A&M-San Antonio athletics welcomed into NAIA and Red River Athletics Conference

By University Communications

Tuesday, 04 07 2020

San Antonio — This week, Texas A&M University-San Antonio reached two milestones in the evolution of its inaugural intercollegiate athletics program with the acceptance of its application to join the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and entrance into the Red River Athletics Conference (RRAC). Both events provide momentum in the University’s strategy to build a high-quality athletics program and enrich the student experience for the youngest institution in the A&M System.

“This is a significant turning point in the evolution of A&M-San Antonio’s intercollegiate athletics program,” said A&M-San Antonio President Cynthia Teniente-Matson. “It comes at a time when we could all use a glimpse of the future and a small moment of hope when we are able to return to activities where the University and our community can gather together without limitations and celebrate student-athletes on and off the field.”

The University was one of five institutions approved by the NAIA’s Council of Presidents, who voted during the 2020 Business Meeting. “The NAIA is excited to welcome these five schools into our association,” said Jim Carr, NAIA president and CEO. “Each of these institutions exemplifies the NAIA’s core values and will undoubtedly make great additions to their respective conferences, as well as the organization overall.”

RRAC institutions are members of the NAIA, a governing body supervising intercollegiate athletic programs at participating colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada. The RRAC promotes education and development of students through intercollegiate athletics participation, academic achievement and character development. The NAIA Champions of Character, an innovative outreach program designed to instill character values in student-athletes and coaches, contains five core values embraced by each RRAC member institutions: respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship.

“We are excited that we have been accepted for membership into the NAIA,” said Darnell Smith, director of intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports at A&M-San Antonio. Smith cited the University-wide support from students, faculty, staff, alumni, administration and the community in moving the athletics program forward.

“We look forward to providing an exceptional student-athlete experience and working alongside other institutions who value academic and athletic excellence,” said Smith. “This is a momentous occasion. We appreciate and thank RRAC Commissioner Tony Stigliano, and the athletic directors and presidents of the RRAC for embracing A&M-San Antonio and recognizing the merits of the Institution.”  


Texas A&M University-San Antonio
Established as a stand-alone university in 2009, Texas A&M University-San Antonio is a comprehensive four-year public university that reflects the culturally diverse, heritage-rich community it serves. Situated on nearly 700 acres in South San Antonio, A&M-San Antonio is a Military Embracing™ institution offering 29 undergraduate degrees and 14 graduate degrees to over 6,700 students. The University is home to the Henry G. Cisneros Institute for Emerging Leaders and the Cyber Engineering Technology/Cyber Security Research Center. A&M-San Antonio holds the Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) designation. Military Times ranks the University No. 35 in the nation for “Best for Vets: Colleges.” Visit tamusa.edu for more information. #onamission

For information on the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, visit: naia.org

For information on the Red River Athletics Conference, visit: redriverconference.com