ST. JOSEPH -The Missouri Western State University Board of Governors has approved the addition of men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field and men’s and women’s cross country to the Griffon Athletics program in time for the 2017-18 academic year.
The additional six teams will bring Missouri Western’s total number of sponsored intercollegiate athletics teams to 16. Missouri Western was one of just two current MIAA member institutions to not sponsor track and field or cross country. Director of Athletics Kurt McGuffin said the timing was right to add teams.
“We felt it was crucial that our current teams were in a position to compete for championships each and every year before we added any additional sports,” McGuffin said. “The recent success of our 10 current teams proved to me we were ready to move forward with adding sports. I also think it’s important to keep the momentum we’ve had athletically, with success on and off the fields as well as facility improvements.”
A coaching search will begin soon with the staff expected to be in place during the fall of 2016. Competition for the teams will begin during the 2017-18 academic year. The teams are expected to bring incremental increases to enrollment at the University with the expected addition of up to 70 student-athletes.
“We’re excited about what track and field and cross country can add for an athletic program, but there is no question this is also a good thing for the University,” McGuffin said. “It takes a significant number of student-athletes to remain competitive in these sports, and those are students who might not have been looking at Missouri Western as an option before the addition of these teams.”
The board also approved additional scholarships for the women’s soccer and baseball programs. The additional scholarships will bring both up to the NCAA Division II maximum (9.9 for women’s soccer, 9 for baseball). The additional scholarships are projected to bring in an additional 15 student-athletes.
— MWSU Athletics —