Tarleton State becomes full-fledged NCAA Division I university


STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton State University has successfully completed its four-year reclassification period, and is now officially a full-fledged NCAA Division I institution.

“We’ve shined throughout the reclassification process in every way, demonstrating one of the best transitions to D1 this country has ever seen,” Tarleton State President Dr. James Hurley said. “I am incredibly proud of these past four years and the work that has been done to make this dream a reality. Thank you to everyone at Tarleton State who has supported this endeavor, and know that this milestone is just the beginning. Now we are postseason and championship eligible.”

On July 1, 2020, Tarleton State began its NCAA Division I era. With it came a four-year reclassification period in which the Texans were ineligible for NCAA postseason play. The first two years, Tarleton State was also ineligible to compete in conference tournaments. Now the Texans can participate in postseasons across all sports and win national championships.

“We are entering the most exciting time in Tarleton Athletics history, Tarleton State is now fully entrenched in the top level of collegiate athletics, and the rise of competition has brought about a rise in everything surrounding this department,” Vice President and Director of Athletics Steve Uryasz said. “Tarleton State’s competitiveness through reclassification was unmatched, setting up a bright start to our full-fledged D1 status – reclassification is over, the most exciting period in program history begins now.”

Tarleton State passed through its reclassification process with flying colors. Academically, the Texans set records in the NCAA Academic Progress Rate for a reclassifying institution, highlighted right away by posting a 990 (out of 1,000) in its very first year, surpassing the previous high mark by a first-year reclassifying school of 977. Several programs across Tarleton Athletics set new GPA records. Across the four years, Tarleton State had 500 student-athletes earn Academic All-WAC honors.

The four-year reclassification period was instituted by the NCAA decades ago to ensure universities were able to be compliant in rules, regulations and policies. Most programs struggle competitively, but not the Texans. Tarleton State fielded the first baseball program to win a conference tournament by a reclassifying institution in D1 history. Texan Tennis won a WAC regular season title and twice made a run to the conference title match. Texan Men’s Basketball advanced to the CIT Semifinals this past season after taking second in the WAC. Texan Football took second in the United Athletic Conference and became one of just three teams since 2004 to post winning seasons all four years of reclassification. Texan Softball advanced to the NISC twice, Track and Field had individual conference champions, both golf programs placed an individual in the conference championship top-five, Texan Women’s Basketball won its first conference tournament game this past year and Tarleton State Volleyball made their first D1 conference tournament trip.

Facility wise over the past few years, nearly every sport has received a big boost. Memorial Stadium has been renovated and expanded, plus the Texan Fieldhouse added important team rooms, including a nutrition area. There is an arena being built that will house both basketball programs, along with cheer and dance. A new tennis facility was completed in March, there were renovations and expansions to the baseball and softball complexes, plus the creation of the new soccer, track and beach volleyball areas over the past few years. The Athletic Administration building was also revamped.

Moving forward, Tarleton State will be recognized on all statistical leaderboards, along with the ability to be ranked in polls and receive qualifying or at-large bids. Simply, Tarleton State is now fully entrenched in the top level of collegiate athletics.

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