SAINT LOUIS, Missouri, January 25. MARYVILLE University announced that it will add women's swimming and diving to its athletics mix for the academic year that begins in August 2013.
"This marks the beginning of another exciting chapter in Maryville's growth," said Maryville University President Mark Lombardi, PhD. "It will provide a new option for young women who are looking for an excellent undergraduate education in St. Louis and who want the benefits of competing in intercollegiate athletics at the NCAA Division II level.
Maryville's Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Nina Caldwell, PhD, said Maryville will field a team beginning in 2013-2014. "We look forward to establishing the program and seeing it grow as the University continues to expand," she said.
Director of Athletics Marcus Manning said adding swimming and diving will enrich the college experience for future student-athletes who will participate in the sport. "We know there is a tremendous interest locally and regionally," he said. "It will let us provide access to an outstanding academic and athletic experience for those individuals."
Maryville has not set a schedule for beginning its search for a head coach, but Manning said there is adequate time to put things in place since the decision was made well over a year before the sport's debut. Maryville does not have an aquatics facility, but will explore arrangements for the team to compete and practice at a nearby site.
Maryville, a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference, joins Drury University, the University of Indianapolis, Lewis University and William Jewell University in sponsoring women's swimming and diving. The Drury University women have won the NCAA National Division II championship each of the last three years.
Caldwell said expanding options for student-athletes helps develop Maryville's undergraduate student body. "Students who participate in athletics hone time-management and develop teamwork skills that serve them well beyond the classroom," she said. Maryville now sponsors 19 sports at the NCAA Division II level: men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis, indoor men's and women's track and field, outdoor men's and women's track and field, baseball, softball, women's volleyball and men's wrestling.
Maryville University, founded in 1872, moved to the national universities category of U.S. News & World Report this year. It is one of three institutions in the Greater St. Louis Area ranked in the division. In October, Maryville was named one of the Top 100 Private Universities in the U.S. for Best Value by Kiplinger's Personal Finance.
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