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Two Utah football programs will be part of new FCS conference

Stadium seating with the outline of a bison head on the structure.
Elaine Clark
The Utah Tech University football team makes its home at the campus’ Greater Zion Stadium in St. George.

ATLANTA (AP) — The ASUN Conference and the Western Athletic Conference announced Monday their football partnership is now a new league known as the United Athletic Conference.

WAC members Southern Utah University and Utah Tech University are part of the merger.

The nine schools in the two conferences have teamed up for football-only competition the last two seasons. The ASUN and WAC sponsor other sports but did not have enough schools competing in football to sponsor it on their own.

Steve Johnson, associate athletics director for media relations at Utah Tech, told KUER this is an exciting time for the team.

“It brings these schools together to form a football league that will allow for us to compete not only for a conference championship but an opportunity to play in the FCS playoffs,” he said.

Starting in 2023, the UAC will have a recognized champion and automatic qualification to the NCAA Division I Championship Subdivision playoffs.

FCS is the second-tier of Division I below the Bowl Subdivision.

United Athletic Conference will also include Abilene Christian University, Austin Peay State University, University of Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky University, University of North Alabama, Stephen F. Austin State University and Tarleton State University.

The schools will play a six-game conference schedule this coming season and move to an eight-game schedule in 2024.

In 2025, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will join the conference with its fledgling football program.

Former West Virginia athletic director and NCAA executive Oliver Luck is the new conference's executive director.

Kristine Weller is a newsroom intern at KUER. She’s only been a journalist for a year but is excited to see what the future holds.
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