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Gridiron Feasibility UTRGV to launch study on potential football program

Mario Gonzalez/ The Rider Graphic

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley announced today that a football feasibility committee will be formed to study the possibility of bringing college football to the school.

Former University of Texas Head Football Coach and current ESPN correspondent Mack Brown will serve as chairman of the committee. Brown led the UT Longhorns from 1998-2013, bringing the burnt orange a national championship in 2005.

The committee will examine factors such as fan interest and the cost of beginning a division 1 NCAA program from scratch. The committee will consist of student, staff and community leaders as well as special advisers such as Brown.

In a news release on the UTRGV Athletics Web page, President Guy Bailey gave insight on the football study.

“As we work on our strategic and master plans, it is important that we examine all aspects of our future,” Bailey said. “This is an ideal time for our university to explore the possibility of bringing college football to the Rio Grande Valley.”

In the summer of 2014, Athletic Director Chris King told local media that “the timing was not right” for football to come to the Rio Grande Valley. Today, he called this study a “major step forward in our goal to elevate UTRGV athletics.”

The legendary coach Brown also gave input in the release on being named as chairman of the committee and described his involvement with the study.

“The opportunity to build a college football program from the ground up is unique, and I’m excited to be involved in the process,” Brown said. “I know there are many passionate football fans in the Rio Grande Valley, and I can’t think of a better place to launch a college football program.”

Today’s announcement encourages the possibility of college football making a return to the Valley after a decades-long hiatus that dates back before UTRGV and UTPA to the times of Edinburg Junior College in the 1940s.

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