UNION, N.J. (6/30/16) – Kean University Director of Athletics Jack McKiernan announced today that the Kean University women’s swimming program, dormant since 2003, would resume as a varsity sport during the 2017-18 school year.
“This is a perfect time to add a sport to the Kean University athletic department and women’s swimming will be a great fit with our campus and community,” said McKiernan. “We have strong swimming programs locally and within the state and the addition of women’s swimming demonstrates our willingness to seek out and meet the needs and desires of our students. We have had tremendous accomplishments with our women’s athletic programs and feel that women’s swimming will be another successful sport for Kean athletics. We look forward to welcoming these student-athletes to our Kean Cougar community.”
Kean will look to hire a new leader for the program this summer, and the foundation for the re-born program will be laid by a women’s club swimming team in the 2016-17 school year.
The addition will bring the total number of varsity sports offered by Kean University to 14; eight for women (basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis and volleyball) and six for men (baseball, basketball, football, lacrosse, soccer and volleyball).
Kean’s pool inside D’Angola Gymnasium is regulation size and will be ready to host the team right away. Plans are also in the works for upgraded timing technology.
Many of the program and pool records established during the previous incarnation of the program are preserved in the Kean athletics archives and will be considered an official part of the program’s history.
This is the first program Kean athletics has added to its offerings since men’s volleyball began in the 2011 season. That program has reached incredible heights in its first six years, including five conference championships, five appearances in the NCAA Division III Final 8 and a No.1 national ranking in 2015.
Women’s swimming will be the first Kean program resuscitated since women’s tennis returned from a five-year hiatus in 1996. The last women’s program added from its infancy to the current offerings was women’s lacrosse, also in the 1996 season.
Once a varsity sport, the Kean swim program will immediately join its NJAC sister institutions (The College of New Jersey, Montclair State, Ramapo, Rowan and William Paterson) already offering swimming as the sixth member of the New Jersey Athletic Conference for swimming and diving. Like all other Kean varsity sports, the program will compete at the Division III level of the NCAA.