WORCESTER, Massachusetts, August 21. ASSUMPTION College will add women's swimming to its intercollegiate athletics offerings beginning with the 2008-09 academic year. The sport will begin operations in 2007-08 as a "club" sport.
The announcement was made by Dr. Catherine WoodBrooks, Vice-President for Student Affairs and Ted Paulauskas '67, Director of Athletics.
"The addition of women's swimming creates a gender balance providing additional opportunities to our female student-athletes to participate in Division II athletics," said Paulauskas. "With an outstanding aquatic facility on campus in the Plourde Recreation Center, it makes perfect sense for the College to expand its athletics program in this direction."
Paulauskas also announced that Stuart Cromarty, a tenured faculty member at the College, will serve as the head coach. Cromarty was a standout swimmer for Boston University and the South African national team, and has more than 10 years of coaching experience.
Assumption College will become the eighth institution in the Northeast-10 Conference to compete in the sport (beginning in 2008-09) joining Bentley, Bryant, Le Moyne, Pace Saint Michael's, Saint Rose and Southern Connecticut. The season schedules from early October to the N.C.A.A. Division II national championship the first week of March. Southern Connecticut is scheduled to host the Northeast-10 Conference championships in both 2007 and 2008 in December.
Cromarty, a standout swimmer for the South African national team and captain of the Boston University swim team, will serve as the head coach.
Cromarty was a star for Edenvale High School, Transvaal, South Africa in both swimming and water polo and captained the Transvaal state team. He represented his country in an international meet in Taiwan in 1981 however was shut out of Olympic participation in 1980 and 1984 due to government apartheid policy. He also represented his country in international lifesaving competition in Greece, Austria, Germany and the United States.
"We are thrilled to have a person of Stuart's background involved with the developmental stages of our program," said Paulauskas. "Stuart was and still is a tremendous competitor and has been involved at several levels of the sport including high school, college, and international both as a participant and a coach. He still competes in the Masters division."
He swam at Boston University captaining the team in 1986 –the first foreign-born student-athlete to serve in that capacity.
His extensive coaching resume includes the University of Rhode Island USS Age Group Team (1992-95) and the Masters Swim Program (1989-95). He coached the Pace Academy (Atlanta, GA) Masters Team (1997-00) and of late the Little Rhody USS Age Group Team (2006-present).
He was inducted into the Rhode Island Swimming Hall of Fame in 2005.
Special thanks to Assumption for contributing this report.