D-III: Football's purest form
On a sunny afternoon this fall, Sul Ross State quarterback Monte Morales completed 13 of 25 passes and ran for a touchdown as the Lobos beat Howard Payne 17-0 at Alpine's Jackson Field.
Less than 24 hours later, Morales started an overnight shift at High Frontier, a residential school for teenagers who are, according to its Web site, “experiencing a wide range of emotional, behavioral and educational problems.”
Morales works at the center, which is between Alpine and Fort Davis in the mountains of West Texas, three nights a week. And takes a full course load at Sul Ross. And practices every day with the football team, makes the bone-wearying bus trips of the American Southwest Conference and
manages to have a small sliver of a life outside school and football.
“I'm dragging pretty much the whole week,” he said wearily. “It's pretty rough.”
But for a lot of young men, if they're going to play NCAA Division III football, it's life.
Trinity, Mary Hardin-Baylor build winning D-III programs in different ways
When Steve Mohr arrived as the head football coach at Trinity in 1990, the program was coming off a decade in which it had averaged less than three victories a season. The Tigers hadn't had a winning record since 1977. The school never had appeared in an NCAA Division III playoff game. The last string of success had come with three eight-victory seasons in the early 1970s.
Pete Fredenburg gave up a Division I job to help start a Division III program at Mary Hardin-Baylor, and there were times when he wondered if he had lost his mind. “It was awful, just awful,” he said of working out of a trailer behind the campus library that first year.
Recruiting may be toughest job of all at D-III level
One word sums up the recruiting process for NCAA Division III football coaches:
Facts about NCAA Division III football
Texas' NCAA Division III teams FAQ
Division III Texas football colleges factsheet