The Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) announces Oklahoma Wesleyan University has accepted an invitation for membership. The Eagles will begin KCAC competition starting in Fall 2015. The KCAC Board of Presidents voted to extend the invitation to Oklahoma Wesleyan during their June 4, 2014 meeting in Ottawa, Kansas.
"I am pleased to welcome Oklahoma Wesleyan University as the newest member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. 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" stated Dr. Scott Crawford, KCAC Commissioner.
"The KCAC's tradition of academic and athletic excellence is a perfect fit for OKWU. We are excited to be invited to join such a premier conference," mentioned Dr. Everett Piper, President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
A current member of the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference, Oklahoma Wesleyan will begin their transition to the KCAC by participating in administrative meetings during the 2014 - 2015 school year. Schedule matrices are being drafted to include them in conference competition starting in Fall 2015.
"Oklahoma Wesleyan is very excited to join the KCAC. We feel it fits our mission and it will benefit our students tremendously. It's really a three-prong appeal to us. Firstly, we feel this alignment will help us grow as a university. Secondly, we are looking forward to joining a really competitive conference. Thirdly, we are excited for more educational opportunities for our student-athletes with less missed class time and a more concise travel schedule," said Mark Molder, Oklahoma Wesleyan Athletic Director and Head Men's Basketball Coach.
Oklahoma Wesleyan, located in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, expands the KCAC beyond Kansas borders for the first time in its 124-year history. It is also the first change to KCAC membership since the University of Saint Mary joined in 1999. "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," indicated Crawford.
"The addition of Oklahoma 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."
Oklahoma Wesleyan becomes the eleventh member of the KCAC and offers both men's and women's basketball, soccer, track & field, cross country, and golf. The Eagles also compete in baseball, softball, and volleyball. Oklahoma Wesleyan boasts a NAIA D-II Men's Basketball National Championship (2009) and a 2014 NAIA Baseball World Series bid in which they finished third.
About Oklahoma Wesleyan
Oklahoma Wesleyan University is a recognized educational leader in the state of Oklahoma and beyond. OKWU has received national recognition from U.S. News and World Report, Forbes.com, and CBS News MoneyWatch both for its excellent academic reputation as well as its missional integrity. The university is a four-year, Christian university of the liberal arts and sciences that is accredited by the North Central Association. OKWU also receives professional accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). It is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and boasts national championship athletic programs in men's and women's basketball as well as baseball. Perhaps most important, OKWU is known for its bold and clear mission which emphasizes the Primacy of Jesus Christ, the Priority of Scripture, the Pursuit of Truth and the Practice of Wisdom.
About the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
Headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) currently oversees athletics for 10 member institutions: Bethany College (Lindsborg, Kan.), Bethel College (North Newton, Kan.), Friends University (Wichita, Kan.), Kansas Wesleyan University (Salina, Kan.), McPherson College (McPherson, Kan.), Ottawa University (Ottawa, Kan.), University of Saint Mary (Leavenworth, Kan.), Southwestern College (Winfield, Kan.), Sterling College (Sterling, Kan.), and Tabor College (Hillsboro, Kan.). The KCAC is a member conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and has received the Champions of Character Five-Star conference award four straight years.