Division III Emory & Henry will add men’s swimming to its athletic department beginning with the 2017-2018 season.
The school announced the move on Friday. Men’s swimming and women’s golf will become the 16th and 17th sports offered by the school.
The new swimming program will compete in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, where Emory & Henry’s women already compete. The women were 2nd out of 10 teams in the conference last season, behind only conference champs Washington & Lee.
The ODAC just added men’s swimming at the conference level for the 2014-2015 season. Washington & Lee have won both conference titles since the sport’s inclusion in the conference. 4 teams competed in the ODAC in men’s swimming over the past two seasons: Washington & Lee, Randolph-Macon and Hampden-Sydney in both seasons, Greensboro in 2014-2015 and Ferrum in 2015-2016.
The full Emory & Henry press release is below:
EMORY, Va. – Emory & Henry College will add women’s golf and men’s swimming as varsity sports beginning with the 2017-18 academic year, Director of Athletics Myra Sims announced Friday. Both programs will compete as members of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.
“It is very exciting to me that we are adding two more sports to our athletics program,”commented Sims. “Women’s golf and men’s swimming are sports that have been recently added at the conference level, so they make sense with respect to our league. We hope to field competitive squads with the goal of challenging for conference titles.”
The addition of women’s golf comes on the heels of the rejuvenation of the men’s golf program, which begins competition this fall after an eight-year layoff. In 2015-16, five ODAC schools sponsored women’s golf in the league’s fourth season as a conference sport. Head Men’s Golf Coach Justin Harvey will also lead the Wasps’ women’s team under the title of Head Men’s & Women’s Golf Coach.
“Justin has attracted interest from some young women while he has been on the road recruiting for our men’s golf program. He has successfully recruited a full squad of young men for this season and I am confident in his ability to also fill a women’s roster by next fall,” Sims added.
Men’s swimming is the newest sport in the ODAC fold, beginning competition with the 2014-15 season. Currently, three other conference institutions sponsor men’s swimming with a pair of associate members joining the mix. With the addition of the men’s program, E&H has created a full-time assistant coaching position which will work with both squads.
“Over the past few years, women’s swimming coach received interest from male swimmers during his visits to swimming clubs across the region,” noted Sims. “We feel confident that there are young men out there who want to swim at the college level. With two full-time coaches on staff going forward, we believe that we will continue to recruit successfully for the women’s program while also getting a great start with the men’s team.”
With these additions, E&H increases its varsity sport offering to 17 with eight men’s sports (baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis), eight women’s sports (basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, volleyball) and the coed Intermont Equestrian teams. Emory & Henry was a charter member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference in 1976.