The University of Saint Francis football program has added a tenth game to its 2012 football schedule for the 15th season in program history and now it includes two firsts – a season-opening game in Texas as well as the first ever night game at Bishop John M. D'Arcy Stadium on September 22 for Homecoming.
USF will open its 15th season on August 25 at Texas College in Tyler, Texas. Tyler is located just east of Dallas and west of Shreveport, Louisiana.
"We needed to find a tenth game and one of our coaches saw on the internet that Texas College had an opening," USF Head Coach Kevin Donley said. "I tried to get them to play here, but they had to have a home game. They told me, 'You get here, we'll play,' so with the generous support of sponsors and our fans, we have chartered a 172-seat plane. The only way we could do this is to fly because we've got to get back and start preparing for our next game."
There are 80 seats reserved for coaches, players and team personnel and 92 seats available for parents, fans and boosters. It will be a one-day trip departing at 7 a.m. from Fort Wayne International Airport and returning between 8 and 9 p.m. on Saturday, August 25.
USF veterans reported on August 5 in preparation for the Cougars' earliest start to the season in the history of the program.
The Cougars will play the first of five home games on September 1 against NCAA Division III-member University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. That game would have matched USF's previous earliest start until the addition of the game at Texas College against the Steers.
The 2012 USF schedule also includes four games against teams ranked in the final NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 poll for the 2011 season.
Concordia University (Ann Arbor, MI) will be the USF Homecoming opponent on September 22 for USF's first-ever home night game. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.
This will also be the first season USF has had two open dates in a season. The Cougars will be playing four new opponents in 2012 with the addition of TC. The other first-time opponents include UW-Stevens Point, Siena Heights (Adrian, MI) and Lindenwood University-Belleville (Ill.).
USF finished 9-3 in 2011 with the only losses coming to the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 ranked teams in the NAIA Top 25. The Cougars were ranked No. 6 in the Coaches' Spring Top 25 that was released in late April after ending 2011 with a No. 7 ranking in the post-season Top 25.
Kevin Donley heads into his 34th season as a head collegiate coach with a 254-116-1 record, two wins away from tying Frosty Westering (256-81-7) for the NAIA record for NAIA career coaching wins. Donley, who is No. 21 on the list of collegiate football coaches with 200 or more career wins, is 140-31 in 14 seasons as the only head coach of the football program at USF, 77-12 in MSFA Mideast League play. USF has had 13 consecutive winning seasons since going 2-8 in 1998, its inaugural season for football. Donley is second on the NAIA active list, one win behind Dickinson State (N.D.) Head Coach Hank Biesiot, who is 255-106-1 in 36 seasons at DU.
Let's go Coogs!