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Southern Nazarene's young football program nearing full Division II membership

There is only one year left between Southern Nazarene University and its full membership in NCAA Division II. The school announced that it is advancing to the provisional year of the NCAA Division II membership process on July 12.
BY RHIANNON WALKER Staff Writer rwalker@opubco.com Published: July 20, 2013
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Paul McGrady was the program's first coach, and he had a 35-23 record. McGrady's teams never had a losing season in his six-year tenure.

In McGrady's fourth season, the team climbed its way up to No. 15 in the NAIA polls. That was also the year SNU began competing in the NAIA Central States Football League. McGrady resigned in 2005 but remains with the athletic department. He is now the school's associate athletic director.

Mike Cochran took over the responsibilities in 2005, and in seven seasons, his record is 40-36.

In 2011, SNU had its best year, going 9-3 and reaching the first round the NAIA Football Championship Series.

The team won its second CSFL title, and for the second straight year, Cochran was named the Coach of the Year. SNU also had a school-record 15 All-CSFL selections.

While everyone at the school is proud of those accomplishments, there is no time for reminiscing. The Crimson Storm aspires to be just as dominant in its new division as it was in its old one.

With one more year left in the conversion process, the football team and other athletic programs must continue to show why they deserve membership in Division II.

“I like our leadership; our coach does a great job; our coaching staff they care deeply about the kids,” Martin said. “So from the standpoint, I think we're headed the right direction for sure. … I feel like we're still a young program, and I think we're really headed in the right direction.”