Waxahachie, Texas — September 18, 2012 — Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) announced it will join the Sooner Athletic conference (SAC) and begin competing in 2013-2014. SAC is a member conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

“The long-standing reputation of the Sooner Athletic Conference within the NAIA will provide unique opportunities for SAGU to achieve recognition at the regional and national level,” said SAGU President Kermit Bridges. Bridges added, “This decision was not an easy one given the positive relationships we share with the member institutions of the Red River Athletic Conference.”

SAGU Athletic Director Jesse Godding emphasized, “We are particularly motivated by the potential to reach a greater number of Assemblies of God students in Oklahoma and Arkansas.”

SAGU competes in football, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and softball.

Texas Wesleyan University and Northwood University will join SAGU in the Sooner Athletic Conference. Dr. Bridges explained, “Joining the SAC with Texas Wesleyan and Northwood allows us to maintain positive rivalries we share with these institutions in a conference setting.”

“These are exciting times in the conference,” said SAC Commissioner John Hudson. “Expansion into the Metroplex area is great for the Sooner Athletic Conference and brings SAGU, Texas Wesleyan and Northwood into what we believe is one of the premier leagues in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.”

The three schools join Southwestern Christian University, located in Bethany, Oklahoma, as new members for 2013-14 and increase the number of member institutions to eleven.

Founded in 1978, the current membership of the Sooner Athletic Conference consists of Oklahoma Baptist University, the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, John Brown University, Oklahoma City University, Wayland Baptist University, St. Gregory’s University, and Mid-America Christian University.

The SAC has a proud heritage in the NAIA. In men’s basketball, a SAC team has played for the national championship 15 times and has been in the finals in 14 of the last 19 seasons with a total of nine NAIA championships. In women’s basketball, SAC members have won the national title 10 times. In track, the SAC has won seven men’s national titles and five women’s NAIA crowns.

The SAC has been well represented in the NAIA Baseball World Series and has one national championship. The league also has a 153-66 record in the NAIA Softball Tournament, including eight national championships. The conference also boasts eight men’s national golf titles, five women’s golf titles and five men’s and women’s tennis national championships.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The university was established in 1927, and now offers more than 60 associate, bachelor’s or master’s degrees on campus or online. More information is available at www.sagu.edu or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.