Anna Zander, Sports Information Director
MOUNT PLEASANT – Iowa Wesleyan University has been named a full member of the NCAA Division III effective September 1, as determined by the NCAA Division III Membership Committee and Management Council.
“We are beyond excited to receive full membership status and move forward as an institution,” said Director of Athletics, Derek Zander. “We are extremely grateful for everyone on campus that has been involved in this transition. We also want to thank the NCAA for their guidance along the way and look forward to working with them as full members.”
Iowa Wesleyan began the transition from NAIA to NCAA Division III in the fall of 2012. Tiger Athletics will sponsor twelve NCAA Division III sports with the addition of cross country this fall.
“As members of the NCAA DIII, we can now focus on implementing our athletics vision, “Committing to Excellence,” and provide our student-athletes with the best possible experience with the opportunity to compete in NCAA Championships and postseason play,” Zander said.
During the transition Iowa Wesleyan has seen success in athletic competition, finishing in the top five of the SLIAC regular season standings thirteen times. The women’s basketball team finished first in 2013-14, second in 2014-15, third in 2015-16 and fifth in 2016-17. The men’s basketball team finished third in 2016-17. IW’s men’s golf team has four third-place finishes and took second last year in the SLIAC Championship. The Tiger men’s soccer team finished third last season, and the softball team finished fifth in 2014. Women’s golf also finished third in the 2017-2018 SLIAC Championship.
The men’s and women’s basketball teams earned bids to the USCAA National Championships during the transition as well. The women’s basketball team competed in three straight tournaments, with a USCAA National Runner-Up finish in 2016. The men’s basketball team finished with two first-round losses in each of their appearances.
More than 180,000 student-athletes at 450 institutions make up Division III, the largest NCAA division both in the number of participants and number of schools. The Division III experience offers participation in a competitive athletic environment that pushes student-athletes to excel on the field and build upon their potential by tackling new challenges across campus.