SU celebrates 25 years in NCAA

The Stevenson University athletic program is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its membership in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III athletics.

In commemoration of this anniversary, the athletics staff is organizing numerous events to honor the advancement of the program, along with celebrating past and present athletes.

Adams also said the athletics staff will also be announcing 25th anniversary teams for each of Stevenson’s existing sports. Sam Murray, assistant athletics communication director and assistant compliance director, said the staff will announce the fall sports anniversary teams in mid-October; they will make public the winter and spring anniversary teams in their respective seasons.

Brett Adams, Stevenson’s director of athletics who joined the staff the same year the Mustangs joined the NCAA, said the Stevenson athletics staff created a 25th anniversary logo and is promoting it through the various athletic teams, in addition to across Stevenson campuses.

Stevenson University’s athletic director, Brett Adams, is working with his staff to celebrate Stevenson’s 25 years in the NCAA. (Photo by Sabina Moran)

During Stevenson’s Homecoming weekend, the Mustangs will induct nine individuals and one team into Stevenson’s Dick Watts Athletics Hall of Fame, according to gomustangsports.com. This induction class includes Adams, eight former athletes, and the NCAA Division III national championship men’s lacrosse team from 2009. The induction class is larger than normal and includes the first and only athletic director of Stevenson in celebration of the 25th anniversary.

The Mustangs joined NCAA athletics in the 1994-95 school year, according to gomustangsports.com.

When Stevenson joined the NCAA Division III athletics program, the Mustangs were called Villa Julie College, offered eight collegiate sports teams, had no gymnasium, and only one grass field, according to Adams. Since then, as the school has grown, so has the athletics program.

The school has completed the transition between Villa Julie College to Stevenson University, along with the addition of the Owings Mills and the Owings Mills North sites.

The GoMustangSports website has been featuring “This Week in Mustang History” posts to commemorate Villa Julie/Stevenson’s participation in NCAA athletics for 25 years. (Photo from gomustangsports.com)

The athletics program has added multiple fields, tennis courts, and a gym to the Greenspring campus. On the Owings Mills campus, there has been the addition of Mustang Stadium and the Owings Mills gymnasium.

Stevenson has added not only facilities, but also new 19 sports, totaling 27 NCAA Division III sports teams. Adams said that the addition of men’s beach volleyball, and acrobatics and tumbling are two sports the Mustangs are investigating as new possibilities.

M.C. McFadden, Stevenson’s strength and conditioning coach, has seen many changes in the athletics program during her tenure. (Villager file photo)

Since the start of NCAA-sanctioned athletics, the Mustangs have captured 46 conference championships, made 43 NCAA appearances, produced 115 All-American athletes, and achieved an NCAA Division III national championship in men’s lacrosse, according to gomustangsports.com.

Head strength and conditioning coach, MC McFadden, is in her 26th year with the Mustangs athletic program. The department veteran said she is excited to see the athletics program continue to advance as the facilities expand with the purchase of the Rosewood property. She said the new amenities will offer more attraction for top recruits, leading to more successful and competitive athletic teams.

Looking at his past with Stevenson and into the future, Adams said he is “very proud of the success and growth of Villa Julie and Stevenson.” He said the Mustangs’ athletics program provides opportunities for student-athletes that create special relationships between teammates, coaches, and staff, so he wants to make sure it is properly honored in its 25th anniversary celebration.

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