Huntingdon College Set to Join USA South
(FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.) - The USA South Athletic Conference is pleased to announce that Huntingdon College has accepted an invitation to join the Conference as a full member. The Montgomery, Alabama institution will begin USA South play during the 2013-14 academic year. Huntingdon joins Covenant College who also announced its intentions to join the USA South today.
"We are delighted to have Huntingdon College join the USA South," said Jim Gray, President of N.C. Wesleyan College and Chair, USA South Presidents Council. "They share our values for academics and good sportsmanship in addition to their athletic competitiveness. As a whole, Huntingdon is comparative with the standards and the level of play we currently have in the USA South. We feel like the addition makes the Conference strong and growing and that’s the place we want to be."
"We are excited to welcome Huntingdon College to the USA South," stated Rita Wiggs, USA South Commissioner. "Their strong academic profile and commitment to the Division III philosophy for their athletic program makes them a perfect fit for our Conference. Their programs will strengthen and enhance the competition of our league. We look forward to the future with Huntingdon College as a full partner in athletic competition and the development of well-rounded student-athletes."
The Hawks have competed as members of the Great South Athletic Conference since 2002. Huntingdon offers nine men's sports (baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis and track & field) and nine women's sports (basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball).
"We have now achieved the institutional goal of becoming part of an NCAA-Division III conference that will enable our athletic teams to participate in conference championship competition leading to qualification for NCAA post-season play," said West. "We have aligned ourselves with a group of institutions who share our values and with whom we already have competitive relationships in many sports. The recent expansion of the USA South into Georgia and Tennessee, and now its expansion into Alabama, strengthens an already strong conference and gives it a broad Division III Southeastern identity," West continued.
"This is a great day at Huntingdon College," said head football coach Mike Turk, speaking on behalf of the athletic department in the absence of athletic director Buzz Phillips, who has accompanied the women's softball team to NCAA post-season competition in Texas. "And when I say that, I really mean for Huntingdon College, as well as for the football program. We are thrilled to join the USA South. Huntingdon student-athletes have played for many years with limited opportunities in most sports for NCAA post-season competition. Membership in this conference will increase Huntingdon's visibility with prospective student-athletes and will offer new possibilities for our entire athletic program."
Huntingdon College has a 158-year commitment to nurturing growth in faith, wisdom, and service and to graduating individuals prepared to succeed in a rapidly changing world. The words, “Faith, Wisdom, Service,” appear on the College logo, encapsulating the College's motto, "Enter to grow in wisdom; go forth to apply wisdom in service," which is engraved in stone above the door of Huntingdon's historic Flowers Hall.