Liberty University today announced that it will be adding a men’s swimming team to its roster of club sports, beginning in the fall of 2017 and coinciding with the planned opening of a brand new aquatics center that will be among the nicest in the state of Virginia.
The new team will take part in competitions governed by the American Swimming Association, and plans to compete against other club teams from both Atlantic Coast Conference and Colonial Athletic Association schools.
Last season, Ohio State won the collegiate club national championship, and Florida and Colorado (which does not offer varsity swimming) are frequently among the top finishers.
The Flames already have a women’s varsity team, which under head coach Jake Shellenberger finished 2nd at last year’s Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) championships in February.
While there are no indications that the school plans to upgrade this new team to varsity status anytime soon, club sports are a huge deal at Liberty, and coaches are expected to actively recruit athletes. Liberty’s press release specifically mentioned how the new club team will complement the school’s triathlon club team, which will train in the same new pool.
With this addition, male swimmers looking at colleges in Virginia will have at least two new options if they want to continue their swimming career, as the Division III Virginia Wesleyan College announced a couple months ago that they will be adding both men’s and women’s swimming for the 2017-2018 season.