Mid-America Christian Joins the SAC

Siloam Springs, Ark. (December 14, 2006) - Mid-America Christian University in Oklahoma City has been accepted as members into Sooner Athletic Conference, it was announced Thursday. They will begin play as a full member in the 2007-08 season.

The membership of the SAC voted the new NAIA school into the fold, bringing next year’s new-look conference to 12 schools. Rogers State University in Claremore was admitted earlier this fall.

“We’re pleased to add Mid-America Christian to our family,” said SAC Commissioner John Hudson. “They have shown a commitment to growing their programs and have demonstrated a dedication to the core values we share in the Sooner Athletic Conference.”

MACU has been a non-scholarship program, but will begin offering athletic scholarships in the 2007-08 season. The Evangels participate in men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, baseball, softball, volleyball and men’s golf.

“Mid-America Christian University is honored to join the Sooner Athletic Conference. The SAC has a proud tradition representing outstanding universities and their athletic programs in the region,” said Dr. John Fozard, president of MACU. “During the past several seasons, MACU has competed with many SAC teams. As members of the SAC, we look forward to spirited competition with these teams and to fruitful cooperation with these universities.”

Mid-America began its athletic program in 1968 and became a dominant force in the National Christian College Athletic Association in the 1990s. They have since won national NCCAA titles in men’s basketball in 1998, 2003 and 2004; in women’s basketball in 2001 and 2006; in baseball in 1998 and 2004; and in volleyball in 2001.

MACU has 39 national tournament appearances since 1997 and 31 conference titles in school history.

“Mid-America Christian University considers it a privilege to join the nation’s premier NAIA conference. MACU men’s and women’s teams have won eight national championships in the National Christian College Athletic Association, and our coaching staff and athletes are excited about our future as part of the SAC,” said Willie Holley, athletic director and head men’s basketball coach for the Evangels.

Holley, who has 673 coaching wins, is an NCCAA Hall of Famer.

MACU opened in 1953 as South Texas Bible Institute in Houston, Texas. Two years later, it became Gulf Coast Bible College and became an agency of the Church of God, Anderson, Ind. In 1985, the school moved to Oklahoma City and became Mid-America Bible College and changed the name in 2003 to Mid-American Christian University.

The MACU athletic program was admitted into the NAIA this fall. The Sooner Athletic Conference, a member conference in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, is regarded as one of the best small college conferences in the nation. The SAC has claimed 52 team national championships since 1990.

The current membership includes 10 schools in three states - John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark.; Lubbock Christian University in Lubbock, Texas; Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva; Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee; Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond; Oklahoma City University; St. Gregory's University in Shawnee; University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha; Southern Nazarene University in Bethany; and Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas.

Courtesy Ray Fink - SAC Sports Information

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