Christian College in Oregon Reinstates Intercollegiate Football

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George Fox University’s new team will play in the Division III Northwest Conference beginning in the fall of 2013

George Fox will kick off its first collegiate football season in more than 40 years in 2013.

We believe the addition of football is an important part of our strategic plan.

It’s official: For the first time since the late 1960s, George Fox University will field a football team. Kickoff is scheduled for the fall of 2013.

George Fox is a member of the Northwest Conference and competes at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III level. The university’s board of trustees approved the reinstallation of football at its March 12-13 meeting after taking into consideration factors ranging from cost and enrollment impact to campus climate and the school’s gender ratio. A search for a football coaching staff is underway.

George Fox will be one of only three Christian colleges to participate in football on the West Coast, joining Azusa Pacific University of Azusa, Calif., and Whitworth University of Spokane, Wash. It will also boost football membership in the Northwest Conference to eight schools – a move that will ease scheduling and minimize travel costs for all conference schools.

Currently, only conference members George Fox and Whitman College of Walla Walla, Wash., do not offer football.

The return of football also will bring back a long-time tradition to the university’s Newberg, Ore., campus: George Fox, with the exception of a brief period in the late 1920s and during World War II, fielded a football team from 1894 to 1968.

“This decision supports our institutional commitment to expand athletic opportunities for students and to aid in the growth of the student body on our Newberg campus, with a goal of 1,825 students by 2015,” said Robin Baker, university president. “We believe the addition of football is an important part of our strategic plan.”

George Fox has begun construction of the Austin Sports Complex, a multi-use facility to be shared by the university, the Chehalem Park and Recreation District, Newberg High School, local club teams and the community. The complex will be located a half mile north of the Newberg campus on 24 acres of land donated by Ken and Joan Austin, owners and founders of the A-dec dental equipment company.

The $6.5 million complex will include Stoffer Family Stadium, featuring a multi-use synthetic turf field that can be used for football, soccer or lacrosse.

The stadium, which received a $1.2 million lead gift from Brad and Katharine Stoffer and their Boedecker Foundation, is part of the first phase in developing the complex.

Crews broke ground on the complex this spring and a completion date is contingent upon fundraising efforts. Should the facility not be ready to accommodate intercollegiate football by 2013, George Fox will use another local field to play its Saturday games.

In addition to adding football, George Fox is considering the addition of women’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s swimming. Currently, George Fox offers 15 intercollegiate sports – eight for women and seven for men.
While Div. III members do not award scholarships based upon athletic ability, most athletes in Division III receive some form of grant or non-athletic scholarship to attend school and have equal access to financial aid as the general student body.

More information on the football announcement is available online.

George Fox University is ranked by Forbes as one of the top 100 colleges in the country and highest among Christian colleges. George Fox is the only Christian university in the Pacific Northwest classified by U.S. News & World Report as a national university. More than 3,300 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem, and Redmond, Ore., and Boise, Idaho. George Fox offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, five seminary degrees, and 12 master’s and doctoral degrees.

Robin Baker

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