Third and Long
Photo by: Simpson University
By: Timea Horvath
Simpson University is officially launching a football team.
On Sept. 27, all students received an email that proved the rumors to be true. Dr. Norman Hall, Simpson University’s president, announced the launch of a football team. After months of thorough research on the resources needed and steps to be taken, the decision has been made to add football to our sports department. The exciting news quickly spread over the school community, and many students started wondering what the first season will look like.
However, before we are able to enjoy those games, Simpson has to go through the long process of preparations.
“The current model includes what is called a “zero” year next fall where the new team will participate in non-conference scrimmage games,” Dr. Hall said, “We have started recruiting, will play the “zero” or scrimmage year next year and expect to play NAIA sanctioned games Fall 2024.”
According to Dr. Hall, the most important step right now is finding a head coach. The coach then will work together with Simpson’s admissions office in the process of recruiting players and hiring an assistant coach.
When it comes to the location of the football practices and games, the plan is still being shaped. There are two main possibilities that the university is considering. The first one includes adding Astro-turf and lights to the current soccer field for practice and possibly games. The president and other Simpson employees are also in the process of talking to nearby high schools about using their fields Saturday games.
This addition to the Simpson University’s athletic department will certainly change a lot when it comes to the community feeling, campus life, and student body. When done properly, this could bring a lot of good publicity and new students to school.
“Universities that are successful in this endeavor are those who pull together to make it a success. As a community we will need to move carefully, ask good questions, and launch this program bathed in prayer,” Dr. Hall said.
Students are also engaged in the preparations for the football team. Noah Bryerton, the ASBSU President, shared his role in the project.
“I had the privilege of joining Dr. Hall and some other faculty on a trip to Caldwell, Idaho the weekend of October 6-9,” Bryerton said.
Bryerton then shared the story of the College of Idaho which (similarly to Simpson) started as a small school deciding to launch a football program. After 10 years of hard work, they have the No.1 attendance in all of NAIA football and have put together an amazing team and gameday experience.
“Simpson can do the same!!!” Bryerton said.
Launching a football team is surely a bold decision which requires a lot of hard work and determination, but when done correctly, can have a huge, positive impact on the university and the city of Redding in general. Let’s hope that this is what will happen with Simpson.