Keiser University in West Palm Beach, Fla., will add football to its slate of varsity athletic programs, with intercollegiate action beginning during the 2018-19 academic year. Football will raise the total of Keiser’s varsity sports to 22.
“The extraordinary athletic programs at the Flagship campus have provided countless opportunities for graduates to demonstrate their leadership skills and team work abilities, while instilling motivation to strive for greatness,” said Campus President Gary Vonk. “Our students have demonstrated success in the classroom and on the field. The students and the University are better, as a result.”
The Seahawks will play in the Sun Conference, like they do in other sports, and will become the fifth football-playing member of the conference. Currently Southeastern, Webber, Warner and Ave Maria have teams.
Director of Athletics Kris Swogger said, “Adding football to our athletic program is great for Keiser University and the entire West Palm Beach community. It is an exciting time to be a Keiser Seahawk, and I look forward to building a successful football program for our students, staff, alumni and fans.”
The NAIA boasts 89 football playing institutions and 16 teams qualify for the championship series. The NAIA Football program was inaugurated in 1956 with the first National Championship game being played in Little Rock, Arkansas as the Aluminum Bowl. In 1956 and 1957, two leading NAIA Football teams were invited to participate in the game, and in 1958, a four-team playoff was implemented to determine the NAIA National Football Champion.
The first official game is expected to be played in Fall 2018 with the search for a head coach to begin immediately. Completion of the stadium, track, and additional athletic facilities are anticipated for completion late Summer 2018.