Arizona Christian University (ACU) President Len Munsil announced that the accredited, private, nonprofit, Christian university at Cactus Road and 24th Street will begin its NAIA intercollegiate football program in 2013. ACU will immediately start its national search for the program’s first coach. Firestorm football will debut in the fall of 2014.

The university recently experienced athletic success with an at-large bid for the men’s basketball team to the 2012-13 NAIA national tournament in Kansas City. The accomplished men’s baseball program, only 3 years old, has produced a conference championship, an appearance in the NCCAA College World Series, and sent five players on to professional baseball.

ACU plans to recruit at least 65 student athletes for its first varsity team, with sizable athletic scholarships available to those who excel in the classroom and on the field. Players who transfer to ACU in January will have the opportunity to participate in spring football drills in front of the new coaching staff. The university currently competes in 15 sports as a member of the Golden State Athletics Conference, a non-football playing conference. It likely will compete as an NAIA Independent, but also will explore football-only conference alignments.

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