MARION, Ind. – Indiana Wesleyan Athletics will grow by three sports next fall with the addition of men’s swimming, men’s bowling, and women’s bowling, bringing the Wildcats to 21 total sports.
“We are excited to announce the addition of three new Wildcat athletic programs,” said Interim Vice President of Student Development and Athletics Mark DeMichael. Men’s swimming was a logical next step for our athletic program. With the success that our three-year-old women’s swim team has had spiritually, academically, and athletically, we anticipate our new men’s team bringing the same level of overall commitment to excellence and to the mission of using athletics as a tool for spiritual growth and disciple-making. Men’s and women’s bowling provides an opportunity for the mission of IWU Athletics in a new forum. We are looking forward to experiencing how God will use this new program to impact our campus and the 20-30 new student-athletes that will come to IWU to be a part of our bowling teams.”
Men’s and women’s bowling burst onto the NAIA scene in 2010 when it earned emerging sports status by the NAIA, paving the way to becoming an official NAIA sport. Both men’s and women’s bowling reached the NAIA Championship status in 2019 when they reached 50 participating schools. The Inaugural NAIA Bowling Championship for both men’s and women’s bowling would have taken place in 2020 but was canceled due to COVID-19. Currently, 51 schools in the NAIA have men’s bowling while 52 schools offer women’s bowling.
IWU joins Huntington University, Spring Arbor University, Bethel University, Grace College, Marian University, and Mount Vernon Nazarene University as the other Crossroads League schools to offer bowling.
On the swimming side of things, the NAIA has experienced 65 years of NAIA National Championship swimming competitions, currently boasting 35 teams. IWU joins Bethel University as the only other Crossroads League school offering men’s swimming.
Men’s swimming, men’s bowling, and women’s bowling join women’s golf, women’s swimming, and football as the only sports added at Indiana Wesleyan since 1970.
The search for a men’s bowling coach and a women’s bowling coach will begin immediately. A national search for the Director of Aquatics/Head Men’s Swim Coach will start in January.