WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 05, 2005
Atlantic Sun Conference Adds Kennesaw State and North Florida
Jan. 5, 2005
Macon, Ga. - The Atlantic Sun Conference has announced the addition of the University of North Florida and Kennesaw State University as members beginning at the start of the 2005-06 season. The announcements were made in press conferences on both campuses this morning.
"The Atlantic Sun Conference is extremely pleased to announce the addition of the University of North Florida," said A-Sun Commissioner Bill Bibb. "We are excited about the natural rivalries, including the one we expect to develop here in Jacksonville. We are excited about the growth and leadership that UNF brings to the conference and we are excited about adding a member which shares the commitment to both academics and athletics which has been a hallmark of the A-Sun. The vision set forth by President Delaney, Vice President Gonzalez and Athletics Director Richard Gropper presents an excellent plan for growth and success and we are proud that this will include being a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference."
"The Atlantic Sun Conference is very proud to announce the addition of Kennesaw State University," stated Bibb. "We are excited to add an institution with excellent leadership, from President (Dr. Betty) Siegel and her administrative staff on through Athletics Director Dave Waples and the outstanding coaches in the Owls program. Kennesaw State has an established winning tradition, tremendous growth prospects and the vision necessary to make a successful move to Division I. The Atlanta market has been a good fit for our league, and Kennesaw State, with its commitment to both athletic and academic achievement, will make a great fit with the Atlantic Sun Conference."
UNF is located in Jacksonville, Fla., on a 1,000-acre campus, much of which is a bird sanctuary and wildlife preserve. The campus is just seven miles from the Atlantic Ocean and 12 miles from downtown Jacksonville. The school has more than 14,000 students, nearly 90 percent of which hail from the state of Florida, and offers more than 115 undergraduate areas of study. Athletically, UNF competes in 17 varsity sports and has won five consecutive Peach Belt Conference Commissioner's Cups for overall athletics excellence.
"Moving to the highest level of college athletics is an enormous opportunity for UNF, and becoming a part of the Atlantic Sun Conference is an important first step in that process," said UNF President John A. Delaney. "Being a part of the A-Sun provides challenging competition for our student-athletes and gives our community unique rivalries to watch."
"Entry into the Atlantic Sun Conference represents yet another defining moment in the growth and development of the UNF Athletic Program," stated UNF Athletics Director Dr. Richard Gropper. "I'm particulary happy to have UNF align with a fine group of institutions guided by a Commissioner for whom I've had great admiration over the course of my own career."
Kennesaw State University is located in Kennesaw, Georgia, just 25 miles north of downtown Atlanta. One of the fastest growing universities in Georgia, KSU is a diverse mixture of traditional and non-traditional, residential and commuter students. The University has an enrollment of 18,500 students enrolled in 55 academic programs and is the third largest school in the state. The Owls, winners of five NCAA Division II national championships during their ten years of NCAA play (including 2003-04 titles in women's soccer and men's basketball), have a tremendous history of athletic success. The ever-expanding University sponsors 14 intercollegiate athletic teams and in 2005, Kennesaw State will open the 4,500-seat Convocation Center, which will be home to the men's and women's basketball programs.
"We are proud to be joining the Atlantic Sun Conference, especially given its high standards of both academic and athletic excellence," stated KSU President Dr. Betty Siegel. "Indeed, when I think of Kennesaw State's theme for the current academic year - Seizing the Momentum . . . To Make a Difference - I think of the profound difference our association with the A-Sun will make in the life of our student-athletes and our entire university. This truly is a steeple of distinction for KSU, and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with the A-Sun."
"We are extremely pleased to be joining the Atlantic Sun Conference," added KSU Athletic Director Dr. Dave Waples. "This is the biggest step in our athletic history and we are both anxious and eager to compete in Division I and the A-Sun."
Kennesaw State and North Florida will be two of eleven members in the A-Sun when they begin competition in 2005-06. The rest of the 2005-06 lineup includes Belmont, Campbell, East Tennessee State, Florida Atlantic, Gardner-Webb, Jacksonville, Lipscomb, Mercer and Stetson.
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