The University of North Texas at Dallas hired a few high-profile coaches, and now the Oak Cliff university is joining a regional athletic conference.

UNT-Dallas has been invited to join the Sooner Athletic Conference as its 12th member.

The conference includes Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth and Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie along with other small colleges in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Texas.

The university created an athletics program in January and will begin competing in basketball, cross-country and track next year.

The school hired former Dallas Mavericks player Josh Howard as coach of the men’s basketball team. And former Plano Senior High School coach Rodney Belcher will helm the women’s team. Coach Kenneth Royal, formerly at Roosevelt and Madison high schools in Dallas, will coach the cross-country and track teams.