COLUMBIA — Columbia College announced Wednesday that the school will add five new athletic programs starting in fall 2012.
Columbia College, an NAIA school and a member of the American Midwest Conference, will add women’s soccer and men’s and women’s cross-country as fall sports and men’s and women’s golf as spring sports. The school currently fields teams in men's and women's basketball, men's soccer and women's volleyball and softball. With the added sports, the Cougars will double the number of programs available to student athletes.
Bob Burchard, the Columbia College director of athletics and men’s basketball coach, said adding new sports “positions our athletic department to be a marketable department in this ever-changing collegiate world.”
“This is an exciting time for Cougar athletics,” Burchard said. “The steady growth of the college combined with continued support from the community made this an easy decision.”
In the past 18 years, the Cougars have been to 55 NAIA national championship tournaments, winning three national titles and placing in the top five 16 times. Cindy Fotti, the Columbia College associate director of athletics, said the school plans to be just as successful with the new programs.
“We will be extremely competitive right off the bat and plan to be adding more conference championships to the record books in no time,” Fotti said.