INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. --- The 2018-19 season will unleash new beginnings for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. The HCAC welcomes new administrators, new sports, and new championships in the coming year.
Julie Kline, a veteran Division III athletics administrator and coach, joined Earlham Athletics on July 23, 2018, as the Quakers' new Senior Director of Athletics. Kline previously served as the athletics director at the University of LaVerne from 2008 to 2017, leading Leopard athletics during a period of unprecedented success. During her tenure as athletics director, LaVerne captured 11 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) championships and more than 50 Leopard student-athletes claimed All-America awards.
Prior to moving into the administrative ranks, Kline was the head coach for LaVerne women's basketball and softball; her 277-160-1 record over 11 seasons as head softball coach ranked her 37th among active Division III coaches in total victories at the time she stepped away from the program.
Kline is currently chair of the NCAA Division III Membership Committee, and she has served on the NCAA Division III Convention Planning Committee and the NCAA Division III Sportsmanship & Game Day Environment Working Group.
Jodie Holava, head softball coach at Defiance College, will assume the role of Director of Athletics entering the 2018-19 academic year after serving as the interim athletic director for one season. Holava has served as the head softball coach for 13 seasons, as well as the assistant athletic director from 2014 until 2017 when she was promoted to associate athletic director. She will continue her role as head softball coach.
Holava earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Mount Union in athletic training with a minor in health and secondary education. She holds a master's degree in education from Cleveland State University. Before coming to Defiance, she was assistant softball coach at Notre Dame College of Ohio.
After being without for one season, Anderson University will revive its tennis and golf programs and compete at the NCAA Division III level for the 2018-19 school year. The men's and women's programs in both sports were part of university reductions for the 2017-18 academic year.
"We look forward to the rejuvenation of our tennis and golf programs," said Anderson University athletic director Marcie Taylor. "Tennis coach Bryant Beard and golf coach Jeff Brunnemer bring quality leadership to their respective teams and have been enthusiastically recruiting student-athletes for the 2018 campaign."
Beard, who had coached the men's team in the past, will coach both squads moving forward. Brunnemer was a first-year golf coach, for both teams, at AU for the 2016-17 season.
Anderson University added men's and women's lacrosse programs to the athletic department in May 2015. The men's and women's lacrosse programs inaugural season at Anderson will begin in March 2019.
Defiance College announced its newest sport in March, eSports, joining over 70 institutions nationwide who offer scholarships for student-athletes to compete at the intercollegiate level. Defiance is one of a handful of Division III institutions to offer the varsity sport.
"We are excited to be one of the few institutions in the nation to offer this emerging sport," said athletic director Jodie Holava. "Adding eSports to our varsity sports program will create some great opportunities for our Defiance College community."
The eSports growth has been tremendous over the last four years with Robert Morris University (Ill.) leading the charge. They were the first institution to offer eSports scholarships a number that has since grown to 70 plus in just four years. The Purple and Gold will join this field as they will provide scholarships for the 2018-19 academic year.
Transylvania University announced in July 2017 as the first school in the state of Kentucky and the 15th school in the nation to add women's collegiate triathlon as a NCAA varsity sport with competition beginning this 2018-19 season.
The addition of women's triathlon to Transylvania's varsity sport offerings was made possible through a $70,000 grant from the USA Triathlon Foundation. The USA Triathlon Women's Emerging Sport Grant is distributed to select NCAA membership institutions to develop, implement and sustain women's triathlon programs at the NCAA varsity level.
Five other Division III schools in the region also sponsor varsity women's triathlon, including: Centenary College of Louisiana (Shreveport); Concordia University Wisconsin (Mequon); Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia; North Central College in Naperville, Illinois; and Trine University in Angola, Indiana.
"With a multitude of existing events and recruitable athletes in the region, as well as its proximity to other varsity women's triathlon programs, Transylvania University was a perfect fit to add NCAA women's triathlon," said Tim Yount, Chief Operating Officer at USA Triathlon. "More importantly, the Transylvania Women's Triathlon program was made possible by leaders within the athletic department and the school as a whole who believe in the future of this sport at the collegiate level."
"We are so excited to have the opportunity to start a women's triathlon team at Transylvania," said Dr. Holly Sheilley, Transylvania Vice President for Enrollment and Student Life. "As we were exploring the possibilities, the support received from local triathletes and USA Triathlon made this an easy decision in the end. Dedication, passion, hard work and the will to win not only describes triathletes, but what we aspire for our students at Transylvania in all their endeavors. We feel this is a perfect fit for our institution and are very thankful to have received the USA Triathlon grant."
Heartland Collegiate Lacrosse Conference (HCLC)
The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference is excited to announce the adoption of the Heartland Collegiate Lacrosse Conference. The sport of lacrosse has been a part of the HCAC since the 2014-15 academic season when it partnered with the Presidents Athletic Conference (PAC) to create the Ohio River Lacrosse Conference (ORLC).
After the 2017-18 season, with the approval from the NCAA we were able to rename the ORLC to the Heartland Collegiate Lacrosse Conference while still maintaining the NCAA Division III Automatic Qualifier for the men's and women's lacrosse championships.
Anderson University, Earlham College, Hanover College, Mount St. Joseph University, and Transylvania University will compete on the men's side, while Anderson University, Earlham College, Franklin College, Hanover College, Mount St. Joseph University, Thomas More College, and Transylvania University will compete on the women's side.
The women will complete a full round-robin schedule, while the men will complete a double round-robin schedule with championship tournaments to follow each regular season.
For the third time since the creation of lacrosse in the HCAC in 2014, the winner of the HCLC Championship Tournament will receive one of just 29 automatic qualifying bids to the 2018-19 NCAA Division III Lacrosse Championship.
The HCAC held its inaugural swimming and diving championships in the 2017-18 academic season with a waiver being passed by the Council of Presidents. Hanover College will be joining the five current members (Anderson, Franklin, Manchester, Rose-Hulman, and Transylvania) in the 2018-19 season as the sixth institution in the HCAC to offer swimming as a varsity sport, officially m akingswimming and diving a conference sponsored sport.
Last season, the Rose-Hulman Fightin' Engineers and Franklin Grizzlies took home the men's and women's HCAC championships titles, respectively. The second annual HCAC swimming and diving championships will be held at the Vigo County Aquatic Center in Terre Haute, Ind. on February 14-16.