The Wright State University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams have been given a second life, WSU Director of Athletics Bob Grant announced today. “We are happy to have the swimming and diving teams back for the 2017-18 season, and appreciate the efforts of the group and the dedicated alumni to make this happen.”
As a reminder, in mid-May, Wright State University announced that it would be eliminating the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams as part of a budget remediation process, estimating the move would save the school $500,000. In a somewhat unusual move, the university’s Board of Trustees voted on June 8 to allow interim President Curtis McCray and Director of Athletics Grant to explore ways of allowing the swimming and diving teams to compete for one more season. Coach Kyle Oaks and the Collegiate Swim Coaches’ Association of America (CSCAA) then set to work to raise the required $85,000 by the deadline of June 30th, 2017.
By June 13th they had already raised $27,921, and on June 21 the total funds received topped $44,000, nearly 52% of the goal. Over the last week, the efforts by former swimmers and friends of the program were fruitful. The Raiders met their goal and have been allowed the opportunity to compete during the 2017-18 season on a limited schedule that will include the Horizon League Swimming and Diving Championships in late February.
“There was tremendous support ranging from professors on campus, to parents, alumni and rival coaches. The success is a testament to the value of the college swimming and diving experience. I hope this inspires every alumni group to work on building a support network for their alma mater, whether endowment, annual giving or some other means of reminding campus leaders of the dedicated people our sport produces.”
— Joel Shinofield, Executive Director, CSCAA
Today’s announcement stated that “the school and the swimming and diving supporters will continue conversations about how to fund the program beyond the upcoming season.”