Indiana Wesleyan University is adding to its sports offerings. The university will compete in women’s swimming and diving, beginning in the 2016-2017 season.
IWU says the sport is the 17th offered by the university and the ninth women’s program. Director of Athletics Mark DeMichael says the university is excited to get started.
"It is important that we continue to serve our female student population the best we can and adding women’s swimming & diving is a real positive step in doing that," said DeMichael. "We are excited to expand our mission through another sport and ministry through another group of outstanding student-athletes."
DeMichael says the university has a pool "nearly ready to go," so he anticipates a minimum delay for the start of the program. He adds the program will be sanctioned by the NAIA and will become a member of the Crossroads League.
The university says it will begin a search for a head coach immediately and hopes to have one hired by the spring with a start date of July 1. That person will also become the assistant director for aquatics.
The team for the 2016-17 season will consist of walk-ons and current IWU students. The first recruited class will be in the fall of 2017 and the university expects to have a team of at least 20 student-athletes by the 2019-20 season.
"I was pleasantly surprised from my research that Indiana is a really strong high school swimming state," added DeMichael. "So we have a really close proximity, ready-made recruiting base to begin to build a program. All those factors made it a real clear decision that this would be a good move for the institution and IWU Athletics."