LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – The Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference has formally announced the addition of the University of California-Santa Cruz as an affiliate member in the sports of men's and women's swimming and diving effective the 2013-14 academic year.
The SCAC Board of Directors, by a unanimous vote, extended the invitation to UC-Santa Cruz earlier this week.
"The addition of a nationally respected Division III men's and women's swimming and diving program such as UC-Santa Cruz only enhances what have quickly become two of our league's more premier sports," said SCAC commissioner Dwayne Hanberry.
The SCAC, which has only sponsored men's and women's swimming and diving since 1999, has produced five national individual champions (including four this decade) and 150+ All-Americans between the sports.
Conversely, over the last 11 years, the UC-Santa Cruz men's and women's swimming programs, under the leadership of head coach Ken Musch, have produced over 100 All-American selections, two national champions, an Olympic trial qualifier and a Maccabien Games gold medalist.
"We are all excited about this new direction for our Slug men's and women's swimming and diving teams," said UC-Santa Cruz athletics director Linda Spradley. "Joining a Division III conference brings a new level of opportunity and a great experience for our student-athletes."
UC-Santa Cruz is a public university like no other in California, combining the intimacy of a small, liberal arts college with the depth and rigor of a major research university. The college's mascot is the Banana Slug, one of the more unique nicknames in all of college athletics. In fact, the National Directory of College Athletics named it the best college mascot and Sports Illustrated magazine once named the Banana Slug the nation's best college nickname.
The SCAC currently has five core members who sponsor men's and women's swimming and diving: Austin College, Centenary College of Louisiana, Colorado College, Southwestern University and Trinity University.
The 2014 SCAC Swimming & Diving Championships will be held February 12-15 at the Rockwall ISD Natatorium in Rockwall, Texas.