RELEASE COURTESY OF MARK SIMPSON (CCSA)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Four NCAA conferences announced today the formation of the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA), a new active Division I men’s and women’s swimming and diving Conference encompassing 12 members from four regional Conferences in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions. The CCSA, which will begin competing this fall, was established through the cooperative efforts of the coaches, administrators and commissioners of the Atlantic Sun Conference, the Big South Conference, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and the Southern Conference, and has received approval from the NCAA for membership as a Division I conference.
“The Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association creates a regional conference championship opportunity for all the swimming and diving programs in the four participating conferences,” said Atlantic Sun Commissioner Ted Gumbart, Executive Director of the CCSA. “The process of building this new conference has been an extremely cooperative effort among all of the coaches and administrators, and we look forward to our inaugural championship meet this coming year. The main focus in establishing the CCSA has been the student-athletes, and we are excited that the swimmers and divers in each of our leagues now have a conference home and honors for which to compete.”
The CCSA has 12 total members – 12 women’s swimming and diving teams and six men’s swimming and diving programs. The charter members of the CCSA in women’s swimming are Campbell (A-Sun), College of Charleston (SoCon), Davidson (SoCon), Florida A&M (MEAC), Florida Gulf Coast (A-Sun), Gardner-Webb (A-Sun), Georgia Southern (SoCon), Howard (MEAC), North Carolina A&T (MEAC), North Florida (A-Sun), Radford (Big South) and VMI (Big South). The six schools that comprise the CCSA men’s swimming members are College of Charleston, Davidson, Florida A&M, Gardner-Webb, Howard and VMI. The CCSA will host its inaugural Conference Championship on Feb. 21-23, 2008.
“The formation of the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association could not have come at a better time,” commented Florida Gulf Coast women’s swimming coach Neal Studd. “Florida Gulf Coast University begins its first ever season this Fall, and this gives us a home to be proud of and a very competitive environment for our team to continue to improve in. Watching the commissioners of four conferences work together for the betterment of swimming and diving and all the athletes in our programs has been inspiring.”
“I am excited that the CCSA gives our student-athletes a chance to establish a new tradition,” added Davidson swimming coach John Young. “I hope that our swimmers and divers are up for the challenge of contributing to the conference’s competitive mix.”
“The Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association membership includes many excellent programs from the Southeast and Middle Atlantic, and will create a demanding and challenging meet for all of those involved,” said VMI swimming and diving coach Bill Nicholson. “This is a step up for our program here at VMI and we are looking forward to getting up on the blocks and racing against the higher level of competition the CCSA will present us.”
CCSA administrative duties will be divided among the four Leagues. Also planned are the selection of a senior woman administrator and the formation of a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. The CCSA’s official website is under development and will be launched when completed.