Xavier University of Louisiana Moves to Red River Athletic Conference with an Eye Towards Baseball Competition and Opportunity


Xavier University of Louisiana head baseball coach Adrian Holloway knows precisely when the benefit of playing in a tough conference will have dividends. The Gold Rush officially starts its 2022 season opening a three-game home series February 5-6, 2022, hosting Tougaloo College at New Orleans, LA., Wesley Barrow Stadium. The first Red River Athletic Conference games are scheduled for Feb. 18-19, visiting Huston-Tillotson in Austin, Texas.

The Gold Rush, who finished 27-11 in their first season after a 60-year hiatus, earned a second-place finish in the inaugural Black College World Series and a No. 2 ranking in Black College Nines HBCU baseball small school Top 10 final poll last season.

At first, obviously, there was a little trepidation as to how well Coach Holloway’s Xavier club could compete in the GCAC conference last year. But after the first year, the program proved it can compete with the best in the conference and beyond the GCAC.

In its first season, Holloway’s young and energetic roster recorded 27 wins, and the feedback he received from coaches outside the HBCU ranks throughout the nation was overwhelmingly positive. Building the program up from scratch starting the year before varsity play, last year was a huge success in every area… in terms of competition, in terms of facilities, in terms of national visibility. It was a major step up for the entire baseball program.

Joining the RRAC, Xavier will be competing against some of the absolute best in the country.  The move should definitely have a positive effect on its Bo Chip Power Index rating. According to that baseball rating system, Xavier finished the season ranked 54 out of 185 NAIA baseball programs. The Bo Chip Power Index awards teams points based on its wins and losses, record of opponent and division and affiliation of opponent.

The RRAC represents a competitive conference and is considered a step up from the GCAC. It is the best move the athletic department could have made as the RRAC is considered one of the best NAIA baseball conferences in the nation and the competition is at a very high level.

I’m not knocking the GCAC, by any means. It’s a good league when Edward Waters University and Talladega College competed. But they have moved on. Edward Waters is now an NCAA DII program and Talladega joined the Southern State Athletic Conference (SSAC). Gone from the GCAC is a top-notch non-conference strength of schedule that both teams scheduled.

Coach Holloway has always been a top recruiter. His job is to be realistic and to take all the knowledge and experience at his disposal and deliver an honest assessment to field the baseball roster. There’s probably nobody better in the country to realistically evaluate this situation because he’s done it before.

This is the second time he’s transitioned a program. The seven straight postseason appearance, six at Selma University where he was at prior to coming to Xavier University of Louisiana, and one at Xavier are factors. The job is to prepare the team to win three or four games in a weekend series in the conference and non-conference mid-week games.

The buzz around campus and among fans is that a move to the Red River Athletic Conference will increase exposure for the baseball program. The program will be able to recruit from hotbeds such as Texas, Alabama, and Georgia. Coach Holloway will expand Xavier’s recruiting reach.

The primary hurdle, at least for the immediate future, appears to be recognition and stability. Within the past six months, the conference has added Xavier which became the fifth HBCU member of the 12 baseball teams.

I think Coach Holloway has the same philosophical view of what success looks like at Xavier as he had at Selma University. Now, he just needs to put it into practice and win the rugged RRAC.

3 comments for “Xavier University of Louisiana Moves to Red River Athletic Conference with an Eye Towards Baseball Competition and Opportunity

  1. So very proud of Coach Holloway and the direction he is taking the baseball program. Wishing him and his team the best of luck. I see great strides taking place!

  2. Wish coach and his program much success he is a great coach and they will do good in that conference

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