Note: Join us over the next five weeks as we look back at the top moments of the 2016-2017 seasons. New features will be released each Monday and Thursday as we count down top moment through July and into August.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Membership Committee announced in February that Johnson & Wales University's Denver Campus (JWU Denver) has been accepted as an Exploratory Member, effective September 1, 2017.
With this acceptance, JWU Denver Wildcat Athletics will begin transitioning out of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and start working toward NCAA provisional membership for the 2018-19 Academic Year as a member of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC). JWU Denver joins Colorado College as the second Colorado university in the SCAC.
"This is a defining moment for our growing and thriving JWU Wildcat Athletics," said JWU Denver Campus President Richard Wiscott. "Our student-athletes, coaches and staff have worked incredibly hard for the opportunity to compete at the NCAA level and we're honored to be recognized as the newest member of the SCAC."
"We are pleased to welcome Johnson & Wales University to the SCAC family," said University of Dallas President Thomas Keefe, chair of the SCAC Board of Directors. "On our site visit, we were very impressed with the excitement and the energy level of the administration, the coaches and the student-athletes. The Denver Campus is a growing and vibrantly active community."
"The addition of Johnson & Wales is a move that strengthens the conference as having another member in the Colorado footprint is logistically sound," said SCAC Commissioner Dwayne Hanberry.
JWU Denver Wildcat Athletics has been growing at the Denver Campus since it opened its doors in 2000. Most recently, the university appointed Tom Byrnes, former Commissioner of the Capital Athletic Conference within NCAA Division III, as its Director of Athletics.
The program has 13 teams and approximately 160 student-athletes. Men's intercollegiate teams include basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, and track. Women's intercollegiate teams include basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, track and volleyball. With acceptance as a SCAC member, JWU Denver Wildcat Athletics will actively explore adding men's and women's golf teams as well as transition its club-level men's lacrosse program to varsity status.
You can view the release from the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference here.
SOUTHERN COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
AT A GLANCE
The SCAC, originally known as the College Athletic Conference (CAC) upon its formation in 1962, is comprised of some of the most prestigious liberal arts colleges and universities in the nation.
The SCAC was formed to provide an association through which the member institutions may encourage organized competition in intercollegiate sports among teams representative of their respective student bodies. Members of this conference share a commitment to priority of the overall quality of academic standards and quality educational experiences.
SCAC member institutions are committed to sponsoring a variety of varsity sports to maximize opportunities for student participation. SCAC schools also operate under the principle that participation in sports should be solely from student interest and enjoyment of athletic competition, and that no financial aid shall be given to any student which is conditional upon athletic ability or participation in intercollegiate sports.
SCAC member institutions support students in their efforts to reach high levels of performance by providing them with adequate facilities, competent coaching and appropriate competitive opportunities with students from similar institutions.
CURRENT MEMBERSHIP (First year of participation)
Trinity University – San Antonio, Texas (1989)
Southwestern University – Georgetown, Texas (1994)
Austin College – Sherman, Texas (2006)
Colorado College – Colorado Springs, Colo. (2006)
University of Dallas – Irving, Texas (2011)
Centenary College – Shreveport, La. (2012)
Schreiner University – Kerrville, Texas (2013)
Texas Lutheran University – Seguin, Texas (2013)
Johnson & Wales University – Denver, Colo. (2018)
Top Moments of 2016-2017
#1 - August 3 - JWU accepts SCAC membership, begins move to NCAA Division III
#2 - July 31 - Women's and Men's Cross Country finish second
#3 - July 27 - Men's Soccer are runners-up at A.I.I. Championships
#4 - July 24 - McCorra Ford named All-America Honorable Mention
#5 - July 20 - Lucas Prolow and Mitchel Erickson named Academic All-Americans
#6 - July 17 - Kelley McLain records 1,000th career kill
#7 - July 13 - Andrew Bonner becomes program's leading scorer
#8 - July 10 - Kyra Gangemi nets sock trick and becomes program goals leader
#9 - July 6 - Women's Soccer makes postseason history
#10 - July 3 - Albert Rodriguez qualifies for NAIA Indoor Nationals