Vandy To Add Women's Swimming as Varsity Sport

Vandy To Add Women’s Swimming as Varsity Sport


Vanderbilt will add women’s swimming as a varsity sport by the fall of 2007, possibly sooner, as the result of an internal periodic review of its athletic program.  This addition helps insure that the institution is providing opportunity for its student body to compete at the highest levels of intercollegiate athletics.

Vice Chancellor David Williams cited a number of reasons that women’s swimming was chosen from among other programs that were strongly considered.  He pointed out the Southeastern Conference’s long and highly successful history with the sport, in which the league has won the last seven national team championships. 

Other prime reasons for the elevation of women’s swimming include the student body’s existing interest in the sport and Nashville’s own tradition of developing top swimmers through its outstanding local youth clubs.

 “Swimming is a good fit for Vanderbilt,” Williams says.  “It should be a sport in which we can naturally become very competitive and we are pleased to show our commitment to the Southeastern Conference by adding one of its marquee programs, which will only make the league stronger.”

Vanderbilt had a varsity swim program years ago but dropped the sport in 1990 when its aging Memorial Gymnasium pool became inadequate.  The school is currently is discussions with Metro officials to make nearby Centennial Sportsplex the Commodores’ home pool.

Vanderbilt will begin searching for a swimming coach after the current NCAA season is completed. 

In making the announcement to add women’s swimming, Williams also said the school would no longer sponsor a varsity men’s soccer program, effective June 30. 

That decision, Williams said, was especially difficult because of the outstanding performance of the team and head coach Tim McClements, who was the Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year last fall when the Commodores finished third, their highest finish ever in the MVC.  Vanderbilt was in contention to finish first until the last week of the regular season.

Williams said all the current scholarship commitments from the men’s soccer team will be honored until the current recipients graduate.  Under NCAA rules, students will be eligible to transfer to another school and play immediately if they so choose.