|University Communications and External Relations||| For Immediate Release|
|Andrew Wilson, Director of Media Relations|
March Madness Comes to Carlow University
Carlow Announces First-Ever Men’s Basketball Team Will Take the Court this Fall
Pittsburgh, Pa. – Carlow University joined in March Madness today with the announcement that the university will have its first-ever men’s basketball team competing in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in Fall 2014.
“Carlow University will field its first-ever intercollegiate men’s basketball team and they will begin play this fall,” said Suzanne K. Mellon, PhD, president of Carlow University, at a press conference this afternoon in the A.J. Palumbo Hall of Science and Technology on the Carlow campus. “Throughout my life and career I have recognized the importance of athletics and the role they play in the development of our student athletes and in overall student engagement. The launch of this team is a sign of extraordinary life, engagement, and vitality on campus.”
The men’s basketball team is the second men’s team at Carlow, and they will join the other teams—women’s basketball, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball, as well as men’s and women’s cross country—in competing in the NAIA’s Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC).
The recommendation of a men’s basketball team originated from an Carlow University Athletics Task Force, a group of students, faculty, and staff that began meeting in 2010. The Task Force’s proposed start for the men’s basketball team was not for quite some time; however, a 2012 student-led survey of the undergraduate student body indicated that a men’s basketball program was the highest priority interest .
Said Mellon, “It is an honor and a privilege for me to be able to share this amazing news with you and to reinforce Carlow University’s commitment to responding to our learners’ needs—whether they be academic, experiential, or athletic.”
At the press conference George Sliman, Carlow’s director of Athletics, introduced the first head coach, Tim Keefer, a veteran teacher and coach in the Pittsburgh Public Schools and local colleges.
“Coach Keefer brings an enthusiasm and positive attitude to everything he does,” Sliman said. “He also has experience starting a four-year college basketball program from scratch, as he was the first four-year men’s basketball coach at Penn State Greater Allegheny.”
In addition to being the head coach at Penn State Greater Allegheny, Keefer’s long coaching resume includes ten seasons spent as head varsity basketball coach at Oliver High School—where he also served as athletic director from 2009 through 2012. Most recently he served as a volunteer assistant men’s basketball coach at Seton Hill University. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and spent 30 years as a teacher in the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
Keefer thanked the Carlow community for making him feel welcome from the first time he set foot on campus. “Calrow University has genuinely good people and equally great academic programs,” he said. “No one will work harder than this team, but school will always come first. They are coming to Carlow to get a degree, but I am excited that we are giving them a chance to make history and play a sport that they love.”
Jehosha Wright, a current Carlow student who will play for the men’s team as a senior, said that the response from Carlow’s administration when the students presented the idea of a men’s team represents the very reason he came to Carlow.
“When I chose to come to Carlow, I came here because of the small class sizes and the opportunity it afforded me to get to know my professors, to ask them questions or get their help after class. It was important to me that I would not be a number or just an anonymous face in class, and that my voice as a student would be heard,” said Wright. “I thank the administration for considering the idea, recognizing the impact that a men’s team would have on the campus beyond the players on the team, and making it happen.”
For the men’s basketball press kit including high resolution photos, click here.
### About Carlow University
Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Carlow University was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1929. Offering both undergraduate and graduate programs, Carlow University is a comprehensive master’s institution dedicated to learner-centered education at the collegiate levels and preschool to grade eight in The Campus School of Carlow University.