In a highly anticipated next step following the decision to add an undergraduate co-educational college, Converse announces its lineup of inaugural men’s NCAA Division II athletic teams for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Converse is home to the only NCAA Division II athletic teams in Spartanburg. The men’s teams currently planned for the 2021-2022 academic year include basketball, cross country, soccer, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, and volleyball. These men’s teams will be in addition to the 13 NCAA Division II and IHSA women’s teams currently a part of Converse’s athletic team roster.
“Converse made history when we announced that we will open our doors to all academically-qualified men and women who strive to be exceptional,” stated Converse President Krista L. Newkirk. “And we are making history again by announcing the first-ever men’s athletic teams at Converse.”
The historically single-gender institution declared in February 2020 that it would be adding an undergraduate residential program alongside its women’s college, changing its name to Converse University, and expanding its international school into an international college. These changes are a part of a thriving future for Converse as it continues to build on its history of academic excellence.
“Converse offers unmatched benefits for prospective student-athletes wanting to play NCAA Division II sports,” said Jenn Bell, Converse Director of Athletics. “The men who will comprise the inaugural athletic teams will have the opportunity to compete right away and will be a part of shaping the future of men’s athletics at Converse.”
Bell continues, “Across all of our teams, a Converse student-athlete is known as someone who is highly competitive, is committed to excellence, is a person of character, and is devoted to building a close community.”
“A Converse student-athlete is known as someone who is highly competitive, is committed to excellence, is a person of character, and is devoted to building a close community.”
Brandon Morton, Head Coach of Converse’s women’s Cross Country and Track and Field teams, expressed his readiness to begin planning for the new men’s teams for the institution. “I had my fingers crossed that Converse Cross Country and Track and Field would be selected as two of the inaugural teams for the 2021-2022 season,” he said. “I am ready to start the planning on what these teams should look like and am confident that this will be a step in the right direction for the Converse community as a whole, across both academia and athletics.”
Converse is a member of Conference Carolinas, whose membership is made up of private colleges and universities across the southeastern United States. Chris Colvin, Conference Carolinas Commissioner, believes that the addition of men’s teams at Converse will bring positive momentum to the Conference. “This is a big announcement not only for Converse, but for all involved with Conference Carolinas, in that it continues to add to what is already an extremely bright future for our league,” he said. “We look forward to having just as successful of a relationship with Converse men’s sports as we have had with their women’s sports.”
Recruitment for the men’s teams will begin in the summer of 2020, with cross country and soccer being the first teams to commence gameplay in August 2021. Competitive scholarship opportunities will be available for athletes selected to play on these inaugural teams. While recruitment will be led by Converse athletic coaches, interested athletes may also reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and to request consideration.