After having been abruptly cut from the school’s sports offerings in April 2015, Pfeiffer University in Richfield, North Carolina has decided to reinstate its women’s swimming and diving team as of the 2017-18 season. The Pfeiffer falcons will be switching to Division III and the USA South Conference and have hired Amy Prior as the squad’s head coach.
Both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams were cut by the Pfeiffer Athletics Department as of the 2015-16 season. Among reasons given at the time, the university’s primary athletic conference, the Conference Carolinas, didn’t sponsor swimming, which left the team to compete in the diverse Bluegrass Mountain Conference, a versatile collection of teams from the NCAA’s Division II, Division III, and NAIA.
With the switch to Division III and the USA South Conference, the reinstatement of the women’s swimming program fits the new mission of the university and conference, school officials said.
“I am delighted we are getting the opportunity to reinstate our women’s swimming program,” said Vice President for Athletics Bob Reasso. “We are very fortunate to have a great candidate like Amy who is on the staff at Pfeiffer and also works with Gray Stone Day School. She is a tremendous coach to start up our program and we are looking for great things.”
New Head Coach Prior is an adjunct professor at Pfeiffer and has been involved in swimming within the state of North Carolina since 1982. She is a graduate of Appalachian State University, where she was a varsity swimmer while majoring in health education and psychology.
“We are delighted to have Amy Prior join the Pfeiffer coaching staff as a full-time coach,” Pfeiffer President Colleen Keith said. “She is a respected teacher and coach who takes an active role at the state and national levels as a health educator. We fully expect that she will help us to rebuild our swim program so that student-athletes are successful both inside the classroom and in the pool.”
“My two greatest loves are coaching and swimming,” said Prior. “To have the opportunity to take over the women’s swimming program and rebuild it is a dream come true. I love the Pfeiffer family and am honored and thrilled to be a part of this endeavor.”
The official announcement of the reinstatement can be read on the Pfeiffer University website here.