Hendrix football coach Buck Buchanan told the Conway Kiwanis Club on Wednesday that he can almost guarantee that after graduation, players on the Hendrix football team will turn pro.
"They’ll be pro, all right: Doctors, lawyers, teachers, scientists," Buchanan said.
After a 52-year hiatus, Hendrix is reinstating football in the fall of 2013.
Buchanan is working on the Division III schedule in the new Southern Athletic Association.
The SAA includes "like minded" colleges such as Hendrix: Sewanee, Rhodes, Millsaps, Washington University, University of Chicago and Birmingham Southern.
Recruiting has begun -- there have been five transfers already -- with 65-70 young men expected for the start of the 2013 season.
Early recruiting will focus on Arkansas, and some players will come from the baseball and lacrosse programs that have different seasons.
The goal is 20-30 seniors in four years.
"All eyes will be on these young men," Buchanan said. "We hope the community will welcome them and thank them for choosing Hendrix."
Athletic scholarships are not allowed in Division III.
"Our sport will be in its purest form. Our guys will be playing for the love of the game and each other.
"They will be the right young men for the right reason," Buchanan said.
Robert Wright, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club and a Hendrix basketball standout, introduced Buchanan to the club.
Wright was wearing a Hendrix orange shirt as a reminder to Buchanan.
"I still have a year left of eligibility. I’ll be waiting for a call," Wright said.
A native of Denison, Texas, Buchanan is a graduate of Austin College in Sherman, Texas. He was a two-time All-American in football and an academic All-American.
His degrees are in speech communications and exercise science.
Buchanan has coached for Louisiana College, an NCAA Division III institution in Pineville, La., since 1999 and was one of the original staff members when the school’s football program was restarted.
(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 505-1234.)