College announces program will begin competition for 2017-18 academic year
EASTON, Mass. (October 27, 2016) – Stonehill College has announced that it will add women's golf as its 21st varsity athletic program with the first season of competition planned for the 2017-18 academic year.
"Stonehill is excited to announce the addition of women's golf as our newest varsity sport," stated Dean O'Keefe '94, Director of Athletics at the College. "Stonehill strongly supports athletics and its role in educating the whole person, and we are eager to expand our sport offerings and provide new competitive opportunities for our student-athletes."
Stonehill will become the ninth Northeast-10 Conference member to offer women's golf, joining Adelphi University, American International College, Assumption College, Franklin Pierce University, Le Moyne College, Merrimack College, The College of Saint Rose and Southern New Hampshire University. The NE-10 Women's Golf Championship is held annually during the fall.
"We have seen the growing popularity of women's golf, and we are now able to accommodate the interest in it among our student-athletes," said Fr. John Denning, C.S.C., President of Stonehill College, who serves on the NCAA Division II Presidents' Council. "The addition reflects the strength of our overall athletic program, which continues to evolve and mature, giving our students new opportunities to challenge and test themselves competitively."
A search will begin immediately for the program's first coach, with an announcement of a home course expected within the coming weeks. The addition of women's golf marks Stonehill's first expansion of varsity athletics programs since women's lacrosse was introduced in 1999, with field hockey added three years earlier in 1996.
Prospective student-athletes interested in competing as a member of Stonehill's varsity women's golf team can contact Stonehill Athletics at email@example.com for further information.
There are currently 196 women's golf programs competing at the NCAA Division II level across four regions. The NCAA recently announced the implementation of automatic qualifiers for the women's golf championship effective with the 2018 championship, and the NE-10 expects to gain access to an automatic qualifier no later than 2018-19 season. The top three teams and low three individuals at each of the Super Regional tournaments held in early May advance to the NCAA Championships two weeks later.
With 20 intercollegiate sports, Stonehill boasts one of the top athletic and academic programs in the country. While finishing in the top three of the Northeast-10 Conference Presidents' Cup standings for overall athletic performance 12 straight years, the Skyhawks have received the NCAA Division II Presidents' Award for Academic Achievement each of the first five years of the program's existence of honoring institutions with an Academic Success Rate (ASR) of 90-percent or better. Stonehill has earned a 96% Academic Success Ranking (ASR) by the NCAA two straight years, which considers the academic success rate of the institution based on the graduation rate of student-athletes, good for fifth among all NCAA Division II institutions, with 12 Skyhawk teams receiving a perfect rating of 100%. In addition, the Skyhawks are ranked third in the National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) Power Rankings for Division II used to assess the academic and athletic standards of all NCAA and NAIA athletic programs. Stonehill has also been selected as the host of the 2016 NCAA Division II Field Hockey Championships at W.B. Mason Stadium November 18-20.
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