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General - Mon, Jul. 1, 2013

LUBBOCK, Texas (July 1, 2013) – As 2013 turns another calendar page, July 1 marks an important date in the history of Lubbock Christian University athletics.  LCU has completed their membership status with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and they are officially Heartland Conference members.


During the 1970-1971 school year, then-Lubbock Christian College made the move from a junior college to a four-year school and made the jump from the NJCAA to the NAIA. They became members of the Texoma Conference in 1970 joining Dallas Baptist, Wayland Baptist College, Texas Wesleyan College, McMurry College, Midwestern State University and Bethany Nazarene College. LCU was ineligible for postseason play until 1972-1973 and their active sports were Men's Basketball, Men's Track & Field and Baseball. Larry Hays served as the men's basketball and baseball head coach and his wife Nell oversaw the cheerleading program. Hugh Rhodes served as the head coach for the track program. The first sporting event (as a four-year program) for LCC was basketball on Monday, Nov. 16, 1970, as LCU went to Marshall, Texas to face East Texas Baptist College (Chaparrals lost 78-70). They lost the following day 92-67 at LeTourneau Institute in Longview, Texas before coming home Friday, Nov. 20, 1970 for their first home game, which resulted in a 77-61 win for their first ever NAIA and four-year win (against Texas College). The first track event was Feb. 12, 1971 in Houston at the Astrodome, and the first baseball game was Mar. 10, 1971 against College of Artesia.

 

Success eventually stemmed from that 1970-1971 season and over the next 43 seasons the program has grown to support 11 varsity programs and it has led to 14 NAIA National Championship team titles. Men's Cross Country claimed eight consecutive titles during a dynasty from 1990-1997 and also used their running prowess on the track to claim a pair of indoor titles (1991, 1995) and an outdoor title in 1994. Baseball, with over 1,900 wins, produced magical runs in 1983 and 2009 for a pair of titles and also enjoyed 10 trips to the NAIA World Series. Softball, one of LCU's most recently added programs, claimed a NAIA Championship in 2008 during a Cinderella inaugural season. The softball program has produced an .861 winning percentage (337-54) over their history.  

 

While the university had football in the early 80's, LCU competed in the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The TIAA was an interesting conference, represented with institutions of NCAA Div. III and NAIA status. The Chaparrals were members of the TIAA from 1979-1983 and although they did not find any success on the gridiron, they did find success on the hardwood. Men's basketball claimed their first title (as a four-year institution) with a TIAA regular season and conference championship in 1982-1983. Baseball competed during that time in the Texas Athletic Conference (TIAA did not support baseball) and won the 1979 conference title before choosing to forego conference, area and regional tournaments due in part to an automatic berth as host to the NAIA World Series at then-Chaparral Stadium. As mentioned, they would claim a NAIA National Championship in 1983. The athletic department also supported weight lifting and tennis during the early 80's.


Women's team sports were first introduced in 1978 with volleyball added to the mix. Women's Basketball would follow in 1979. The female programs would compete in the Texas Association on Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (TAIAW) and in the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) before the NAIA jumped on board supporting women's athletics.


The 1994-1995 season marked LCU's first season in the Sooner Athletic Conference.  They completed 19 seasons in the SAC, with this past season closing out their SAC and NAIA tenure.  The Chaparrals and Lady Chaparrals join the NCAA Div. II's Heartland Conference, which is flourishing with 12 members.  The conference was founded in 1999 and its 12 members include seven from Texas, three from Oklahoma, and one each from Arkansas and Kansas. The schools comprising the Heartland Conference stretch from as far north as Wichita, Kan., as far east as Fort Smith, Ark., as far south as Laredo, Texas, and as far west as Goodwell, Okla.


Rogers State (Claremore, Okla.) and Lubbock Christian become the conference's newest members and they join founding members St. Edward's University (Austin, Texas), and St. Mary's University (San Antonio, Texas), and expansion members Dallas Baptist University (Dallas, Texas) in 2002 and again in 2004, Oklahoma Panhandle State University (Goodwell, Okla.) in 2002, and Newman University (Wichita, Kansas), Texas A&M International University (Laredo, Texas) and The University of Texas of the Permian Basin (Odessa, Texas) in 2006, the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith (2009), and McMurry University and Oklahoma Christian University in 2012. Eleven of the 12 Heartland Conference members are former members of the NAIA.


The next date to take shape on LCU's athletic timeline will occur in mid-July, as LCU awaits word from NCAA. The NCAA is to notify the department and officially indicate if they have successfully completed their first year of candidacy and are ready to move to second year candidacy.  If plans go accordingly, LCU will receive full NCAA Div. II member status in 2015-2016. The 2015-2016 season will also mark their first season of postseason eligibility.  
 

LCU BY-SPORT-SUCCESS AS NAIA MEMBERS

Men's Soccer (All-Time Record: 31-16-7 (.639))
Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Appearances: 2 – 2011, 2012

Women's Soccer (All-Time Record: 26-23-6 (.527))
Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Appearances: 3 – 2010, 2011, 2012

Volleyball (All-Time Record: 807-450-1 (.642)
Sooner Athletic Conference Championships: 12 – 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009
Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Championships: 1 – 2007
NAIA National Championship Appearances: 7 - 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2009
                Elite Eight: 1998, 2008

Men's Cross Country
NAIA National Titles: 8 – 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
Indoor National Champions: 2 – 1991, 1995
Outdoor National Champions: 1 -1994

Men's Basketball (All-Time Record: 785-839 (.483) / All-Time Record in NAIA: 630-664 (.487)):
Texoma Conference Championships: None                                                                                                                                                          Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championships: 1 - 1983                                                                                                                       Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association Conference Tournament Championships: 1 - 1983
Sooner Athletic Conference Championships: 1 – 2004
Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Championships: 1 – 2001
NAIA National Championship Appearances: 3 - 2001, 2004, 2005
                Quarterfinalist (Elite Eight): 1 - 2001

Women's Basketball (All-Time Record: 509-431 (.541)):
Sooner Athletic Conference Championships: 2 – 2007, 2012
Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Championships: 1 – 2013
NAIA National Championship Appearances: 10 - 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
                Round of 16: 2 - 2007, 2009
                Quarterfinalist (Elite Eight): 3 – 2008, 2011, 2013
                Fab Four: 2012
                National Finalist: 2006

Women's Golf
NAIA National Qualifiers: 7 – 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Sooner Athletic Conference Championships: 1 – 2011

Softball (All-Time Record: 337-54 (.861))
NAIA National Titles: 1 – 2008
Sooner Athletic Conference Regular Season Championships: 5 -2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Titles: 1 – 2013
NAIA National Championship Appearances: 6 – 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 (finished 3rd in 2013)

Baseball (All-Time Record: 1,902-912 (.676))
NAIA National Titles: 2 – 1983, 2009
NAIA World Series Appearances: 10 - 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1991, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011
NAIA National Championship Appearances: 12 - 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1991, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Texoma Conference Championships: 4 - 1973,1974, 1975, 1976                                                                                                                          Texas Athletic Conference Championships: 1 - 1979
Sooner Athletic Conference Champions: 5 - 1995, 1998, 2000, 2005, 2010
Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Championships: 2008, 2012