LAURINBURG — St. Andrews University plans to add football to its athletics program by August 2017, according to a Monday news release from the school.
“Our football teams in the past were known for producing young men who were passionate about the sport and dedicated to earning their degrees,” said Knights athletic director Glenn Batten. “Our players went on to become doctors, lawyers, businessmen and leaders in their communities and churches. Like all of our other sports, we will use football to shape the character of our players and prepare them for life beyond athletics.”
St. Andrews’ predecessor, Presbyterian Junior College, fielded stellar football teams from the 1930s through the 1950s, the university said. Some of those teams were coached by Robert Renfrow Doak, who later went to become the first coach of the North Carolina State University women’s basketball team.
It’s been more than 50 years since the school last fielded a football program.
“As St. Andrews continues to grow its enrollment, the addition of football, as well as other new co-curricular programs, will create more on-campus activities for our diverse student body, offer more opportunities for the local community to get to know our students, faculty and staff and provide new ways to connect with our alumni,” said St. Andrews President Paul Baldasare.
St. Andrews is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, and the new team is slated to compete in the NAIA’s Mid-South Conference. It has not yet been determined where St. Andrews will host its football games beginning in the 2017-18 academic year.
“This will be a great opportunity for the young men who accept scholarship offers to join our new squad,” Batten said. “They will help us set the tone and establish the foundation needed for a competitive program.”