Westminster College Completes NCAA Division II Membership Process
Jul 13, 2018
SALT LAKE CITY – Westminster College has successfully completed the transition to NCAA II active membership status after three years as a provisional member. The NCAA Division II Membership Committee voted this week to advance Westminster to full membership – making Griffins eligible to compete in conference and NCAA post-season championships.
The NCAA Division II Management Council will review and approve the Membership Committee’s decision during its July meetings, and if no further action is taken, the membership change will take effect Sept. 1. The first game as full NCAA DII members will be Sept. 1 at noon when the Griffins women’s volleyball team hosts Truman State University in the Westminster Invitational.
“Being an active member of the NCAA reflects the talents of our student-athletes and the importance of athletics to the entire Westminster College experience," said Westminster President Beth Dobkin, Ph.D. “We have a generous, supportive community that has elevated our athletic program to where it is today, and we are grateful to all those who have contributed to this achievement.”
As an official DII member, Westminster is now allowed to vote at the NCAA Convention. NCAA teams and student-athletes that qualify will be eligible to compete in post-season conferences and NCAA DII championships. Student-athletes will also be eligible to receive NCAA awards, honors and other association benefits. The Griffins are members of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC), which sponsors 22 NCAA Division II sports and comprises 16 member institutions located in the states of Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota and Utah.
The NCAA Division II membership process is a multiyear endeavor that prepares institutions for membership as successful Division II athletics programs. The process includes opportunities for education, assessment and growth as institutions integrate the Division II philosophy, strategic-positioning platform and best practices to be a model Division II institution.
“After years of hard work and perseverance, this acceptance marks a historic milestone for Westminster,” said Shay Wyatt, Westminster’s director of athletics. “This accomplishment would not have been possible without the efforts of key staff and departments along with the support of our donors, alumni, trustees, presidents, faculty, coaches, staff, student-athletes and the RMAC. While it’s been a long, arduous road to get to where we are today, we are excited for this new association and the benefits and experiences it will afford our institution and our student-athletes.”
Westminster athletics has experienced both regional and national success over the years, with national tournament appearances, conference titles, All-Conference and All-American academic and athletic honors. The athletics program has a storied history dating back to 1928. After a hiatus with intercollegiate athletics in the late 1970s, Westminster has seen its athletics program reemerge from only a few sports in the 1980s to the current 22 sports teams today — and more than 300 student-athletes enrolled annually.
Since joining the RMAC in 2015, 59 Westminster student-athletes have received All-RMAC honors: one Player of the Year, two Freshman of the Year, 11 First Team All-RMAC, 24 Second Team All-RMAC and 21 Honorable Mention All-RMAC. Additionally, 286 student-athletes have received All-Academic honors: 19 All-Academic First Team and 267 All-Academic Honor-Roll.
Westminster currently has 17 athletic teams that will be eligible to compete in the NCAA, including men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, alpine skiing, cross country, golf, lacrosse, indoor and outdoor track & field and women’s volleyball.