Walnut Ridge, Ark. - The Williams Baptist College athletic department is growing, with four new varsity and one junior varsity sports on the way for the 2017-18 school year.
Men’s and women’s swimming, as well as men’s and women’s golf have been added to the varsity sports roster, with a junior varsity men’s basketball squad also set for development.
“We are excited about the opportunity to expand our athletic department. This will give 75 young people the opportunity not only to compete at the collegiate level, but the opportunity to attend our college and receive a Christian education,” said Jeff Rider, WBC’s director of athletics.
Williams also welcomes two new head coaches to the athletic staff. Lee Moore will take the helm of the swimming program, and Ty Jones will serve as the head men’s and women’s golf coach.
Moore returns to WBC after serving as the head volleyball coach in 2014-15, where he compiled a 19-15 season. He will begin recruiting for the swimming programs immediately and will also serve as a professor in the physical education department.
“I am excited to be a part of WBC’s brand new swimming program,” said Moore. “I hope to draw athletes from local schools, as well as across the state and country. Our focus will definitely be on pushing athletes to take care of the small things and let the those pieces complete the big team picture. As always, the greatest value of an athletic experience at Williams is the chance to be able to see Christ at the center of all we do.”
The swim team will practice at the Pocahontas Aquatic Center in Pocahontas, Ark., located approximately 11 miles from campus.
Jones is a 2010 WBC alum and will resurrect the Eagles golf programs. Williams participated in golf from 1993-2003, and Jones will now be responsible for bringing back the once promising program.
“I am super excited about the opportunity to coach golf at WBC,” said Jones. “There are a lot of golfers in this area that have the talent to take their game to the next level. The fact that we are resurrecting a program is going to be a great opportunity for students to step right in and make an impact on Eagles athletics. I am looking forward to the challenge of recruiting and competing.”
The team will practice at the Rolling Hills Country Club in Pocahontas, Ark., located about 14 miles from campus.
“I am thrilled about the leadership that both Coach Lee Moore and Coach Ty Jones will provide for their respective programs. They are a great fit for Williams and our department,” added Rider.
With the addition of these five programs, the Eagles athletic program will compete in 18 varsity intercollegiate sports and three junior varsity programs. Men's programs at Williams will now include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming, indoor and outdoor track and field, and wrestling, as well as junior varsity baseball and basketball.
WBC’s expanded roster of women's varsity sports will include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, indoor and outdoor track and field, and volleyball, as well as junior varsity softball.
WBC competes in the American Midwest Conference of the NAIA in all the sports, except for swimming. Swimming does not currently have a conference affiliation.