One of the top JUCO football programs in the country is shutting down.
Arizona Western College, which boasts one of the top junior college football programs in the country, is done with the sport.
The school released the following statement:
Arizona Western College announced Wednesday, December 5th that the 2018 season of Matador Football would be its final season, leaving behind a well-respected history that stretches across the country and spans 6 decades. The college worked during the past year to navigate a series of seismic changes at the league and 2-year collegiate level, but was unsuccessful in carving a sustainable path forward for the program. Coaching staff and student-athletes have been notified. Current freshmen who have earned college scholarships have been offered a chance to retain their awards to complete their sophomore year.
“This was an incredibly difficult decision for me and my team to make,” Arizona Western College President Dr. Daniel Corr said. “Any time you’re facing the closing of a program, you know you’re going to impact real individual people—your students, your co-workers, your fans—who are passionate about that program. We have talented student-athletes here. We have a dedicated coaching staff. We have a rich tradition and a legacy in football with fans and alums across the region and the country. At the end of the day, the challenges we faced to continue the program—with the uncertain future of the league, the difficulty in putting together a schedule, the inability to fund increased travel—were simply too much.”
The Matadors played in the Western States Football League, which was made up of seven teams from Arizona and Snow College in Utah. Earlier in the year, all four schools located in the Maricopa County Community College District as well as Pima Community College announced they were canceling their programs.
Arizona Western College has made 10 straight bowl games and sent countless players to the Division 1 level. This is a major loss for the JUCO football ranks.