May 2, 2013

Coker College Adds Men’s and Women’s Track and Field

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Coker College announced today that it will add men’s and women’s track and field as intercollegiate sports beginning in the 2014-15 academic year. Track and field brings the number of Coker’s NCAA Division II programs to 19.

“We look forward to adding men's and women's track and field to the suite of NCAA sports offered at Coker College,” said Coker College President Robert Wyatt. “This decision confirms the institution's commitment to providing wide-ranging options that allow our students to test and challenge themselves within a supportive, yet rigorous environment. Cobra fans can expect to see these new athletes give their best to a sport that has exemplified excellence for centuries.”

The Cobras’ track and field teams will compete in the South Atlantic Conference, which Coker begins membership in July 1. They will practice at Byerly Park in Hartsville, with the first official season beginning in spring 2015.

“It is our hope to bring a new aspect to our campus and community with the addition of track and field,” vice president of athletics and facilities Lynn Griffin said. “This gives us another championship to strive for within the South Atlantic Conference, and we are fully confident it will be a success at Coker.”

Men’s and women’s track and field are the fifth and sixth sports added since Griffin began her position at Coker in 2010. Others include men’s lacrosse (2011-12), men’s volleyball (2012-13) women’s lacrosse (2013-14) and men’s wrestling (2013-14).

“The athletic committee and board of trustees fully support this decision to add track and field,” said Don Amaral, a member of the Coker College board of trustees. “It’s a great addition to our athletic programs for both our men and women to participate and compete.”

A national search for a head men’s and women’s track and field coach will begin in fall 2013.

About the South Atlantic Conference

The South Atlantic Conference aspires to be the premier NCAA Division II athletic conference in the country; a conference where a high priority of each member institution is a balance between athletics and the overall academic, spiritual, social and physical development of each student-athlete to provide these individuals with skills for future success. The conference is currently its 37th year of athletic tradition and excellence.

Today the conference is a group of 10 private, liberal and civic arts colleges and universities, similar in size and athletic philosophy. Since becoming eligible for NCAA Division II postseason play in 1993, the league has sent representatives from all of its sponsored sports to NCAA postseason play.

The league membership now includes Anderson University in Anderson, S.C.; Brevard College in Brevard, N.C.; Carson-Newman in Jefferson City, Tenn.; Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C.; Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C.; Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn.; Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, N.C.; Newberry College in Newberry, S.C.; Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tenn.; and Wingate University in Wingate, N.C.

In June 2012, the SAC Presidents Council approved the addition of Coker College and Queens University of Charlotte as the 11th and 12th members of the conference.  The schools will officially join the league on July 1, 2013.

About Coker College

Coker College has a total undergraduate enrollment of approximately 1,200 students and offers 50 areas of study. The college is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the National Association of Schools of Music, the South Carolina Board of Education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

For more information, contact Chris Dougherty, manager of athletics media relations and marketing, at 843-383-8018 or cdougherty@coker.edu.

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