York College becomes KCAC's 12th member

By Steve Sell/KCAC reports
April 22, 2015

The Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference recently spilled over state lines to the south with the addition of Oklahoma Wesleyan as its 11th school.

Now it’s overflowing to the north with the addition today of York (Neb.) College, which becomes the 12th member.

"It continues to be an exciting time for the conference as we welcome our 12th member institution,” KCAC Commissioner Dr. Scott Crawford said in a press release.  "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."

 York will immediately join the conference to participate in administrative matters and then begin full on-field competition in the conference during the 2016-17 season.  However, for the 2015-16 school year, the conference will work to integrate York into as many sport schedules and postseason conference championships as possible.

"We are very excited to welcome York College to the KCAC because of their missional, academic and athletic fits," Bethany College Athletic Director Dane Pavlovich said in a press release. "Throughout the admissions process, it was clear that York would add value to the student-athlete experience in the KCAC as well as provide the conference more opportunities for competition at the national level in many sports."

The KCAC will be able to claim six additional bids to NAIA postseason in the following sports: men's and women's cross country, men's and women's soccer, volleyball and baseball.

York is a four-year Christian liberal arts college. Founded in 1890, its mission is to transform lives through Christ-centered education and to equip students for lifelong service to God, family and society. York College offers 29 degree options, including a Master of Arts in Education: Curriculum and Instruction, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. York College also has a nationally accredited online program.

"York College is delighted to be accepted into the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. We look forward to spirited competition as well as strong institutional ties. We cannot overemphasize the importance of character building and spiritual growth for our students. The KCAC is made up of colleges and universities with similar missions that will enhance our student athlete experience and encourage us to grow as an institution," Dr. Steve Eckman, President of York College, said in a press release.

York joined the NAIA in 1994 and has a very strong reputation in NAIA athletics. The men's basketball program has been a top team in the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC) the past several years and earned a trip to the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Championships in 2013 advancing to the round of 16. The baseball team has been conference champion four of the last five years, also earning a trip to the NAIA World Series in 2013. York's track and field and cross country programs also boast numerous MCAC championships. The wrestling program's winning tradition will also bring national attention as a Top 25 team to the emerging sport in the KCAC. 

Jared Stark, York College Athletic Director, said in a press release, “I’m excited beyond words about our acceptance into the KCAC. The KCAC places a strong emphasis on the student-athlete experience. The KCAC's full membership is dedicated to the well-being of the whole person and student-athletes creating lifelong memories through sport. This is a historic step for York College to enter a conference home that will positively impact us in so many ways. We will be joining a league with a long legacy of strong competition and character development. Our intention is to add strength to the league as York College continues to grow and thrive through its intercollegiate experience."

York College offers the following sports: men's and women's cross country, men's and women's soccer, volleyball, men's and women's basketball, men's wrestling, men's and women's indoor track and field, baseball, softball, and men's and women's outdoor track and field. The college plans to reintroduce men's and women's golf for the 2015-16 school year.