FLORENCE, Ala. — The University of North Alabama’s transition to NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) status in 2018 is already renewing old rivalries for the Lions as UNA has signed a contract with Alabama A&M to play the Bulldogs in 2018 and 2019.

North Alabama and Alabama A&M played annually from 1975 to 1997, with the exception of 1991, when both were NCAA Division II institutions.

Alabama A&M, a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, will host UNA, soon to be a member of the Big South Conference, on September 8, 2018 in Huntsville. The Lions will then host the Bulldogs in Florence on September 14, 2019.

“These games are going to create a lot of excitement for UNA fans, Alabama A&M fans and football fans across north Alabama,” UNA Athletic Director Mark Linder said. “It is renewing a great rivalry between two schools in close proximity that have great fan bases. These are the kind of games that we need to be playing and want to playing.”

Alabama A&M Director of Athletics Bryan Hicks said he is also excited.

“This is great news for fans of Alabama A&M University, the University of North Alabama and of college football in this area,” said Hicks. “The close proximity of these two NCAA Division I athletic programs will bring a new excitement to the Tennessee Valley region.

“We welcome UNA to the family of NCAA Division I athletics and wish them well.”

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