FOREST, Va. (WFXR) — Averett University will become a full-time member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) starting in the 2022-23 academic year, the conference announced Monday.
“I am excited to welcome Averett to the ODAC,” said ODAC Commissioner Brad Bankston. “The Cougars’ addition to the conference culminates a membership process that has worked diligently to bolster competitive opportunities for our conference members. We know Averett and its leadership very well. Its institutional philosophy and athletics prowess fits nicely with our membership.”
Averett had been competing in the USA South conference for over four decades, winning 54 conference championships and making 24 NCAA Tournament appearances. Next school year will be Averett’s last in the USA South.
The move to the ODAC comes as Emory & Henry and Southern Virginia leave the conference this year. SVU departs after this spring while E&H will only play football in the ODAC next fall.
“Averett is excited to continue its tradition of success within a new conference that features great institutions,” said Meg Stevens, Averett Vice President, Director of Athletics and Operations. “We are very familiar with the ODAC member institutions and we look forward to continuing our relationships on and off the field as conference opponents.”
Averett University, founded in 1859 as a Baptist women’s college, traces its sports and recreation roots to the 1920’s. The University’s official NCAA-sponsored athletics history began in the mid-1970s when it joined the then Dixie Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, which became the current USA South Athletic Conference in 2003.
Basketball, cross country, men’s golf, men’s soccer, and tennis were among Averett’s first varsity NCAA sports in the 1970’s. Softball and women’s volleyball were added in the 1980’s, followed by women’s soccer and baseball in the 1990’s and football and women’s lacrosse in the 2000’s. Averett revived its women’s lacrosse program and added men’s lacrosse and men’s wrestling for the 2017-18 academic year.