NAIA-member school St. Thomas University in South Florida (not to be confused with several other colleges named ‘St. Thomas’) has announced that it will add men’s and women’s swimming & diving programs and a men’s wrestling program beginning in 2020. The announcement comes as part of a rapid-expansion of the school’s athletics program that has seen recent additions of track & field (2018) and football (2019) as well.
The university, located in Miami Gardens, Florida, has an undergraduate enrollment of about 1,220 students, with a further 1,500 enrolled in graduate programs.
The move coincides with a big recent expansion of academic degree offerings at the school as well. The school welcomed its largest class ever in the fall of 2019, more-than-doubling last year’s new student enrollment, and opened a newly-renovated residence hall after 7 years of closure this summer to accommodate the growth.
The additions will bring the school up to 21 varsity sports. They swimming & diving programs plan to compete in the Sun Coast Conference, which includes schools that compete in St. Thomas University’s primary conference, the Sun Coast Conference. The Sun Coast Conference Championships are held annually in Orlando, Florida at the YMCA Aquatic Center.
Current Members of the Sun Coast (Swimming Only) Conference:
- Keiser University
- South Georgia State
- UNC Pembroke (Women Only)
- Pfeiffer University (Women Only)
- Thomas University
- Warren Wilson College
- LaGrange College
Keiser is the conference’s top performer – the women’s team was 2nd at last year’s NAIA National Championship meet, while the men’s team won the national title.
The school now becomes the 11th NAIA institution to add swimming since 2017, and 59th in total according to the Collegiate Swimming Coaches’ Association (CSCAA). The NAIA allows a limit of 8 scholarships each for men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs.
The school’s website does not list any on-campus aquatics facilities.