St. Thomas University to launch three new sports programs in Fall 2020

By October 23, 2019Athletics, STU News

St. Thomas University (STU) Athletics is growing the Bobcat Athletic roster. This Fall 2020, it is launching three new sports programs adding Men’s & Women’s Swimming & Diving and Men’s Wrestling.

Following the largest incoming class in St. Thomas University history and last Fall’s announcement of the Football, swimming & diving, and wrestling will become the latest sports added under tenth St. Thomas University President, David A. Armstrong, J.D.

“Over the past year, St. Thomas University has gained a lot of momentum and notoriety, due to our record fundraising, our record enrollment and being ranked #1 for social mobility for regional universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report,” said Armstrong. “We know that students who participate in Athletics are more engaged, socially and academically. We look forward to these new students continuing the positive momentum.”

The additions of Swimming & Diving and Wrestling gives St. Thomas University 21-varsity sports, which compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

STU Athletics Director, Laura Courtley – Todd, stated “We are thrilled to add these new sports, and to provide more options for college bound student-athletes. The university’s approach and vision for ethical leadership, makes it very attractive to students and there is no better way of gaining leadership skills than through sports participation.”

The Swimming & Diving program plans to compete in the Sun Coast Conference; joining fellow Sun Conference members, Keiser University and Thomas University. The Sun Coast Conference Championships are held in Orlando, Fla. at the YMCA Aquatic Center.

Greg Earhart, Executive Director of the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association, said “President Armstrong and Athletic Director, Courtley – Todd deserve a lot of credit for their vision. They’ve done their research and know how swimming and wrestling will enhance their student body in the classroom, the pool and on the mat.”

Notable facts on Swimming/Diving:
• St. Thomas is the 59th school to add swimming since 2017, including the eleventh NAIA institution.
• There are 188-programs within 50-miles of St. Thomas (66 club, 122 high schools)
• In the state of Florida, there are 15,936 High School Swimmers and Divers.

Other NAIA teams that compete in Swimming/Diving include: Westmont College (CA) The Master’s University (CA), Simpson University (CA) University of Saint Mary (KS), Indiana Wesleyan University, Midland University (NE), St. Ambrose University (IA), Williams Baptist University (AR), Loyola University, New Orleans (LA) and Keiser University (FL).

In addition to Swimming & Diving, St. Thomas University will also add Wrestling in 2020. STU becomes the third collegiate program in Florida to add the sport, joining Keiser and Southeastern. St. Thomas will be part of the Mid-South Conference, becoming the eleventh team in the sport and will compete against Southeastern, Keiser, Brewton – Parker (GA), Campbellsville (KY), Cumberland (TN), Life (GA), Lindsey Wilson (KY), Midway (KY), Thomas More (KY) and Cumberlands (KY).

Mike Moyer, the Executive Director of the National Wrestling Coaches Association, said “The NWCA extends a heartfelt thanks to the St. Thomas University Administration for their extraordinary leadership in establishing an intercollegiate wrestling program.” Moyer added “There are over 390-high school wrestling teams (7,700 participants) in Florida, and until now, two intercollegiate teams. We will do everything we can, as an association, to ensure that the STU program is wildly successful.”

Potential recruits contact the Admissions Office – 305 – 628 – 6546
Potential coaches contact Athletics Director, Laura Courtley – Todd (lcourtle@stu.edu), 305-628-6677

Isabel Gamarra

Author Isabel Gamarra

More posts by Isabel Gamarra