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Cougars Rejoin the NCCAA

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Published
February 21, 2011
By
Gary Pine

AZUSA, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific University has been granted membership into the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) beginning the fall season of 2011-12.

NCCAA Executive Director Dan Wood notified university officials last week that Azusa Pacific’s application for membership had been accepted by the association and that the Cougar athletics program would be granted an active status when the 2011-12 fall sports programs begin.

“We are excited to be joining a vibrant organization like the National Christian College Athletic Association,” said Azusa Pacific Director of Athletics Bill Odell. “The NCCAA’s commitment to Academics, Athletics and Outreach closely aligns with Azusa Pacific’s 4 cornerstones of Christ, scholarship, community and service. We look forward to working together to help our student-athletes have an impact in the world for Christ.”

The NCCAA is an association of Christ-centered collegiate institutions with a mission to use athletic competition as an integral component of education, evangelism and encouragement. The association serves approximately 100 colleges and universities throughout the United States and offers 23 national championship events.

“The NCCAA is pleased to welcome back an institution like Azusa Pacific and its long-standing commitment to Christian higher education,” said Wood. “As Azusa Pacific enters an intercollegiate athletic transition, we look forward to the mutual ability to serve each other. The approval of their application helps strengthen the NCCAA in the western part of the United States.”

Azusa Pacific was a founding member of the NCCAA back in 1968, and in fact won 4 of the first 5 NCCAA men’s basketball national championships.

After 20 years of membership, financial constraints and dwindling west coast representation forced Azusa Pacific to withdraw from the NCCAA in 1988. However, as the university looks to a possible transition to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), university leaders believed the time was appropriate to re-connect with the NCCAA and help spur its renewed growth in the west.

Azusa Pacific will compete in the NCCAA in the sports of baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track & field, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis and women’s volleyball.

The NCCAA features 2 divisions of membership. Azusa Pacific will be joining other Division I west coast members Bethesda Christian University (Calif.), California Baptist University, Corban University (Ore.), Hope International University (Calif.), The Master’s College (Calif.), San Diego Christian College (Calif.), Simpson University (Calif.), Southwestern College (Ariz.) and Trinity Lutheran College (Wash.).

For more information on the NCCAA, which has its headquarters in Greenville, S.C., visit www.thenccaa.org.