South Florida is about to get a new college football team: Say hello to the Keiser University Seahawks.
Dr. Arthur Keiser, the chancellor of the 17-campus private university, said Tuesday his school would field a football team and it would play in a new stadium in West Palm Beach by 2018.
The Seahawks do not have a coach, but new athletic director Kris Swogger said a search would begin. The school also said construction on a new track and stadium will be completed before the first season begins.
Howard Schnellenberger, who started up the FAU program in the 1990s after success at Miami and Louisville, was on hand for the announcement.
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Also present: Keiser basketball coach Rollie Massimino and former NFL player aand Deerfield Beach High grad Stocker McDougle.
Keiser University’s athletic teams compete on the NAIA level and are in the same conference as Johnson & Wales, Florida Memorial and St. Thomas.
Currently six member schools from the Sun Conference play football including Ave Maria, Webber International and Southeastern.
Florida has seven schools playing at the highest level of college football — the Bowl Championship Subdivision — including Miami, FIU, FAU, USF, UCF, Florida and Florida State.
Other schools such as Bethune-Cookman, Stetson, Florida A&M, Florida Tech and Jacksonville also have football teams playing at varying NCAA levels.
“It is an exciting time to be a Keiser University Seahawk,” Swogger said.