PENSACOLA, Florida, May 31. THE University of West Florida Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is proud to announce the addition of the 14th varsity sport offered by UWF, women's swimming and diving. A national search for a head coach will be under way soon, and the Argonauts will begin competition in 2013-14. The women's swimming and diving team will be funded through the general athletics student fee.
The addition of women's swimming and diving is a part of the university's larger plan to enhance student life. The plan includes building a more traditional campus including adding residence halls, new student facilities, enhanced engagement opportunities for students outside the classroom, and enhanced student life programs, such as athletics.
“The new women's swimming and diving program will fit well with the other 13 varsity sports at UWF,” said athletic director Dave Scott. “The department has a history of adding sports to increase participation opportunities for female students, and swimming and diving will complement our other sports well and fit into the university's vision for growth in the future.”
The Argonauts swim team will train and compete in the newly-renovated UWF Aquatic Center, which is located adjacent to the UWF Field House and HLS Facility. The aquatic center, originally built in 1975, features a 50 meter by 25 yard pool with two one-meter diving boards and one three-meter diving board. The facility recently underwent a $4.5 million renovation completed in April 2011, and it has hosted championships at the high school and club levels, as well as Junior and Special Olympics events. The aquatic center is managed by staff in UWF Recreation and Sports Services.
“The aquatic center is a top-notch facility for a Division II swimming and diving program,” said Scott. “We're looking forward to working with the staff in Recreation and Sports Services to provide our student-athletes with the best possible facility in which to compete and train.”
The NCAA has been awarding national championships in Division II women's swimming and diving since 1982, with Wayne State (Mich.) claiming the 2011-12 national title. UWF will join Delta State as the only two Gulf South Conference members to sponsor a swimming and diving team, but the nearby Sunshine State Conference has six schools that compete in men's and women's swimming and diving at the Division II level. UWF will compete as an independent while continuing to explore conference membership opportunities.
College swimming and diving competitions in the regular season include dual meets, as well as additional meets featuring three or more teams. The season occurs over the winter, with the first meets of the year starting each October and the postseason beginning in February.
Swimmers compete individually and in relays, and the different strokes include freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly. The distances for each race vary from 50 to 1,650 yards. Diving competitions are judged at the one and three meter heights. Points are then awarded to each team based on each individual's finish in each event.
Coaches interested in applying for the UWF swimming and diving head coach position can visit jobs.uwf.edu to review the position description and apply for consideration. For information on all UWF Athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.
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