MARQUETTE, Mich. – Northern Michigan University Athletic Director Forrest Karr announced Friday that the NMU Board of Trustees unanimously voted to add four intercollegiate sports. Women’s golf and men’s swimming and diving will be implemented next fall. Women’s lacrosse and men’s soccer will follow in 2016.
All four sports will compete in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
“Everyone in our department appreciates President Erickson’s leadership, the Board’s confidence and the significance of today’s decision,” said Karr. “Increasing opportunities for young people is why we are here and it’s exciting to be part of something so positive. Our coaches and staff will continue working hard to bring quality students to Marquette.”
The addition of the four sports will bring Northern Michigan’s varsity sports total to 17, 10 women’s sports and seven men’s sports. The Wildcats already compete in women’s soccer, football, women’s cross country, women’s volleyball, women’s swimming and diving, men’s golf, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s hockey, men’s and women’s Nordic skiing and women’s indoor and outdoor track & field.
Current Northern Michigan University head coaches Kyle Wittenbach and Heidi Voigt will coach women’s golf and men’s swimming and diving, respectively.
National searches will be conducted to find head coaches for men’s soccer and women’s lacrosse.
The Wildcats reignite the men’s swimming program, which has been dormant since 1980 after 14 successful seasons of competition from 1966-1980 under then head coach Don Trost.
The Wildcats had 41 All-Americans during that time with 151 All-America finishes. NMU also finished in the top seven in the NCAA four times, including finishing sixth at the NCAA Championships in each of the last three years of the program’s operation.
The men’s swimming program has an all-time record of 117-35 in dual matches and had five NCAA National Champions in program history.
John Mehki became the first NCAA Champion at Northern Michigan when he won the 1-M diving event in 1975. Dwight Hoffman also won NCAA Championships in both the 1-M and 3-M diving events in 1979 and 1980.