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December 19th, 2012

SUNY Sullivan unveils new sports programs

LOCH SHELDRAKE – SUNY Sullivan President Dr. William Murabito and Director of Athletics Christopher DePew are happy to announce the addition of two new sports for Fall 2013. The college is adding men’s wrestling and women’s volleyball to its current schedule of ten intercollegiate teams. The addition of these two programs is the start of an overall expansion that will add four more programs by 2015.

Early estimates suggest that the addition of men’s wrestling and women’s volleyball alone will affect enrollment by bringing in as many as 40 new students. SUNY Sullivan’s outstanding reputation and record within the NJCAA offers them the opportunity to compete for a renowned program.

"The campus has had a proven record of providing quality athletic programs," said Dr. Murabito. "As we move to introduce new opportunities for students considering attending SUNY Sullivan, we believe the addition of two sports teams next year will be consistent with our five-year enrollment growth projections."

"This is a great day for SUNY Sullivan Athletics in our continued quest to be the very best Junior College Athletic Program in the country," said DePew. "I believe that the success of our current programs will breed immediate success for our future programs and I am very happy to bring Phase One of our project to fruition."

During the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, under the leadership of then SUNY Sullivan Coach and Professor John Webster, the college was home to one of the premier women’s volleyball programs in the nation.

"We’re looking to bring that tradition back," said DePew. "Women’s volleyball will be making its return to the Sullivan campus for the first time since 2004."

Men’s wrestling will benefit from the college’s long-standing relationships with both the Beat the Streets wrestling program based in New York City and the organization Friends of Section 9 Wrestling. The prior has held its summer wrestling camp program at SUNY Sullivan for the past three years and most recently has teamed with SUNY Sullivan to bring in the world famous J. Robinson Intensive Wrestling Camp to the college in the summer of 2012. Friends of Section 9 Wrestling created and runs the Eastern States Classic High School Wrestling Tournament, which SUNY Sullivan has hosted for many years. The Eastern States Classic is the premiere High School Wrestling Tournament in the Northeast and will be held at SUNY Sullivan on January 10, 2013. These close scholastic wrestling ties prompted SUNY Sullivan to bring intercollegiate wrestling to campus.

"Men’s wrestling is an initiative that’s been several years in the making," said DePew. "We’re excited that it will benefit many high school wrestlers who see limited opportunities on the collegiate level. We are excited about filling that need and making SUNY Sullivan Wrestling a National Junior College power in year one."

The college has mapped out a plan to add up to four more intercollegiate sports over the next three years. Under the current plan, men’s and women’s soccer would be added in 2014, with men’s lacrosse and women’s softball to follow in 2015. These additions would also bring the creation of new athletics fields on campus.

"Our student athletes are great representatives of the campus, and we are exceptionally proud that the athletes perform better academically than our general student population," said Dr. Murabito. "Growth and excellence will continue to be hallmarks of the new SUNY Sullivan."

The college has begun its search for a head wrestling coach and women’s volleyball coach and expects to hire them by the end of January 2013.

SUNY Sullivan presently fields 10 competitive sports teams – men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, men’s and women’s golf, co-ed cheerleading, men’s and women’s cross country, and men’s and women’s outdoor track.

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