SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — The last time Roanoke College could lay claim to having a football team you have to go back more than 80 years to 1942. World War II forced the shutdown of the program.

Now the comeback of the program is closer to being a reality as last Friday the school’s board of trustees voted to approve a proposal by school president Frank Shushok, Jr. to reinstate football as a varsity sport and add varsity cheerleading and marching band co-curricular programs. The proposal was approved on the condition that start-up funding of $1.2 million is in place by June 1.

Roanoke’s home athletic conference is the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Currently, the ODAC has 8 football-playing members with Washington and Lee, Ferrum, and Averett being the closest football-playing schools to Roanoke College. With the addition of Roanoke College’s football program, it strengthens the league.

President Shushok said Roanoke College is in great shape compared to other startup football programs. The Maroons have the use of Salem Stadium for their games. Plus, they have to do upgrades to Alumni Field and the Bast Center for the football program keeping the cost as low as possible.

President Shushok said they are $400,000 away from their goal. He said if they meet the goal on time the plan is to recruit players next year and be ready to start the season in the fall of 2024.