University Athletics Announces Addition of Associate Director, Soccer Coach to New Program

Texas A&M International University Athletics Director Steve Garippa announced the addition of A&M International's associate director and head men's soccer coach to the new program in a press conference at the University Monday.

"I have every confidence that these two gentlemen will help us to build an impressive athletics program for our University and community and look forward to their partnership," Garippa said.

Joining the University as associate director is Daniel Lathey. Lathey was most recently media relations director for the American Southwest Conference, a 15-member NCAA Division III conference. He has also held sports information positions at the U.S. Air Force Academy, California State University-Northridge and Southwest Texas State University.

He holds a master's degree in journalism from Texas A&M University-Commerce and a bachelor's degree in radio-television from Oklahoma State University.

The University's first soccer coach will be Lance D. Noble.

Noble was most recently head soccer coach at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, where he led the team to the best record in the history of its program in 2001.

He has also served as head soccer coach for the nationally ranked men's and women's soccer teams at St. Mary's University from 1996-2000, and also coached a professional United States Independent Soccer League Team, the San Antonio Pumas, for one season. He previously served as head soccer coach for the University of Dallas. He is completing an MA in Adult Education at Penn State University and holds a BBA in Management from Northwood University in Cedar Hill, Texas.

President Ray Keck said the additions were exciting and part of the University's continued growth as a traditional four-year University.

"Athletics brings a new dynamic to our campus that we know will further help the University to fully provide for the total needs of all students through an engaging and innovative athletics program, " Dr. Keck explained.

The University's athletics program is set to begin in the Fall.

A phased entry into the program is planned. That plan includes:

Fall 2002 - Men's and Women's Soccer and Women's Volleyball.

Spring 2003 - Men's and Women's Golf.

Fall 2003 - Men's and Women's Basketball

Spring 2004 - Men's and Women's Tennis

Spring 2005 - Men's Baseball and Women's Softball.

Garippa said the phased in program maximizes the University's resources while anticipating future growth.

"We surveyed students and the University community and took a hard look at our current and planned resources and feel that the selection of these sports programs will help us to maximize both. We also hope to offer Cross-Country and Track and Field programs as demand, funding and facilities make their implementation possible," he explained.

Garippa said the University will initially seek membership in the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and participate in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC).

"We feel that both of these memberships really expand on our vision of promoting the education and development of the student athlete and best reflect our goals as an institution of higher education," Garippa explained.

The RRAC includes 13 institutions in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Among Texas members of the RRAC are the University of Texas Permian Basin, Texas College, Wiley College, Houston Baptist University, Huston-Tillotson and Paul Quinn College among others.

For additional information, please visit Athletics Program offices in the Kinesiology-Convocation Building, phone 956.326.2891 or email sgarippa@tamiu.edu .Additional information on the NAIA or RRAC can be obtained by visiting www.naia.org.


Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu