Virginia Wesleyan College, a private college in Norfolk, Virginia, announced that it will be adding men’s and women’s swimming to its varsity sports program starting with the 2017-2018 season.
The teams will be compete in the Division III Old Dominion Athletic Conference, with includes schools like Hampden-Sydney and Washington and Lee.
Mike Ginder will be the Marlin’s first head coach. Ginder was previously an assistant coach at Bucknell University and Washington and Lee. He is an alumnus of Washington and Lee, where he was a team captain an All-American.
Virginia Wesleyan currently has an eight-lane, 25 yard pool as part of the student recreation center that is heavily used by local club and high school teams. The VWC press release indicated that the pool may be expanded and/or renovated thanks to donors.
Here’s the initial press release in full:
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia Wesleyan College will add men’s and women’s swimming to its list of NCAA Division III sponsored sports in 2017-18, according to Joanne Renn, Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Renn said that the addition of swimming will increase to 20 the number of intercollegiate sports at the residential liberal arts college. The teams will compete in the natatorium of the Jane P. Batten Student Center.
A national coaching search is in progress with a head mentor expected to be announced in mid-October.
“For many years our natatorium has been attractive to swim clubs and high school teams throughout this region,” Renn said. “Through the generosity of two donors, we are now able to extend this outstanding facility as an NCAA venue for our own students.”
Both teams will compete in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). Roanoke College and Emory & Henry College have also announced they will field teams in 2017-18, joining Hampden-Sydney, Randolph-Macon, and Washington and Lee as full members in men’s competition. Ferrum and Greensboro are associate members in the ODAC and will also compete in swimming.
Virginia Wesleyan’s women will join Washington and Lee, Bridgewater, Emory & Henry, Randolph-Macon, Greensboro, Sweet Briar, Ferrum, Hollins, Guilford, and Roanoke in ODAC competition.