DURHAM, North Carolina, December 16. IN a move to strengthen its women’s programs, Duke University has increased funding to women’s swimming and diving, along with fencing, rowing and track and field, to provide each program with a full scholarship load as allowed by the NCAA. Additionally, Duke added softball to its sports offerings.
“Duke University is fully committed to providing the most complete educational and athletic opportunities for women,” Athletics Director Dr. Kevin White said. “Adding both softball and new scholarships will enhance and enrich the collective experiences for female student-athletes. Specifically, softball will be a great addition to our varsity programs because it is played at the highest level in the Atlantic Coast Conference.”
The women’s swimming and diving program will see its number of available scholarships increase from its current two to 14, the maximum limit allowed by the NCAA.
“This is very exciting news and the possibilities are endless,” said men’s and women’s head coach Dan Colella. “The support from the athletic department will enable us to be a team that in coming years will contend for conference titles and compete at a high level nationally. We’re very thankful for the support of Dr. White and the administration.”
Under the direction of Colella, who is in his ninth season at the helm of the men’s and women’s programs, Duke has produced four individual NCAA titles, 19 All-America selections, 18 individual ACC titles, 35 All-ACC selections, two Olympic medalists and two Academic All-Americans. The Blue Devil men have finished as high as 17th at the NCAA Championships and fifth at the ACC Championships under the watch of Colella and his staff, while the Duke women have finished as high as 19th at NCAAs and sixth in the conference.