BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – Lawrence Technological University, a private university located in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, Mich., was approved as the latest member of the Mid-States Football Association by a vote of the MSFA coaches during their annual spring meeting last week at Olivet Nazarene University.
"The Mid-States Football Association is pleased to accept Lawrence Tech as our 15th member," said Gary Newsome, MSFA Commissioner in a prepared statement. "The Blue Devils will begin play in the MSFA Mideast in the fall of 2019 joining Saint Francis (Ind.), Concordia, Siena Heights, Taylor, Marian, and Indiana Wesleyan.
"I am pleased that such a successful academic institution with several successful athletic programs would have an interest in joining the Mid-States. We believe they will add to our strong competitive football association. Jeff Duvendeck brings instant credibility to the MSFA as another outstanding coach. Duvendeck has coached previously at Culver-Stockton University as well as Michigan State and Northern Michigan, Michigan Tech and Grand Valley State."
The Blue Devils, who feature 20 varsity sports, will make a return to the gridiron in 2018 after nearly a 70-year absence. Lawrence Tech fielded a team when the school was formed in 1932 and played until the mid-1940s.
LTU, which features nearly 4,200 students and offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management, also has membership in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, the American Collegiate Hockey Association at the Division III level and the Michigan Collegiate Hockey Conference.
A year ago, the MSFA added Indiana Wesleyan University of Marion, Ind. as its 14th member. With the addition of the Wildcats and Lawrence Tech, Lindenwood-Belleville University and Missouri Baptist University will move from the Mideast to the Midwest League, joining Chicago-area based Robert Morris, Olivet Nazarene, Saint Xavier, St. Francis, Trinity International and St. Ambrose of Davenport, Iowa for the 2019 campaign.
The Mid-States Football Association was formed in 1993. Since then 31 institutions have competed in the NAIA-affiliated Association. Four current schools – Olivet Nazarene, Saint Xavier, Taylor and Trinity International – were charter members when the MSFA played its first season in 1994.
Recent championship-caliber success – five national titles in the last six years – has made the MSFA the most formidable football organization in the NAIA.