The Oregon Institute of Technology has announced that it will be adding men's and women's golf immediately, with competition beginning with the 2013-14 academic year.
This addition brings the total number of varsity sports at Oregon Tech to 13. The university also offers men's and women's soccer, volleyball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's track and field, softball and baseball. The new programs will compete in the Cascade Collegiate Conference.
Director of Athletics Michael Schell is excited about adding the two programs.
"Golf is a sport that Oregon Tech has been considering for many years," said Michael Schell, Oregon Tech director of athletics. "We have several quality courses in the area. Golf athletes also tend to be good students and will be a good fit for us academically."
Schell said he hopes to have a head coach hired as soon as possible to start the recruiting process. The search for a coach for both teams will begin immediately.
Oregon Tech will become the 6th member, and only public university, competing in golf in the Cascade Conference, which in turn gives the CCC an automatic national qualifying team into the NAIA championships. Tech joins fellow CCC members Northwest Christian University, Concordia University, College of Idaho, Corban University and Warner Pacific College.
"I am very excited for Oregon Tech and for our conference," said Rob Cashell, Cascade Collegiate Conference Commissioner. "The addition of men's and women's golf enhances the league and ultimately will position us to receive automatic bids for our men and women champions to the NAIA national tournaments."
While the CCC Tournament and NAIA National Championships are in the spring, the golf season actually starts in the fall and takes a break during the winter months. Competing schools name a five-person team for each event, with the official team combined score being the four best scores of each round. More than five golfers may participate in an event, although the extra athletes would play as individuals and not have a chance to affect the team score. The Owls are working on arrangements with both Reames Golf and Country Club and Running Y Ranch in Klamath Falls, Ore., as potential home courses.
The CCC Tournament, generally held in mid-April, is a three-round event that will be hosted by Concordia University this fall and at College of Idaho in 2014. The National Championships are held in mid-May and have recently been hosted by CCC member Corban University and played at Creekside Golf Club in Salem.
Schell said that the Oregon Tech golf teams likely will participate in four events in the fall of 2013 and three more in the spring of 2014 before heading into CCC Tournament play.
Prospective student-athletes and anyone who is interested in coaching positions should contact Michael Schell at 541-885-1452 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.