ETBU Ranked As One of the Most Affordable Christian Colleges in the U.S.

Posted by Tiger Pride in Honors


East Texas Baptist University has been recognized as one of the “50 Most Affordable Christian Colleges in the U.S.”  The website, Christian Universities Online ( ranked ETBU at 35. 

“ETBU has always worked hard to keep costs affordable for our students,” said ETBU Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing Vince Blankenship. “That commitment is reflected in the more than $9 million in ETBU aid that is awarded.” 

The website posted “East Texas Baptist University (ETBU) is a private, liberal arts university affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas.  Students can choose from over 38 undergraduate majors and four graduate majors.   Undergraduate majors cover a very wide range of fields such as criminal justice, kinesiology and elementary education to give only a few of them.  More than 85% of ETBU’s full-time faculty have earned doctorates or terminal degrees and each student has an abundance of opportunity for one-to-one interaction with each of them given the very low student-to-faculty ratio.  Spiritual and professional development is facilitated through a variety of campus programs, chapel services, and community events.”

Christian Universities Online reports that the colleges on the Top 50 list had to be accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools or a member/affiliate of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.  The website ranked the 50 schools by average net price data put out by the National Center for Education Statistics. Also, in order to ensure the comparisons were as commensurable and practical as possible, the website set a lower limit on the student population at 1,000.

 ETBU is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Fall 2013 enrollment was 1,247. The average net price to attend ETBU was $18,235. For the upcoming academic year ETBU will award over $9 million in financial aid to students and over 99% will receive financial aid.  


ASC Honors ETBU Sports Information Department

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics, Honors

sid award

Before the start of a new year of classes and athletic contests on the campuses of members of the American Southwest Conference, a meeting is held of all the Sport Information Directors (SID) in the conference. The meeting is a time for the SID’s from their respective universities to visit with ASC Commissioner Amy Carlton and Assistant Commissioner Jimmy Glenn about the upcoming athletic seasons as well as learn of any NCAA Division III rule changes.

SID’s have the responsibility to report and keep official statistics for every game played. SID’s are usually the first to arrive at the stadium, gym, field, or court, and the last to leave. Since 2008, the ASC has given out a Sports Information Department of the Year award.

This year, ETBU’s SID department led by Adam Ledyard is the co-recipient of this year’s award along with the staff at UT-Tyler.

I am very humbled by this award and being honored by my peers,” said Ledyard after receiving the award.  “I had a great staff last year in Erik Holth, Kayla Franklin, Drew Dawson, and T.J. Barnes helping out. They deserve this award just as much as I do. I am grateful to use my gifts every day that God has given me to use and am thankful for those gifts.”

Congratulations to the ETBU SID staff.  Keep up the good work on reporting the great things the #TigerFamily is accomplishing on the field as well as the classroom.

To read more about the ASC Sports Information Department Staff of the Year Award, click here.

ETBU competes in NCAA Division III athletics for a number of sports: football, volleyball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s track and field, softball, and baseball.


Liles Plays Softball in Europe

Posted by Tiger Pride in Alumni, Athletics, Honors

Lacy Liles in her Team USA uniform before playing softball in Europe.

Lacy Liles in her Team USA uniform before playing softball in Europe.

East Texas Baptist University All-American softball player Lacy Liles, who graduated this past May, had the opportunity to play a few more softball games even though her time in a Lady Tiger uniform had ended.  

Liles was chosen by the organization American International Sports Teams to play softball overseas. She represented the United States of America during a 10-day trip across Europe.

Upon returning back home to East Texas, Marshall News Messenger sports editor Nathan Hague reported on her international softball playing experience.

To read the story by Hague, click here.


McClain Nominated for Allstate Good Works Team

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics, Honors, Student Life

jake mcclain

The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) has released the list of candidates for the Allstate Good Works team and East Texas Baptist University’s Jake McClain is on the list.  Over 182 nominees from across the country are on the list from NCAA Division I to NAIA and McClain is the only nominee from the American Southwest Conference.

 “Jake is well deserving of this nomination as he gives a lot back to this community, ETBU, and his churches he is a part of,” says head coach Joshua Eargle.  “He is a hard worker and is what ETBU football is all about.”

 McClain will be a junior at ETBU and played in three games last year as the quarterback.  The Teague, Texas, native has volunteered at numerous church events and been a leader in small groups.  At ETBU he is a Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle leader, a Journey parent for Baptist Student Ministry, and helps with the Tupas Discipleship program.  He has taken two mission trips in the last year to Honduras and Mexico and been a camp counselor at “Nextreme.”  He volunteers at Mission Marshall and the ETBU Sports Camps last spring along with leading a weekly Bible study.  He has also preached at First Baptist Church in Redwater. 

To read the complete release from ETBU Sports Information click here.

The Marshall News Messenger also reported on McClain’s nomination, read the story by clicking here.


Three Tiger Football Players Named to Pre-Season All-American Team

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics, Honors

all american football 2014

There are still over 40 days until the East Texas Baptist University football team starts the season but they have earned three pre-season awards from the USA Football Network. Toi Glover, Tyler Bates, and Michael Garcia have been named All-Americans heading into the 2014 season.

“These awards show how hard our program is working and represents us all at the national level,” says head football coach Joshua Eargle.

Earning USA Football Network Pre-Season All-American third-team status is running back Toi Glover. The senior returns after his first 1,000 yard rushing season and nine touchdown effort. In five games he rushed for over 100 yards and had 187 yards vs. Willamette and 182 yards against Sul Ross State. He also rushed for two touchdowns in a game three different times.

Tyler Bates and Michael Garcia were both named to the USA Football Network Pre-Season All-American honorable mention team. Bates had a standout season in 2013 breaking the ETBU record for receptions in a season (73) and touchdowns caught (10) while being named All-ASC second team as a wide receiver and return specialist.

Garcia started on the offensive line for the third straight year and was named to the All-ASC honorable mention team. He helped ETBU’s offense break several team and single game records last year.

ETBU starts their season under second year head coach Eargle on Thursday, September 4, in Commerce, Texas, against NCAA Division II Texas A&M-Commerce at 7:00 p.m. ETBU has the very first game among all the other NCAA Division III football teams.


Click here to view 2104 Tiger Football Schedule so you can plans to attend a Tiger game. The Tigers have six home games this year at Ornelas Stadium and make plans to visit Tiger Alley before all home games. 


ETBU Professor Nominated to Serve With BWA

Posted by Tiger Pride in Academics, Faculty/Staff, Honors

Dr. Elijah Brown post a selfie from Ephesus on Twitter. He tweeted out, "Enjoyed seeing Ephesus today! Amazing experience." Photo by @ElijahMBrown.

Dr. Elijah Brown post a selfie from Ephesus on Twitter. He tweeted out, “Enjoyed seeing Ephesus today! Amazing experience.” Photo by @ElijahMBrown.

The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) is a fellowship of 228 conventions and unions in 121 countries and territories comprising 42 million members in 177,000 churches.  Last week, during its annual meeting held in Izmir, Turkey, a faculty member of the East Texas Baptist University School of Christian Studies was elected to serve on the BWA  Nominations Committee for the term of 2014-2019.

Dr. Elijah Brown, ETBU’s Director of the Freedom Center and Associate Professor of Missions, was nominated by the North American Baptist Fellowship to serve on this vital committee.

“With 26 member bodies, the North American Baptist Fellowship promotes fellowship and collaboration among Baptists across both Canada and the United States.  It is an honor to be selected as one of their representatives to the nominating committee of the Baptist World Alliance,” said Dr. Brown from Izmir.  “I am grateful for the support offered by East Texas Baptist University and for the willingness of both the NABF and the BWA to intentionally include young leaders in their decision making processes.” 

Dr. Brown  also tweeted from the meeting, “Thank you @NABF for recommendation with @samchaise_cbm to help with nominating committee @TheBWA for 2014-2019. Honored by the opportunity.”  Sam Chaise, the other NABF nominee, serves with Canadian Baptist Ministries.

Another attendee at the Annual Gathering, George Bullard, president of Columbia Partnership, based in Columbia, South Carolina, posted to his blog (, “It is important that this group have God’s wisdom in choosing a diversity of qualified people to serve BWA in the years to come so it’s a true worldwide organization.” Bullard also serves as the general secretary of the NABF.

While in Turkey, Dr. Brown took the opportunity to visit several early New Testament sites like Ephesus and the Church of Saint John, which is the traditional burial site where John the Apostle is said to have been laid to rest.  

To read more, click here.

To discover more about the ETBU School of Christian Studies,click here.


ETBU Has 31 Winter/Spring Athletes Named ASC All-Academic

Posted by Tiger Pride in Academics, Athletics, Honors


academic all conference

The East Texas Baptist University winter and spring sports were recently honored by the American Southwest Conference as 31 student-athletes made the all-academic team.  The sports teams  that had athletes on the academic teams were men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, men’s and women’s track & field, and men’s and women’s tennis.

The softball team led the way with 10 student-athletes on the list which was the second best in the softball category.  The baseball team followed with six student-athletes while men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s  tennis teams each had three on both teams.  The women’s track team added two student-athletes and men’s track had one student-athlete to finish up the 31 student-athletes.

To be eligible for ASC All-Academic honors, student-athletes must be classified academically as a sophomore, junior, senior or graduate student during the competition season and have been in attendance and completed at least one academic year (two consecutive semesters) at their institution. They must also have a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average (GPA) as certified at the conclusion of the academic semester in which the ASC sport championship is held.

Below are ETBU’s athletes that made the all-academic team:


Kayla Garcia East Texas Baptist Jr. Kinesiology Navasota, Texas
Jessica Delgado East Texas Baptist Jr. Criminal Justice Arlington, Texas
Mallory Westbrook East Texas Baptist Jr. Psychology Rusk, Texas
Maranada Westbrook East Texas Baptist Jr. Kinesiology Rusk, Texas
Shelby Parker East Texas Baptist Sr. Athletic Training Brazoria, Texas
Kelly Jo McLendon East Texas Baptist So. Kinesiology Livingston, Texas
Alyssa Romero East Texas Baptist Sr. Education & Biology Humble, Texas
Sara Clements East Texas Baptist Jr. Athletic Training Pearland, Texas
Lacy Liles East Texas Baptist Sr. Business Elysian Fields, Texas
Shelby Phillips East Texas Baptist Jr. Kinesiology Nederland, Texas


Jordan Brewer East Texas Baptist Sr. Kinesiology Rowlett, Texas
Ben Beltran East Texas Baptist Jr. Kinesiology El Paso, Texas
Kirby Moore East Texas Baptist Jr. Secondary Education Minden, La.
Ernesto Perez East Texas Baptist So. Math Corpus Christi, Texas
Joshua Warbington East Texas Baptist So. Accounting Hallsville, Texas
Cody Pruitt East Texas Baptist Jr. Mass Communications Huffman, Texas

Men’s Basketball

Eric Horton East Texas Baptist So. Business Paris, Texas
JD Richardson East Texas Baptist Jr. Athletic Training White Oak, Texas
Erby Thompson East Texas Baptist Jr. Kinesiology Pitkin, La.

Women’s Basketball

Kelly Johnstone East Texas Baptist Sr. Criminal Justice Howe, Texas
Amanda Rucker East Texas Baptist Jr. Kinesiology Grand Saline, Texas
Morgan Garrett East Texas Baptist Jr. Undecided Coushatta, La.

Men’s Tennis

Nicolas Larzabal East Texas Baptist So. History & Sociology Bogota, Columbia
Tyler Tolopka East Texas Baptist So. Biology Sugarland, Texas
Jeremy Rhodes East Texas Baptist So. Business Bullard, Texas

Women’s Tennis

Kayla Franklin East Texas Baptist Sr. Kinesiology Princeton, Texas
Kali Kipp East Texas Baptist Sr. Business Fort Worth, Texas
Hannah Word East Texas Baptist Jr. Accounting Centerville, Texas

Women’s T&F

Jenny Utterbeck East Texas Baptist Jr. Athletic Training Rowlett, Texas
Megan Merrill East Texas Baptist So. Biology Mount Pleasant, Texas

Men’s T&F

Landon Price East Texas Baptist So. Religion & Missions Mount Vernon, Texas

Athletic Training

Bailey Alanis East Texas Baptist So. Athletic Training Elgin, Texas
Dana Boyd East Texas Baptist So. Athletic Training Kilgore, Texas
Kristen Hensley East Texas Baptist So. Athletic Training Van Alstyne, Texas
Harley McCoy East Texas Baptist So. Athletic Training Dallas, Texas
Brady Tomlin East Texas Baptist So. Athletic Training Gilmer, Texas
Tiffannee Byrd East Texas Baptist Jr. Athletic Training Livingston, Texas
Sara Clements East Texas Baptist Jr. Athletic Training Houston, Texas
J D Richardson East Texas Baptist Jr. Athletic Training White Oak, Texas
Jenny Utterbeck East Texas Baptist Jr. Athletic Training Rowlett, Texas

Sports Information

Drew Dawson East Texas Baptist Sr. Kinesiology Marshall, Texas

Liles Voted ASC’s Distinguished Scholar-Athlete

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics, Honors


liles distinguished athlete

For the second year in a row, the East Texas Baptist University softball team has the American Southwest Conference’s softball distinguished scholar-award winner.  Lacy Liles is the award winner earning another academic award this spring.  Last  year, Lya Swaner was the award winner in the ASC.


Liles has now been named a CoSIDA Academic All-American, voted to the CoSIDA Academic All-District first-team, and named to the ASC’s All-Academic and the ASC’s medal of honor list before winning the distinguished scholar-athlete award.  She also earned various awards this year for her play.


The award, in its seventh academic year, recognizes student-athletes who achieve a high level of academic achievement (a 3.20 grade-point average or better) while competing as a starter or important reserve on their team. From that list – limited to one nominee per school in each ASC championship sport – the sports information directors from the 12 ASC member institutions select a Distinguished Scholar-Athlete in each sport.


Liles helped ETBU to one of their finest years, ever, in the program winning a program best 45 games and winning the Tyler Regional and Marshall Super Regional Tournament Championships.  ETBU finished ranked #4 in the final NFCA national poll and was ranked in the top 10 all season.  They advanced to the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament for the second time in five years, also.




Softball Staff Named NFCA West Region Staff Of The Year

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics, Honors


etbu coach staff of year 2014

Putting together one of the finest years in East Texas Baptist University softball, the staff of head coach Janae Shirley and assistant coaches Bill Galloway and Guy Shirley were awarded the NFCA West Region award for staff of the year.  This is the second time in five years that Shirley’s staff has received this award also winning the award in 2010.

Shirley and her staff guided ETBU to a program best 45 wins and to the Tyler Regional and Marshall Super Regional Championships.  Her team earned a berth to their second-ever NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament where they finished in fifth place.  ETBU also produced a program best 20-game winning streak this year and had nine players named All-ASC

ETBU was also ranked in the NFCA’s top 10 the entire season finishing as the fourth ranked team in the nation.  They have now been ranked for 25 straight weeks.  Under Shirley, ETBU has made the NCAA Tournament in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014 winning the national championship in 2010.  She has a 21-10 record in the NCAA Tournament and is 5-2 in the championship tournament.


Two Tigers Earn ASC’s Medal of Honor Award

Posted by Tiger Pride in Athletics, Honors

liles simpson

Named as one of the top male and female academic athletes in the American Southwest Conference, Evan Simpson (football) and Lacy Liles (softball) were the recipients of the scholar-athlete medal award representing East Texas Baptist University.  Each school in the ASC has two athletes receive the award.


Simpson and Liles each had the top grade point average for a senior at ETBU and were given the award.  They are one of select few in the ASC to receive this award.  Simpson is from Dew, Texas, and played in nine games.  Liles is from Elysian Fields, Texas, and has won numerous ASC awards and is a NFCA All-American.

For more, visit the American Southwest Conference  website by clicking here.