What Division is Howard Payne University?

 Howard Payne University is a Brownwood, Texas-based private Baptist university. It is a member of the Texas Baptist General Convention. In 1889, Reverend Noah T. Byers and Dr. John David Robnett founded Howard Payne College. The school is well renowned for its achievements in the STEM fields and is ranked as one of the top schools in producing engineers and scientists all over the country. In this article we shall se What Division is Howard Payne University?

What Division is Howard Payne University?

What Division is Howard Payne University?

      However, aside from their success in Science and Engineering, Howard Payne University also sponsors a competitive athletic program for both men and women. Men’s Sports include football, basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, and golf. Women’s sports are volleyball, basketball, softball, soccer, tennis, and golf.

      The school competes in the NCAA Division III. This division consists of universities and college sporting programs that do not have athletic scholarships for their student-athletes. To understand what participating in the NCAA Division III means, we further elaborate on it and the differences between it and other divisions below.

The Different NCAA Divisions of College Sports

    The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a philanthropic corporation that oversees college athletes from up to 1,268 North American colleges and leagues. The NCAA is split into three tiers namely: Division I, Division II, and Division III, which are structured by program size in decreasing order, as well as various segments.

NCAA Division I

   The biggest colleges fall to Division I, while Division II and Division III schools are usually smaller. A prevalent assumption among athletes is that Division II is inherently inferior to Division II. Although it is true that D-I schools are better than D-II schools and D-II schools are better than D-III schools on average, it is essential to consider what a school’s willingness to play Division III or Division I is tactical.

 NCAA Division II

         Division II athletics are for smaller colleges. Compared to the overall number of D-I and D-III universities, Division II has the fewest member schools. Division II has fewer standards than Division I, which makes it less expensive to compete.

NCAA Division III

          Division III is the most significant NCAA division, with the majority of its members being private colleges (roughly 80 percent). D-III institutions have the smallest student enrollment rates on average, and the campus life of participating in D-III sports differs from that of competing in D-I sports.  Also, athletes in Division III programs are not eligible for athletic scholarships.

Now that we have elaborated on the various NCAA Divisions and how they differ, we can take a look at the sports that Howard Payne University partakes in in-depth and the tournaments they compete in at a Division III level.

Competitions that Howard Payne University Competes In

    Howard Payne University is currently a member of the American Southwest Conference.  The ASC is an NCAA Division III collegiate sports conference that was created in 1996. Schools in this conference are located in Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track and field, and women’s volleyball are just a few of the sports in which the conference participates.


   Howard Payne began playing football in 1903. In 1912, Gwinn Henry was appointed as the first head coach and served for two seasons. Nicknamed “The Yellow Jackets” the football team that joined the American Southwest Conference is currently ranked #14 amongst regional colleges in the West. The Yellow Jackets have produced notable alumni who played in the NFL (National Football League) such as four-time All-Star Ray Jacobs, former New York Giants cornerback; Keith Crawford, and former Minnesota Vikings Defensive End; Ken Sanders.


    The Howard Payne University men’s Basketball team was founded in 1935 and has competed in the American Southwest Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament since 1999. The NCAA Divison III American Southwest Conference’s annual basketball championship tournament is this. Since 1999, the competition has been conducted yearly. The tournament is a single-elimination format, with seeding determined by regular-season records.

    The Yellow Jackets are currently ranked #10 with a conference record of 6-14 and have appeared just once in the finals in 2006 losing to Mississippi College. Notable alumni include current UT Arlington basketball head coach Greg Young and hall of fame former head coach James McAdoo Keaton.


       The Yellow Jackets participate in the American Southwest Conference (ASC) Baseball championship. Being a D-III team they also partake in the NCAA Divison III Baseball Tournament.

 The NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament is an annual collegiate baseball tournament that determines the NCAA Division III baseball champion at the end of the spring regular season. The event has been held since 1976, shortly after Division III was established. The majority of the 56 teams who qualify obtain at-large invitations after receiving an automatic bid as part of their conference title.

Notable alumni include former Boston Red Sox pitcher; Slim Harris.


       The Howard Payne University men’s soccer team has participated in the American Southwest Conference (ASC) Tournament since 2006. The team has qualified for the ASC Championship Tournament on three occasions in 2009, 2010, and 2014 respectively but has failed to lift the trophy on all occasions.


      Howard Payne University has an excellent golf program. Having teams for both men’s and women’s golf programs. The school has participated in the ASC Men’s championship since 1997. The team was successful in the individual championships in 1999 and 2000 respectively.  The school also participates individually and as a team in the NCAA Division III Men’s golf championship.

This is an annual golf event held in mid-May to decide the men’s college golf team and individual champions in the United State. It has been held annually since 1975.


        In summary, Howard Payne University is a school that not only excels in academics. Despite being renowned for its achievements in STEM, the college has also found success in sporting activities. The school boasts a world-class athletic program that competes at the Division III level. Being at this level means that the student-athletes are able to manage their academic workload with the demands of competitive sports. Although D-III teams do not offer scholarships to athletes, the students who are eligible for one form of an academic scholarship or student aid or another are allowed to apply for them.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q: Does Howard Payne University give athletic scholarships?

A: Being a Division III school, Howard Payne University does not give athletic scholarships. But student-athletes can apply for need-based and academic scholarships.

Q: What sport is Howard Payne University good at?

A: Howard Payne University has a well-renowned football team.