Oakwood is ready to embark on a new track and field journey
VSN (admin) Published Wednesday, July 13, 2022 – 11:00 am
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – After more than a decade in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), Oakwood University has embarked on a new journey.
The Ambassadors, who have won four USCAA men’s national basketball championships, recently became members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and joined the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC), which brings together eight historically black colleges and universities from Alabama, Arkansas , Mississippi, , Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas.
GCAC officials held their spring meeting at Fisk University last week and officially welcomed Oakwood University to the league along with Wiley College (Marshall, Texas) and Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO). SUNO was a member from 1986 to 2019, but school officials scrapped the program due to Covid-19.
GCAC Commissioner Dr. Kiki Baker Barnes said the league is thrilled to have Oakwood attend the conference.
“Oakwood shares much in common with some of our member institutions,” said Barnes. “It is an institution that serves young black people and all of our schools try to create a good experience for them.
“It also brings a historic basketball program to our conference. It also helps us increase our economic footprint and gives our schools the opportunity to recruit more students. We are very pleased to have Oakwood as a member of our GCAC family.”
In addition to Oakwood, SUNO, and Wiley College, other members include Dillard University (New Orleans, La.), Fisk University (Nashville, Tennessee), Philander Smith College (Little Rock, Ark.), Tougaloo College (Jackson, Miss. ) and Rust College (Holly Springs, Mississippi).
Oakwood Athletics Director Simon Jacobwho also serves as the men’s basketball coach, said he looks forward to moving the program forward.
“This is a great opportunity for our university and our sports program,” said Jacob. “We are in a conference with schools that are similar to us and have the same vision and goals. We can’t wait to get started.”
Oakwood currently fields five sports teams, including men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, and men’s and women’s basketball. Baseball and softball will be added in the spring as a result of joining the GCAC. Oakwood has run baseball and softball programs for the past few years, but they were disbanded in 2010, according to Jacob.
“We’ve got work to do, but we’ll make it” said Jacob. “We will do whatever we have to do to be competitive at the conference.”
Oakwood Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Association/Conference/Sports Movements