Division II Southwest Baptist University To Add Men’s and Women’s Swimming Programs

Southwest Baptist University, an NCAA Division II school located in Bolivar, Mo., is adding men’s and women’s swimming programs, the athletics department announced Thursday.

Southwest Baptist (SBU) is also adding men’s volleyball, giving the Bearcats 21 varsity sports. The three new programs will begin competition in the 2025-26 academic year, using the upcoming 2024-25 campaign to recruit student-athletes. A national search for coaches will begin immediately.

SBU is a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC), which had 10 women’s swimming teams and 11 on the men’s side before the addition of SBU.

This past season, the Drury women and UIndy men won GLVC titles.

“We are thrilled to be adding men’s volleyball and men’s and women’s swimming here at SBU,” said Director of Athletics Clark Sheehy.

“We are confident there will be strong interest in the region for these programs, and we are excited about the momentum this can bring to SBU athletics. It’s a great day to be a Bearcat!”

The addition of men’s volleyball aligns with it becoming a GLVC sponsored sport in 2025-26. Men’s and women’s swimming has been sponsored by the GLVC since 2013.

The SBU swim teams will presumably train out of the natatorium at the Jane and Ken Meyer Sports and Wellness Center, which features a six-lane, 50-meter pool.

SBU, which is affiliated with the Missouri Baptist Convention, had an enrollment of 2,168 students in 2023.

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SW Mo Swim Fan
1 month ago

Great news for the swimming community. With Missouri State and Drury in Springfield, should be a great spot to start a program and have some tough local competition. Wonder if they’ll go for anyone with those SW Mo connections? Long list of names that could be great candidates with strong ties to area.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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