The men and women’s basketball teams will face greater challenges, bigger rivals and bigger names as ACU makes the transition to Div. I. this season.
“I’m excited for the new division and conference,” head coach Joe Golding said. “It’s an opportunity to establish our program at a different level. Sometimes change is good and that is what we are looking to do, change our program.”
Though the schedules for both the men’s and women’s teams have not been released to the public, they are expecting to play schools that will be a first in terms of competition for ACU.
Schools that are anticipated to be on the schedule are Texas Lutheran, Angelo State, Sam Houston State, Maryland University and Texas Christian University.
The final schedules are set to be made public early next week.
Both head coach Golding and women’s head coach Julie Goodenough said they are anxious for the challenges that Div. I will bring.
“We have a great schedule and, of course, there will be challenges, but it’s the challenges and preparation that help us as coaches and players to grow tremendously,” Goodenough said. “The jump from Div. II to Div. I will gain national exposure, not just for the athletic department, but for the entire university as we become greater ambassadors and witnesses for Christ on a national level.”
To better prepare the team for the Div. I level, Golding made two new additions to the men’s coaching staff, Brette Tanner and Patrice Days.
Tanner comes from Stephen F. Austin University where he led the Lumberjacks to five 20-win seasons in the seven years he spent there.
Before his coaching career, as a player himself, he had success at Allen County Community College and Emporia State University.
Patrice Days arrived at ACU from Arlington Country Day School in Jacksonville, Fla.
He worked alongside coach Rex Morgan, who was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the 1970 NBA draft.
Before mentoring under coach Morgan, Days coached teams at Vermont Academy and the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
This season will be no different in the coaches’ plans to prepare their athletes.
Coach Golding will continue to build a strong defense, whereas Coach Goodenough will keep pushing her players to put in time and dedication to the team.
“I feel like we have a team of very committed players who are excited about the opportunity to be apart of the first Div. I team,” Goodenough said.