By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (February 14, 2015) — It had been rumored about for months, and now it’s proven true. The Lone Star Conference is growing again.
After much attrition in recent years, the conference announced Friday what had been anticipated since calendar flipped to 2015. Texas-Permian Basin is leaving the Heartland Conference to become a full-fledge member of LSC, and Oklahoma Panhandle State is joining the LSC as an affiliate member only for football. They each will join the league in 2016-17.
Conference officials in Richardson announced the upcoming additions of UPTB and OPSU in separate press releases Friday. The moves mean the LSC will have nine football teams in 2016, curing scheduling ills leading to the controversial LSC Football Playoff that began last fall.
UTPB, located in Odessa, is beginning football in 2016, with former Tarleton offensive coordinator Justin Carrigan in place as head coach. Former Tarleton defensive assistants Chris Mineo and Jacob Martin are co-defensive coordinators at UTPB, where Mineo once starred for Odessa Permian High School.
UTPB has more than 5,000 students and also competes in volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, softball, baseball and men’s and women’s tennis. Men’s and women’s golf join football as new sports beginning competition in 2016.
OPSU is located in Goodwell, Oklahoma. Competing as an independent, the Aggie football team was 7-3 last fall.