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Thomas More University joins NCAA Division II

CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. — Thomas More University announces that they have been granted provisional membership to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II, making them the only Division II University in Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati region.

“The transition to the NCAA is significant as we continue to enhance our regional position as the premier Catholic Liberal Arts University,” says Thomas More University President Joseph L. Chillo, LP.D. “The experience that we create for our student-athletes is intentional and designed for success in the classroom and on the field of competition. As we invest in our athletics program by adding new sports, full-time coaches, and renovations and expansions in facilities, this opportunity to elevate the position of Thomas More Athletics with the reputation and brand of the NCAA is a significant and transformational endeavor.”

Thomas More currently competes in the Mid-South Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The Saints have been in the NAIA for the past two academic year and will retain NAIA membership until the completion of the 2022-23 academic year.

In preparation for applying to return to the NCAA, the University approached and was unanimously approved in the summer of 2021 for provisional membership to the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC). With the successful bid in 2022 to rejoin the NCAA as a Division II competitor, the University looks forward to competing in the Great Midwest and being eligible for conference championships and tournaments beginning in the 2023-24 academic year. Following the mandatory transition period, the University would then become eligible for NCAA Championships during the 2025-26 year. “I’m very excited for the new opportunities and challenges that this transition will have for our student-athletes and our athletic department as a whole,” says Terry Connor, Thomas More athletic director. “I think that it will be a great step in the right direction for our community and all the growth it has to offer.”

“The Great Midwest congratulates Thomas More on securing NCAA Division II provisional membership status and thanks the DII Membership Committee for the decision,” says Tom Daeger, Commissioner of the GMAC. “President Chillo and his entire administration have done a terrific job in preparing for this moment and will be an outstanding NCAA Division II member. We look forward to working with them as they begin the provisional process and are excited to see the impact the Saints will have within the Great Midwest and NCAA Division II.”

Thomas More announced a major comprehensive fundraising campaign in Fall 2021 in support of a five-year strategic plan that includes enhanced athletic facilities for many of the Saints intercollegiate sports teams. In March of 2022, Thomas More University and the Florence Y’alls Baseball Club announced a partnership that resulted in the renaming of the home of the Florence Y’alls to “Thomas More Stadium.” As part of the agreement, the stadium also becomes the home of the Thomas More Saints’ baseball team starting in spring 2023. Additional plans are in place for other facility upgrades that will positively affect additional Saints sports teams; renovations at Republic Bank Field and its track were completed last year.

Thomas More University also recently announced the appointment of Cate Sherron, Ph.D., as the University’s Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR). The appointment of Sherron as the University’s FAR is a critical step in ensuring the academic integrity of the intercollegiate athletics program, facilitating institutional control and compliance with NCAA and the GMAC rules related to academic eligibility and transfer requirements.

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