Well, I guess now is the time.
I have been meaning to start sharing thoughts on the transition to Division I since September of last year, but I really underestimated how difficult last football season would be in so many ways, but that being said, it is time to tie up some loose ends. This version of Division I Diatribes is going to tie up some loose ends and also focus on what is left of this athletic season, our final as a Division I instituion.
Both Basketball teams are in the running for conference and national titles. Our softball team has started out with another great season and looks to be in the running for another berth in the National Tournament. Track teams have started out well and we have a couple of returning National Champions. We have a lot of work to do before our status move from Division II to Division I. We are not done yet in the Lone Star Conference, In the South Central Region, and also in all of NCAA Division II.
When Russ and I did the final write up for Football season, I will be just blunt honest. I, along with quite a few fans were not happy with how the Football season ended. We looked at the Seniors and believed they deserved better. There were hurt feelings, no doubt. This group of Seniors that played this final season I don’t feel got the full attention of the task at hand, which was to win a National Championship. Russ and I have said our piece about what we felt was severely lacking to achieve that goal. What’s done is done, and now it is time to move on, but always remember what this final group of Seniors did, on and off the field.
That all being said, it appears that our Football program under David Bailiff is preparing for Division I play in the fall, and I have to say, I am extremely encouraged by what I see. The quality of recruits that are coming to play, along with other things in the Football program that are happening such as gifts that are being made and more facility upgrades that are going to come slowly but surely. It looks as if they have a solid and bonafide plan to be able to have a solid first showing in the Fall of 2022. Bailiff has run an FCS and an FBS program before and he knows how to run and recruit successful programs. Truth be told, this is probably the easiest place to win at. Texas State just doesn’t have the culture (save the Jim Wacker days) and Rice is extremely hard to simply recruit at due to how selective the school’s admissions are.
That said, the overall culture of the athletic program over the past few years has been one that is one that based on winning and having a good academic program. The program is ready to go to the next level, and we will await the results, and from all the initial news, so far, so good.