Skip Navigation Links
Front Page
About GNSExpand About GNS
CommunitiesExpand Communities
EducationExpand Education
Links Directory
Medicine & Science
Opinion/ForumExpand Opinion/Forum
Public Safety

Higher Education
University of St. Thomas
News Release
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

University of St. Thomas Announces NCAA Division III Exploratory Membership

HOUSTON – The University of St. Thomas Athletics Program has been approved for exploratory membership in Division III of the National Collegiate Athletic Association for the 2018-2019 academic year. The exploratory year will officially begin on Sept. 1, 2018, and will provide the university a year to learn more about NCAA Division III. 

According to the NCAA Division III Philosophy Statement, “Colleges and universities in Division III place the highest priority on the overall quality of the educational experience and on the successful completion of all students’ academic programs.”

The University has also received an invitation of, and accepted membership into the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC), becoming the 10th member of the NCAA Division III league.

“This is really recognition not only of the quality of our athletics program, but of the quality of our academics and institution as a whole. It is exciting to think about the level of competition that we have been invited to join,” according to University of St. Thomas President Richard Ludwick.

The invitation from the SCAC is contingent upon UST successfully finishing the exploratory year and becoming a provisional member of NCAA Division III in 2019-20. With 451 NCAA Division III members and over 194,000 student-athletes, Division III is the largest of any division.

Membership in the SCAC will place the University of St. Thomas in a conference with some of the strongest academic institutions in the region and nation; membership includes Austin College, Centenary College, Colorado College, University of Dallas, Johnson and Wales University, Schreiner University, Southwestern University, Texas Lutheran University and Trinity University. 

St. Thomas Director of Athletics and Recreational Sports, Todd Smith, is very proud of the foundation that has been set by past and present student-athletes; “The student-athletes at the University of St. Thomas are some of the most dedicated young men and women with whom I have had the pleasure to work. It is a great honor for us to be asked to compete in the SCAC, and to have a chance to explore NCAA Division III membership.”

The Celts introduced volleyball and re-established its athletics program in 2006. Over the last 12 years, the department has grown to 9 sports; women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s golf and in 2018-2019 will compete in men’s and women’s cross country. Since 2006, St. Thomas has been a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and in 2010-2011 joined the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC).  St. Thomas has won 11 RRAC Conference Championships and appeared in 11 NAIA National Tournament.

Membership requirements of the SCAC and NCAA Division III include sponsorship and participation in at least 12 intercollegiate sports, 6 men’s sports and 6 women’s sports. Looking forward, UST will add and compete in men’s and women’s tennis and baseball during the 2019-2020 academic year.

For more information about UST athletics and the SCAC, please go to or

Remembering Jim Guidry

Guidry News Service is headquartered in Midtown Houston.
at 4001 Fannin Street, Suite 4109, Houston, TX. 77004-4077
(409) 763 NEWS(6397)
© 1996, Guidry News Service. Duplication of any part of this website in any manner is prohibited.