Two new members join KCAC

Two schools have accepted invitations to join the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, marking the first changes in KCAC membership since the addition of Saint Mary in 1999.

Oklahoma Wesleyan University and York College have both accepted invitations for membership in the KCAC and are in varying stages of transition to the conference.

Both schools are located outside of Kansas?OKWU is in Bartlesville, Okla., and York is in York, Neb. Both are former members of the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference.

This marks the first time in the 125-year history of the KCAC that any member schools are located in a state other than Kansas.

Oklahoma Wesleyan?The KCAC Board of Presi?dents voted to invite OKWU to join the conference during a meeting in June 2014.

What followed was a year of transition during 2014-15, during which OKWU participated in administrative meetings with the KCAC.

Starting this fall, the Eagles are ready to begin KCAC competition as the 11th member institution.

OKWU offers men?s and women?s basketball, soccer, track and field, cross country and golf. They also offer baseball, softball and volleyball.

The Eagles won the NAIA Division II Men?s Basketball National Championship in 2009 and finished third in the 2014 NAIA Baseball World Series.

?Oklahoma Wesleyan is a great fit academically and athletically for the conference and will contribute to our overall mission based on the strategic plan established by the KCAC Board of Presidents,? said KCAC Commissioner Scott Crawford. ?This expansion allows the conference to grow its geographic footprint into Oklahoma for recruiting purposes and to connect with alums/fans in Oklahoma from current member schools.

?The addition of Okla?homa Wesleyan Athletics will further enhance regular season competition in many sports for the conference. The Eagles carry a solid national reputation within the NAIA. This expansion will benefit the KCAC in seeking additional automatic and at-large berths in NAIA postseason competition.?

York?During the 2015-16 school year, York will participate in administrative meetings with the KCAC while also being integrated into as many sport schedules as possible.

The Panthers will be fully participating members of the conference beginning with the 2016-17 season.

The addition of York as the KCAC?s 12th member institution allows the conference to claim six more NAIA postseason bids, one each for men?s and women?s cross country, men?s and women?s soccer, volleyball and baseball.

The Panthers participate in men?s and women?s cross country, soccer, basketball, track and field and golf. York also offers volleyball, men?s wrestling, baseball and softball.

York advanced to the round of sixteen at the 2013 NAIA Division II Men?s Basketball Championships and competed in the NAIA Baseball World Series in 2013.

?It continues to be an exciting time for the conference as we welcome our 12th member institution,? Crawford said. “The addition of the York College Panthers fulfills the conference?s current strategic plan in finding the right school with the right fit to grow the conference footprint. I am excited as well about the NAIA postseason impact this will have for the KCAC in gaining additional automatic bids for six of our 19 conference championship sports.?

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