BAY CITY, Mich. -- The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) is stretching its footprint west of the Great Lakes with the addition of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, which will join the conference as full members beginning in 2018-19.
Wisconsin-Parkside, a school of 4,400 students in Kenosha, Wis., is part of the University of Wisconsin System. The University of Wisconsin-Parkside was established in 1965 after merging the Racine and Kenosha two-year centers that had existed since 1933. The Rangers, currently competing in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, are a familiar regional foe to GLIAC members. They sponsor 15 sports: baseball, men's and women's soccer, basketball, indoor/outdoor track and field, cross country, men's golf, softball, volleyball and wrestling. They will compete as an independent in wrestling, which is no longer a GLIAC sponsored sport.
Parkside has a rich national championship tradition in track and field and wrestling, and owns 28 GLVC titles in eight sports (baseball, men's and women's basketball, women's cross country, men's golf, men's and women's soccer, and softball). In 2015-16, the Rangers jumped from 111th to 68th in the Learfield Sports Director's Cup standings.
UW-Parkside will officially enter the GLIAC on July 1, 2018 and will immediately enjoy complete membership rights, including eligibility to participate in postseason tournaments and championships and full voting rights.
The move became official when Parkside officials accepted an invitation from GLIAC Commissioner Kris Dunbar and Dr. Donald Bachand, the President of Saginaw Valley State University and the chair of the GLIAC's Presidents Council. The invitation was extended with unanimous support from the GLIAC's membership.
The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference will feature 12 member institutions from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin sponsoring 21 NCAA Division II sports. Founded in 1972, the GLIAC has developed into one of the most nationally competitive athletic conferences, both on the field and in the classroom. Beginning in 2018-19, the conference will consist of Ashland University, Davenport University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Lake Superior State University, Michigan Technological University, Northern Michigan University, Northwood University, Purdue University Northwest, Saginaw Valley State University, Wayne State University and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN - PARKSIDE QUOTES
"The GLIAC aligns with the values of UW-Parkside and our commitment to always put students first," UW-Parkside Chancellor Debbie Ford said. "Our student-athletes and coaches are excited about this new opportunity. We have competed with GLIAC schools for years and have enjoyed the sportsmanship and spirit of those games, matches, and meets. We look forward to continuing that competitive tradition."
"As we embark on a new era of Ranger Athletics and prepare to celebrate 50 years as a University, what an incredible opportunity to join the nation's premier Division II conference in 2018-19," Parkside Director of Athletics Andrew Gavin said. "As a conference committed to student success in and out of competition, the values of GLIAC and its membership align closely with the values of UW-Parkside and our athletics department."
GREAT LAKES INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETIC CONFERENCE QUOTES
"UW Parkside is a top notch institution with outstanding leadership," GLIAC Commissioner Kris Dunbar said. "The athletic teams have had proven success in the past and can continue those traditions in the GLIAC. They will be a strong addition to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference."
"UW-Parkside fits in well with our current members both in terms of high academic standards and a commitment to compete at the highest level of NCAA Division II athletics," President of Saginaw Valley State University and GLIAC Presidents Council chairman Donald Bachand said. "After visiting with Chancellor Ford and others, we were convinced that UW-Parkside is serious about seeing their student-athletes succeed academically and in their chosen sport. We welcome them into the GLIAC and know their addition will strengthen an already strong conference."
School: University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Location: Kenosha, Wisconsin
Colors: Green & Black
Chancellor: Dr. Deborah L. Ford
Director of Athletics: Andrew Gavin
Athletics Website: www.parksiderangers.com
Sponsored Sports (15): Baseball, Men's Basketball, Men's Cross Country, Men's Golf, Men's Soccer, Men's Indoor/Outdoor Track & Field, Softball, Women's Basketball, Women's Cross Country, Women's Soccer, Women's Indoor/Outdoor Track & Field, Womens' Volleyball, Wrestling
The expansion efforts of the GLIAC were aided by the services of Athletics Staffing and Consultants (ASC), which provides colleges, universities and conferences special consulting expertise in a multitude of areas which includes conference membership enhancements. Dr. Kurt Patberg led this expansion effort on behalf of ASC.