Division I Wagner College in New York is adding men’s swimming & diving to its athletic offerings, an addition to the D-I landscape in a year that has seen multiple programs cut.
Wagner College is a private school in Staten Island, New York. Previously, Wagner had only a women’s swimming & diving program, which competes in the Northeast Conference. Wagner’s women were 3rd at the NEC Championships last year among the conference’s nine teams.
Wagner will now add men’s swimming & diving as of next fall. Women’s head coach Colin Shannahan will take over as the men’s head coach, recruiting a roster this year and beginning practice and competition in the fall of 2021.
The NEC currently sponsors only women’s swimming & diving. But last week, the conference announced it would be adding men’s swimming & diving to its offerings beginning this season, 2020-2021. The conference currently has five men’s teams: Bryant, LIU, Mount St. Mary’s, St. Francis Brooklyn and Howard. Wagner will join as the sixth program next season.
“Today’s announcement is exciting for Wagner College and the Northeast Conference, but also for the sport of men’s swimming and diving,” said Shannahan in the school’s press release. “As a former men’s coach at URI, I experienced firsthand our program being discontinued and am proud that Wagner is taking a proactive approach to disavow this national trend.”
Wagner’s announcement comes in a particularly tough offseason for college swimming & diving. Six Division I schools have cut swimming & diving programs this year: Iowa (women & men), Boise State (women), UConn (men), Dartmouth (women & men), East Carolina (women & men) and Western Illinois (women & men), which is indefinitely suspended.