UF to join all-private school conference

Oilers will switch from GLIAC to G-MAC in 2017 

By Martyce Kimbrough

Beginning in the 2017-2018 season, the University of Findlay athletes will be departing from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) and joining the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC).

“Our University’s president, Dr. Katherine Fell, closely weighed the different opportunities and possible challenges that we could face during the transition,” said Jim Givens, associate athletic director for development and business. “She presented the opportunity to our staff and we are all believers in the transition.”

The G-MAC was created in 2011 and play began in 2012. It is a NCAA Division II conference that contains teams from Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Michigan will be an added state in the conference due to Hillsdale College also joining the G-MAC. All of the colleges and universities in the G-MAC are private institutions.

Other GLIAC teams who are joining the new conference are Lake Erie College, Malone University, and Walsh University.

Aside from the philosophical ideals private universities share, the switch is a more affordable one for most of the schools involved because of geographic reasons. Ohio Dominican and Lake Erie have stated on their athletics webpages that the G-MAC means less traveling far distances. This helps reduce budget and missed class time.

“We will be joined by other familiar faces during the transition,” said Givens. “This move will allow our school to join other schools who share some of the same missions and athletic offerings. We’re looking forward to the new relationships we will make and we are very excited for the transition.”

A frequently asked question is if this transition will effect the recruitment of future Oiler athletes. Givens remains to have a positive outlook on the topic.

“We are going to continue to recruit the same way we have in the past,” said Givens. “Our coaches will still recruit in the areas they normally do and will continue to try to produce the best teams possible.”

Oiler athletes are excited for the move as well. Junior volleyball player, Megan Wendel, is

looking forward to the new experience.

“It’ll be fun going to new places and playing new teams,” said Wendel. “One difficult thing will be leaving the rivalries we’ve created but this is an opportunity to create new ones.”

Along with Wendel, her teammate, Erika Roach, is also excited for the transition.

“I’m really excited and I think it’ll be cool to do something new and different,” said Roach. “It’ll be interesting seeing new schools and getting to know new players.”

Oiler athletes will finish out their last season in the GLIAC during the 2016-2017 season. The move will officially become effective on July 1, 2017. Teams that already belong to the G-MAC include Alderson Broaddus University, Cedarville University, Davis & Elkins College, Kentucky Wesleyan University, Ohio Valley University, Salem International University, Trevecca Nazarene University, and Ursuline College.

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