LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- After persevering through the four-year transitional period, Covenant College has been officially accepted as active members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III.
Becoming an active member means that Covenant is now eligible for all the benefits of Division III including postseason play, at both the conference and national levels, and national awards.
"NCAA Division III is the ideal athletic affiliation for Covenant College and our Athletic Department," said Director of Athletics Kyle Taylor. "Division III's core values align very well with our Philosophy of Athletics."
The announcement marks the end of a grueling process to move from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to the NCAA's largest division. Covenant began the four-year provisional member process in 2009.
"I am grateful to everyone in our campus community who has contributed to our reclassification process," continued Taylor. "It has been an arduous four-year process, but praise God it is finally over!"
Much of the credit to the successful move should be attributed to former Director of Athletics Tami Smialek and former Compliance Coordinator Laura (Peterson) Mlynski. Smialek's vision and leadership was invaluable to the institution during the transition and Mlynski served as the first compliance coordinator laying the ground work for future years.
"The dedication of those two women to this transition laid the foundation for full membership in the NCAA that we have now achieved," noted Associate Director of Athletics Tim Sceggel. "As a result, it is important to recognize and honor their hard work as we celebrate this historic day in the history of Covenant College Athletics."
The process also took its toll on the student-athletes as they could not compete in conference tournaments or NCAA postseason play. "I want to say a special thank you to our student-athletes for being patient through this process," Taylor added. "Their continued support, matriculation, and work ethic did not go unnoticed."
Covenant would also like to say thanks to its mentors and others for guiding us through the process: Azure Davey, Shana Levine, Joe Walsh and Jean Orr.
Covenant's active membership in NCAA Division III will be effective September 1, 2013.