ATLANTA (July 3, 2018) – Southern Athletic Association (SAA) member Millsaps announced that it will add swimming and diving to its list of sponsored NCAA Division III programs. Swimming and diving, which will have both a men's and women's team, brings the total list of sponsored sports for the Majors to 18. The program will begin competition during the 2019-20 academic year.
When the Majors begin competition, the SAA will have seven member institutions participating in swimming and diving. Millsaps joins Berry, Birmingham-Southern, Centre, Hendrix, Rhodes, and Sewanee.
Courtesy of Millsaps College
Millsaps College joins Delta State University as the only two collegiate athletic programs in the state of Mississippi to offer swimming and diving at the varsity level.
"We are happy to add swimming and diving to our catalog of varsity programs for the 2019-20 school year," said Director of Athletics Donald Brooks. "After spending more than a year researching potential new offerings, we are happy to add a sport that has a sizable recruiting pool, few collegiate competitors in our region, and gives us another sport that is sponsored by the SAA."
Brooks also announced that Brian Ware has been tabbed to lead this new program as the first head swimming and diving coach at Millsaps College.
"We are excited to have an established coach like Brian leading our new program," said Brooks. "He has succeeded at both the club and high school level. Coach has both the vision and passion to now transition into building our program at Millsaps, which provides a unique opportunity to grow the sport of swimming in our city, state, and region."
Coach Ware brings nearly 30 years of experience in the pool with him. He has led the decorated Mississippi Makos swim team since 1991. While there, Ware's teams have won 13 state championships, produced qualifiers for Olympic Trials, Senior National, and Junior National, as well as numerous individual state record holders and state champions.
He started the swim team at Clinton High School and was named the MHSAA Boys High School Coach of the Year in 1999. In 2007, Ware took over the duties as coach at Madison Central High School. While leading the Jaguars he was named the Mississippi Association of Coaches Swim Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2017. He won the MHSAA Coach of the Year award in 2015. His women's team won the Class 2 title for four consecutive seasons, and his men's team finished runner-up for the Class II title twice.
"I would like to thank President Pearigen and Athletic Director Donnie Brooks for providing me with this fantastic opportunity," said Ware. "This is a really exciting time both for me and Millsaps. It has been my privilege to start a high school team, a USA Swim Club, and now a college team. It has always been a dream of mine to coach in college, and I cannot think of a better spot than Millsaps and Jackson, Mississippi to make this happen," he continued. "I am honored to be part of an amazing academic institution. We will produce outstanding student-athletes both in and out of the pool."