Geneva College adds three varsity athletic programs

The college's list of NCAA DIII sports expands to include Men's and Women's Golf and Men's Tennis.

BEAVER FALLS, PA (11/11/2014)(readMedia)-- Geneva College is thrilled to announce that it is expanding its extensive list of NCAA Division III varsity sports-making a Geneva education more attractive to student-athletes who are interested in those sports. With the addition of men's and women's golf and men's tennis, Geneva's varsity programs will increase from 15 to 18 for the 2016-17 academic year. Golf programs will compete during both the fall and spring semesters, beginning in the fall semester of 2016. Men's tennis, which is a spring sport, will begin play in the spring semester of 2017.

According to Geneva College Athletic Director Van Zanic, adding these programs will make the college more competitive in the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC), in which the Golden Tornadoes compete.

"We are very excited to have this opportunity, and feel as though men's and women's golf and men's tennis will give our coaches greater ability to bring in new students and give them an outstanding athletic and academic experience," said Zanic.

Geneva's Provost Dr. Ken Carson agreed: "Accessibility is a priority at Geneva, and we want to do what we can to make a Geneva education available to more students. I am excited about the addition of these new sports, and am pleased that our Athletic Department is stepping up to offer the new additions for future student-athletes."

Men's basketball head coach Jeff Santarsiero will add coaching men's and women's golf to his duties. Santarsiero possesses years of experience in the sport, both as a player and as an instructor. He has taught physical education golf classes at Geneva College and as an independent golf instructor in off-campus private lessons.

The teams will compete in the PAC Golf Championships, which include 36 holes in both the fall and the spring. The accumulation of these 36-hole tournaments equates to the conference's championship finals.

The home course for the golf program is to be determined.

Mandee Craft, who has been certified through the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR), has been named head coach for the men's tennis team. A part-time staff member as the women's tennis coach, Craft is taking on full-time status as head coach of both the men's and women's tennis programs.

She has been directing the women's program for 15 years, the fourth longest tenure of any coach on Geneva's staff and the second longest women's tennis tenure in school history. During that time, Craft compiled an overall record of 86-87. Craft saw the women's tennis program through a transition from the NAIA into the NCAA Division III and will now lead Geneva through another transition as the Golden Tornadoes reintroduce men's tennis, which came to an end in 1998.

"It's been many years since Geneva has fielded a men's tennis team, and I'm honored to have the opportunity to help build that program back up," Craft said. "It's an exciting time for Geneva Tennis as a whole, and also for the college."

Before joining Geneva's coaching staff, she enjoyed a great career on the court for the Golden Tornadoes. Craft joined the tennis team in 1997 and excelled in both singles and doubles play, earning a number of All-Conference awards. During her freshman season, Craft helped lead her team to its most recent trip to a national tournament. She continues to hold Geneva's doubles career record with 56 wins.

"Our coaches have done an outstanding job in recent years to target men and women that have succeeded in and out of the athletic arena," concluded Zanic. "Specifically, Coach Santarsiero and Coach Craft have done great things within their respective programs, and I am confident that they will be able to build solid programs in golf and tennis in the years to come."

With the addition of the new programs, the complete list of men's varsity sports is baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, and track and field. Women's varsity sports are basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

Geneva also offers junior varsity baseball, football and men's soccer, as well as a number of intramural and club sports that boast high levels of student participation.

In addition to the NCAA DIII and the PAC, Geneva is a full member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).

Geneva College invites students to step forward and leap ahead with an academically excellent, Christ-centered and affordable education. Offering nearly 40 undergraduate majors, Adult Degree Programs with fully online and campus-based options, and high-demand advanced graduate degrees, Geneva's programs are recognized for their high quality. U.S. News & World Report ranks Geneva as a Top 10 Best Value with one of the Top 100 engineering programs in the nation. Adhering to the inerrancy of Scripture, a Geneva education is grounded in God's word as well as in a core curriculum designed to prepare students vocationally to think, write and communicate well in today's world