CLEVELAND, Miss, January 30. BY unanimous vote of the members of the New South Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Conference, the University of West Florida was accepted as a member for the 2013-14 season. In their first season of competition next fall, the Argonauts women's team will join the swimming-only conference.
UWF is a member of the Gulf South Conference, but the GSC does not sponsor swimming and diving as a championship sport.
"It's important for our institution to become a part of an established conference in swimming and diving that will provide our student-athletes with a quality experience," said UWF athletic director Dave Scott. "After a careful review of potential conferences, we decided to pursue the NSISC because of its history of success and its potential for a strong future."
The NSISC includes NCAA Division II schools from Arkansas, Mississippi and Missouri, and UWF will be the league's only Florida member. Delta State (Cleveland, Miss.), a GSC rival of the Argonauts, is an NSISC member for swimming and diving, and they have five conference titles on the men's side and five on the women's side.
"I'm proud to welcome the University of West Florida to the New South Intercollegiate Swim Conference in the coming year," said Ronnie Mayers, commissioner of the NSISC and interim director of athletics at Delta State. "The NSISC is the most competitive swim conference in NCAA Division II, and the addition of UWF will only further strengthen the sport and league. Our conference has produced the last eight men's and 12-of-13 women's NCAA DII national champions, and we are excited to get the Argonauts into the pool soon."
Division II power Drury University (Springfield, Mo.) is an NSISC member. The Drury men's team has won 10 NCAA Division II national titles, including eight in a row from 2005-12, and the women's team has claimed eight national titles.
Other NSISC members include former GSC members Henderson State and Ouachita Baptist, both located in Arkadelphia, Ark. Missouri S&T (Rolla, Mo.) is a conference member in men's swimming and diving only. Henderson State is the defending champion on the women's side, and Missouri S&T took home last year's championship on the men's side.
Bellarmine (Louisville, Ky.) will compete in the NSISC in 2012-13 but will move to the Great Lakes Valley Conference when the GLVC adds swimming and diving as an official league sport.
"Joining the NSISC will give our student-athletes the best chance to advance to the next level," said head coach Andrew Hancock. "The conference features some great teams, and the facility at Delta State is a great site for the NSISC Championships. We're looking forward to working with the other coaches in the league and measuring our program against theirs every year."
The University of West Florida announced the addition of women's swimming and diving as a varsity sport on May 30, 2012, and Andrew Hancock was hired as the program's first head coach on July 31 of last year. The Argonauts will begin competition during the 2013-14 academic year.
For information on all UWF athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com
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