Even with its impending return to intercollegiate athletics still more than a year in the offing, Amarillo College is swiftly proceeding to level the playing field.
On Feb. 26, AC was granted full member status in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCCA), the governing association of community college athletics throughout the United States.
Then on March 1, AC attained membership in the conference in which it will compete – the Western Junior College Athletic Conference (WJCAC). AC will introduce new teams in men’s baseball, women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s cross country beginning in the fall of 2022.
“These very important affiliations legitimize our return to competitive athletics,” said Mark White, executive vice president and general counsel, who is supervising AC’s reestablishment of an intercollegiate sports program.
“We can now focus fully on the specifics of the individual sports we are launching, including setting up a timetable this spring and summer for hiring coaches, who must get organized, recruit athletes and begin play in 2022.”
The Board of Regents voted in December of 2020 to reestablish an intercollegiate athletics program at AC, which last competed as a member of both the NJCCA and WJCAC in the mid-1980s. The College chose to begin the process anew with just the three initial sports, but additional sports may be added to the mix over time.
White says his most immediate order of business, now that the national and conference affiliations have been attained, will be to assemble a community advisory board.
“I plan to bring together a group of 8 or 10 individuals to help us shape the vision of how our athletics program can strengthen Amarillo College’s overall contributions to life throughout the community.”