is the other.

The selection follows a presentation made by five institutions to the Southland Conference Board of Directors on May 21 in Houston.

“We are extremely pleased with the Southland Conference Board of Directors’ decision to continue membership discussions,” said University President Flavius Killebrew. “If we attain this affiliation, it will help the University’s athletic programs, the visibility of the University, and even the status of the greater Corpus Christi community.”  

The league will form visitation teams to travel to both campuses this summer, where they will likely tour athletic and academic facilities, review compliance programs, and meet with leaders from the campus and local business communities, according to Conference officials.

“We’re closer now than we’ve ever been,” said Athletic Director Dan Viola. “When the Board of Directors visit the campus this summer we’ve got to do our best to show them that we are the best choice for the conference.”

If selected for the conference, A&M-Corpus Christi will start participating in fall 2006. Teams would include baseball, volleyball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s golf, men’s track and field/cross country, women’s track and field/cross country and women’s tennis. The University’s men’s tennis team is already in the conference, and the softball team currently is part of the Big South Conference.

Conference members are located in Texas and Louisiana. Texas schools include University of Texas-Arlington, Texas State University in San Marcos, University of Texas-San Antonio, Sam Houston State in Huntsville, Lamar University in Beaumont and Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches. Louisiana Schools include McNeese State in Lake Charles, Nicholls State in Thibodaux, Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond, Northwestern State in Natchitoches and the University of Louisiana-Monroe, which is leaving to join the Sun Belt Conference.