Valdosta Daily Times

Blazers Blog

January 29, 2013

Staying Division II: Valdosta State’s plan to expand

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University has no plans of moving to the NCAA Division I level.

With seven national championships at the Division II level, the university plans on staying put and continuing to build on its championship tradition.

Part of the school’s long-term plans of staying at the Division II level include the possibility of adding more sports that will bring profitable gains to the university and the local community.

After adding women’s soccer in 2010 — the team didn’t play its inaugural season until 2011 — Valdosta State athletic director Herb Reinhard said the potential of adding more women’s sports is in the future.

“I think the next two or three women’s sports we would look at would be — and again, there is no timeline, but as we are looking out ahead — lacrosse,” Reinhard said, “because of the amount of growth of the sport throughout the state, especially in the Atlanta area, women’s golf and then the possibility of adding track and field.”

With Title IX regulations in place, the university would add women’s sports before exploring the possibility of adding more men’s sports.

“We don’t have the addition of a men’s sport on our timeline right now,” Reinhard said. “That certainly doesn’t mean that we aren’t interested in it.”

Moving forward at the Division II level, Valdosta State will have to continue to deal with the everlasting outcry from fans about the lack of a home football stadium for the university’s national championship winning team.

Currently, Valdosta State plays its home games at Valdosta High School’s Bazemore-Hyder Stadium, which features a Wildcat paw as the midfield logo, black and yellow seats and limited press box space that ranks well below facilities that in-state rival West Georgia unveiled in 2009.

Reinhard understands the uproar over the heated stadium debate, but says, as of right now, there isn’t much that the VSU administration can do about the stadium situation.

“I don’t think there is any doubt that if the world was perfect and we had everything we wanted that we wouldn’t like to have our own football facility,” Reinhard said. “Even though we have a really nice relationship with the city school board, in regards to the stadium, there are still some bumps in the road sometimes. Even though we do a really good job at going over there and making it red and black, it is still very black and gold, because it is their stadium. In a perfect world, yes, we would love to have our own.”

As for if there are any talks of Valdosta State acquiring Valdosta’s Bazemore-Hyder Stadium from the city school system, Valdosta State President Dr. William J. McKinney said there are no discussions right now.

“There is nothing at this point,” McKinney said. “You don’t want to rule anything out down the road. But as for now, I’m unaware of any such talks.”

McKinney also weighed in on VSU athletics’ leadership and the overall approval rating he would give to its administration, which has been the subject of criticism in recent months.

President for less than a year, McKinney has been more than pleased with the success of Blazer athletics under the current administration and has no plans of making changes in the future.

“Take a look at the national championships that this athletic program has brought to Valdosta State and this community, and the parade we are going to have (Wednesday),” McKinney said. “That speaks for itself. I have confidence in the leadership of our athletic programs. They are in tune to our student-athletes’ needs and they bring us a lot of pride in national championships.”

While the university isn’t looking to add any new sports in the immediate future, Reinhard is on the lookout for a new volleyball coach after eight-year coach Sia Poyer resigned from the program and took a job at his alma mater, Eastern New Mexico State.

Reinhard said he isn’t rushing the search and that he wants to make the correct hire for the program.

“It is going good. We have a nice pool of candidates,” Reinhard said. “We are going steady. We are taking our time, but I want to make sure we identify the right person to help us move along in the direction that we have and move this program forward.”

1
Text Only
Blazers Blog
  • Grable signs with Tampa Bay

    Another former Valdosta State football player joined the ranks of the National Football League when linebacker Jeremy Grable signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday morning.

    July 23, 2014

  • Bubba Walker promoted to defensive coordinator

    Valdosta State Linebacker Coach Bubba Walker has been promoted to fill the open posiiton of defensive coordinator for the Blazer football team according to an announcement made by VSU Head Coach David Dean Thursday.

    July 18, 2014

  • Albritton wins NCAA Elite 89

    Courtney Albritton's tremendous 2013-2014 season earned her one more award Thursday night when the Valdosta State softball star won the NCAA's Favorite Elite 89 Winner contest by securing the more votes than any other student-athlete.

    July 17, 2014

  • Justin Roper named Valdosta State quarterbacks coach

    Valdosta State’s hirin of Justin Roper as quarterbacks coach, previously reported by The Times, was officially announced by the school and Blazer head football coach David Dean on Wednesday.

    July 17, 2014

  • Albritton.JPG VSU’s Albritton advances to finals of Elite 89 contest

    Another round, another first-place finish for Valdosta State’s Courtney Albritton.
    Albritton, the Blazers’ junior softball standout, was the leading vote-getter in the semifinal round of the NCAA’s Favorite Elite 89 winner contest with 1,483 votes in the two-day semifinal round that included 30 athletes. In the week-long first round, Albritton racked up 1,971 votes to lead the 89-person field.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Albritton in first place after opening round of Elite 89 voting

    July 14, 2014

  • Justin_Roper.JPG Roper to coach Blazers’ QBs

    Valdosta State has added an assistant coach to its staff, but it isn’t to fill Seth Wallace’s role.
    Former Oregon quarterback and University of Findlay running backs coach Justin Roper has been hired as the Blazers’ quarterbacks coach.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Div II Championship F_Rodg(11).jpg Beyond Sports Network releases 2014 preseason All-GSC football team

    Football season is right around the corner; exactly 57 days from now Valdosta State set to open its season at home against Albany State, but fans were able to satisfy his or her football withdraws on Tuesday when Beyond Sports Network released its Gulf South Conference preseason All-Conference team.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1966690_10201768896480524_387489323_n.jpg Dominique Wheeler showing confidence as NFL rookie

    Dominique Wheeler slowly made a name for himself during his four-year career as a Valdosta State Blazer. Playing at the cornerback position, Wheeler had to wait his turn to start at the position. However by the time he ended his senior year, he had played in 45 games, including nine starts his senior season.

    July 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lawrence Virgil pic Lawrence Virgil working to make the Saints final roster

    With college and the Valdosta State football team behind him, Brooks County’s own Lawrence Virgil is working hard to make a name for himself in the National Football League.

    July 6, 2014 2 Photos

Local Sports
Choose your subscription: