Tarleton State Texans
UniversityTarleton State University
ConferenceWestern Athletic Conference
United Athletic Conference (football)
Conference USA (beach volleyball)
NCAADivision I
Athletic directorLonn Reisman
LocationStephenville, Texas
Varsity teams16
Football stadiumMemorial Stadium
Basketball arenaWisdom Gym
Baseball stadiumCecil Ballow Baseball Complex
Softball stadiumTarleton Softball Complex
ColorsPurple and white[1]

The Tarleton State Texans (formerly the Tarleton State Texans and TexAnns),[2] also known as the Tarleton Texans, are the athletic teams that represent Tarleton State University of Stephenville, Texas in NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports. Before Tarleton became a four-year institution in 1961, they were known as the "Plowboys". The Texans compete as members of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) for 12 of their 14 varsity sports. During the school's four-year transition to full D-I membership, set to end in July 2024, Tarleton has planned to add several sports, with women's soccer the first to be confirmed, eventually launching in 2022.[3][4] Tarleton next added beach volleyball, a women-only sport at the NCAA level, in the 2024 season (2023–24 school year), competing as a single-sport member of Conference USA.[5]

Before joining the WAC in July 2020, Tarleton had been a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference (LSC). It had two separate stints in the LSC, first from 1968–69 to 1975–76 and then from 1994–95 to 2019–20. Tarleton was also a founding member of the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association (TIAA) in the 1976–77 school year and remained in that league until the 1990–91 school year. From 1991–92 to 1993–94, Tarleton played as an independent. The Texans began their transition to Division I upon joining the WAC.[6] Tarleton's football program competes at the second level of D-I football, the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS); it played its first D-I season as an independent before the WAC reinstated football in fall 2021.[7]

Shortly after the 2022 season, the WAC and the ASUN Conference, which had operated a football-only partnership in the 2021 and 2022 seasons, fully merged their football leagues, with Tarleton as one of the new league's nine initial members.[8][9] The new league's permanent name of United Athletic Conference was officially announced in April 2023.[10]

Women's nickname history

The first TSU women's varsity teams, introduced in 1968–69, played under the "Texans" nickname. However, due to female athletes' wish to play under a distinctive nickname, the school changed it the following school year, though a consistent spelling was not immediately adopted—"Texanns", "Tex-Anns", and "TexAnns" were used interchangeably until 1972–73, when "TexAnns" was officially settled on. During the 2018–19 school year, two players and a student manager in the women's basketball program started a campaign to change the women's nickname back to "Texans". After receiving buy-in from virtually all female athletes, plus much of the university community, TSU announced in January 2019 that women's teams would once again be known as "Texans" starting in 2019–20.[11]


Varsity sports

List of teams

The Tarleton State football team in action against the Texas A&M–Commerce Lions in 2014
The Tartleton State Dual Meet against Texas A&M–Commerce in 2015
  1. ^ a b Tarleton fields teams in indoor and outdoor track for both sexes. The NCAA classifies indoor and outdoor track as separate sports, holding indoor championships in its winter season and outdoor championships in its spring season.


  1. ^ "Media Relations". TarletonSports.com. August 13, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  2. ^ Javad, Jonah (January 24, 2019). "Tarleton State drops 'TexAnns' name for female athletes". WFAA. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  3. ^ "Tarleton Officially Joins Division I, Western Athletic Conference" (Press release). Tarleton Texans. July 1, 2020. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
  4. ^ "Tarleton to begin women's soccer program Fall 2022, search for head coach under way". Tarleton Texans. January 19, 2021. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  5. ^ "Tarleton adds Beach Volleyball as 17th intercollegiate sport, will compete in Conference USA" (Press release). Tarleton Texans. April 24, 2023. Retrieved April 27, 2023.
  6. ^ "Tarleton State to join Western Athletic Conference". Albuquerque Journal. November 11, 2019. Retrieved November 11, 2019.
  7. ^ "WAC Announces Expansion, Plans to Reinstate Football". Western Athletic Conference. January 14, 2021. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  8. ^ "@ASUN_Football and WAC Release 2023 Schedule" (Press release). ASUN Conference. December 20, 2022. Retrieved December 22, 2022.
  9. ^ "ASUN And WAC Unveil 2023 Football Schedule" (Press release). Western Athletic Conference. December 20, 2022. Retrieved December 22, 2022.
  10. ^ "ASUN-WAC Football Partnership Formally Rebrands as the United Athletic Conference" (Press release). Western Athletic Conference. April 17, 2023. Retrieved April 21, 2023.
  11. ^ "All Tarleton athletic teams to unite as 'Texans' this fall". Tarleton State Athletics. January 26, 2019. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  12. ^ Wisdom Gym at TSU