MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Florida Memorial University has accounced that its football team has been accepted as a member of the Mid-South Conference, an NAIA conference based in Bowling Green, Ky.
Mid-South Conference Commissioner Eric Ward visited the campus in early September and sent the official acceptance of the football program to Florida Memorial president jaffus Hardrick on October 9 following a vote of the MSC Council of Presidents.
“We are pleased with the growth of football in the Mid-South Conference Sun Division and honored to have Florida Memorial University join as the 23rd football member and eighth Sun Division member of the NAIA’s premier football conference,” Ward said. “Our Council of Presidents thoroughly reviewed FMU’s application and determined them to be a strong addition to our conference football membership. President Hardrick, along with the FMU leadership, was very convincing in their commitment and determination to be a competitive and contributing conference member.”
Florida Memorial has been accepted as an Affiliate Member and will compete in the Mid-South Conference Sun Division beginning with the 2020-21 academic year.
“We are ecstatic about Florida Memorial University’s acceptance into the Mid-South Conference,” Hardrick said. “Special thanks to Commissioner Ward and the Council of Presidents for supporting FMU.”
Currently, all the other Lions teams compete in The Sun Conference as members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
“We are very excited to be members of the Mid-South Conference,” Athletics Director Ernest T. Jones said. “The level of competition is the best in the nation along with the leadership of the commissioner, athletics directors, and coaches.”
Football has been the missing part of the school’s long-standing history since the program was shut down in 1958. Florida Memorial football competed in the South Atlantic Intercollegiate Association as well as the Southeastern Athletic Conference from 1929 until the 1958 season.
“We’re so excited to be accepted into the Mid-South Conference,” said head football coach Timothy Harris. “The growth of this program so far has been amazing to watch and joining this conference is just another step in the right direction. The future is now.”
Florida Memorial has multiple championships and bowl game appearances in the school’s history. The program now has the chance to rebuild on that legacy. During their last season of competition, the Lions posted a 14-8 win over Albany State. At the time the University was named Florida Normal and Industrial Institute.
From 1945-58 the team finished with a record of 41-25-6 with a break in the 1949 season.
The Lions are scheduled to play their first game of the 2020 season at home when they host Reinhardt University on August 29.