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UT Tyler athletic teams will now be competing at Division 2 level

Published: Jul. 10, 2021 at 2:30 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - In the fall semester when school opens, the sports teams of UT Tyler will now compete in the NCAA Division 2 class. The move was celebrated on the campus with the showing of a video showcasing the school’s success as a Division 3 school.

“It’s been a team effort. Again, if a student-athlete messes up, a coach messes up, or an administrator messes up, that could hurt you,” said Howard Patterson, the director of athletics for UT Tyler. “Our goal was to make sure no one messed up, and James as I mentioned before, is the compliance guy educating people – ‘No you can’t do that,’ or, ‘Yes, you can do it. Yes, you can do this. We followed the rules, and here we are ready to get after it.”

The men and women’s basketball coaches were at the festive announcement where the Alumni House on campus was jam-packed, and they applauded the news.

“Awesome, awesome job. It fits the work of a lot of people who made this happen. It’s a great day for our university and a phenomenal day for our athletic department,” said Louis Wilson, the UT Tyler men’s basketball coach. “Hopefully, it makes recruiting a little easier. You know always winning programming now kids have an opportunity to qualify for post-season play.”

“You know, it’s an exciting time for our university and all the athletic programs,” said Rebecca Alvidrez, the women’s basketball coach at UT Tyler. “Just making the transition and being a part of a new era, a new journey, so yeah, I think it’s great there’s a vision to be part of. This is something I am looking forward to.”

It was a long process where patience had to be the rule rather than the exception. It’ll be the same UT Tyler loaded with pride and success but maybe with more responsibility.

“And we also have to maintain the integrity of college athletics,” said Dr. Kirk Calhoun, the president of UT Tyler. “We take that responsibility very seriously. As president, I take that very seriously.”

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