Berry College officials today said the school would launch a football program, with games slated to start during the 2013 season.
The college, located in Rome, Ga., said it would also start a track and field program after football launches.
“We believe that the addition of football will be an enhancement to our campus life. As a residential college, like the other schools in our conference, Berry features a community of students who live and learn together,” Berry President Steve Briggs said in a news release. “Football games will offer more opportunities for energetic engagement by students and will allow more social activities for alumni and friends.”
The Vikings will play in the Southern Athletic Association, a NCAA Division III conference that launched in August. Other schools in the conference include Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Birmingham-Southern in Birmingham, Ala., and Sewanee: The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn.
“Berry’s involvement with the new Southern Athletic Association promotes the active engagement of athletes in all college activities and is a model for the true scholar-athlete,” Berry Board of Trustees Chair Karen Holley Horrell said in a news release. “We are proud to offer our students additional opportunities through the addition of football and men’s and women’s track and field.”
The school’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted in favor of football after a study that included talking with students and alumni.
“We are truly excited to be adding football at this time in our history,” Todd Brooks, Berry’s athletic director, said in a news release. “We have added a number of athletic opportunities for our student-athletes in the past couple of years and this is by far one of the most exciting.
“All of our coaches and student-athletes at Berry are competitive and expect to win, both on the field and in the classroom,” Brooks said. “We are proud of the tradition of success our athletics program has established, and we fully expect that our teams will continue that tradition as we move forward. We are looking forward to seeing our football and track and field teams help build on the foundation that’s been established, and assisting Berry College in reaching its institutional goals.”