Texans Unite

January 29, 2019

Tarleton State University's intercollegiate athletic teams have traditionally gone by two different names. Men's teams are called the Texans, while women's teams are called the TexAnns. That will change next year, when all teams will unite as Texans.

According to the Stephenville Empire-Tribune, three members of the women's basketball program, Hannah Hyde, Mackenzie Hailey and Maddie Oliver, presented a bill to the Student Government Association in November requesting that all teams be known as “Texans.” The bill moved up to the President's Cabinet and vice president for student affairs. The President's Cabinet and Student Government unanimously decided to change the name.

“This legislation had been on our minds since last year, but we felt that we needed to do research and have conversations with other student-athletes and alumni before deciding to move on it,” Hailey said. “The world is changing in regards to its views on feminism, and we felt it was time for women’s athletics at Tarleton to change as well and unify with the rest of the university.”

Lonn Reisman, Athletic Director, said that “This was not a knee-jerk decision,” but one that the SGA had thoroughly researched and looked into.

“I’m very proud of our young women for bringing the issue forward and fighting for something that is obviously very important for the majority of our female student-athletes and our student body," she said. "These are relevant conversations for our times.”

Mary Schindler, Senior Woman Administrator and Head Volleyball coach, applauded the change.

“I couldn’t be more excited. It’s a long time coming, and it’s progressive,” Schindler said. “When I came here as a student-athlete, I came for Tarleton, not the TexAnn name. As a student-athlete, it was something that we always wanted and we called ourselves Texans. Now for that to be the name across the board is going to be a very positive thing.”

Reisman said the school would not retroactively change the “TexAnns” name on historical trophies, banners and record books.

“We are all Texans, but more importantly, we are all ambassadors for Tarleton State University any time we put on the purple and white,” Reisman said.

Misty Wilson, a women's basketball coach and Hall of Fame athlete for Tarleton State, is another proponent for the change. She feels the “TexAnn” name was intended to “isolate” the women and help give them the spotlight, as well as a sense of identity, but times have changed.

“Isolation, at the time, may have seemed like a necessary evil, but isolation now is working against what we envision for female athletes,” Wilson said. We are now part of the solution and play an integral part in putting Tarleton in the national spotlight. With the majority of our female sports consistently competing in the NCAA national tournaments, there is no need to alienate us from all being Texans. We have arrived.”

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