Assumption University (formerly Assumption College) announced Thursday the addition of a men’s swimming program for the 2023-24 season.
The Greyhounds are also adding a women’s ice hockey program next year, which will make them the only school in the Northeast-10 (NE10) Conference to sponsor all 24 sports at the NCAA Division II level.
“The addition of these two varsity sports provides enhanced recruitment opportunities throughout New England, the nation, and internationally of students interested in intellectual seriousness, thoughtful citizenship, and devotion to the common good,” said Greg Weiner, ph.D., the interim president at Assumption University.
Cameron Dwyer, head coach of the women’s swimming and diving program at Assumption, will also oversee the men’s team. The Greyhounds train in a six-lane pool.
“We’re ecstatic for the addition of men’s swimming,” said Dwyer, who swam collegiately at the University of Maine. “I fully believe it’s going to enhance the student-athlete experience here at Assumption. I think it’s going to provide a lot of holistic benefits that it’s hard to realize when you hear the addition of men’s swimming, but I really think it’s going to add a lot to the whole experience.
“We’re really excited not only because we have this other entity, but because it also means more support from a fiscal standpoint and coaches on deck. It’s really going to allow us to grow and usher in a new era of competitiveness. We’re really excited to hit the ground running in 2023, but also build into that next year. Next year is going to be a big year for the women’s program.”
The women’s squad at Assumption has grown into one of the top teams in the conference since the program’s inception in 2007. The Greyhounds finished 3rd at the NE10 Championships in February to cap off Dwyer’s first season at the small liberal arts university in Worcester, Massachusetts. They return a trio of talented seniors next year in Ada Ferrick (three A final appearances at the NE10 Championships), Faith Somody (runner-up finishes in the 100 back and 200 back), and Erin Tague (third in the 1000, fourth in the 500, and fourth in the 1650). Before the 2021 conference championships were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Assumption placed 2nd in 2020 and 1st in 2019.
The Greyhounds’ addition of men’s swimming follows a recent trend of D-II, D-III, and NAIA schools investing in aquatics. The boom hasn’t translated as much to the D-I level, where operating costs are generally more expensive.
“Adding a men’s program when we already have a highly successful women’s program just made a lot of sense from the administrative side,” Dwyer said. “That’s something we’ve been pushing for, too, just to allow us to be more competitive in our conference and on the national side. I think there’s a lot of benefits that come out of having a combined program – most notably, resources, on-deck coaching, and a stronger sense of community and support.
“I think from the administrative side, it is a means to bolster enrollment and make sure there’s a stronger revenue flow coming in,” he added. “But also, most importantly, to make sure the student experience is second to none and that the Assumption swimmers and divers are getting the most out of their time at Assumption.”