The announcement that the school was beginning a football program was made during a press conference on Thursday in Waco at the school’s Murphy Campus.
The first game will be played in the fall of 2014, and the man tasked with leading the program is Walter Dunson, who’d already been the school’s athletic director.
The team will play its home games at Heard County’s stadium
“I am grateful for this opportunity to lead the WGTC football program,” Dunson said. “This is a great day for West Georgia Tech. We’ll work hard, we’ll build character, and we’ll do things the right way to represent our college and our local communities.”
Skip Sullivan, the school’s president, made the announcement before a crowd of more than 100 people.
“We are pleased to announce that we are adding a football program to serve our local communities, our area high schools, and the state of Georgia,” Sullivan said. “This is a major step for our college and we anticipate this will provide additional opportunities for high-school athletes to continue their academic and football careers, and stay at home to do so.”
West Georgia Tech will be a Division I member of the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Only one other school in Georgia, Georgia Military, competes at a Division I level in the junior-college ranks.
The school has already started the recruiting process, and the first freshman class will be in place next fall.
“We will be a place where football players who aren’t academically eligible to compete for NCAA schools to come play,” Sullivan said. “We’ll also be a place where local talent can come here and play when they otherwise would have to go to faraway places to play football. We want to embrace to local communities and their fan bases.
Sullivan also said he was grateful to Heard County for its willingness to share its football stadium.
“We want to express our gratitude to the administration of Heard County High School,” Sullivan said. “We will embrace that community. We look forward to maintaining a partnership with them as well as all of our local high schools.”
Dunson, who graduated from Central-Carroll High, expects to have a coaching staff in place by the spring, and he said the team will have an 85-person roster and will play an 11-game schedule.
The Knights will most likely play Georgia Military, as well as other two-year programs from across the Southeast.