Written by The Business Journal Staff
The women’s tennis program will return to Fresno Pacific University for the 2018-19 school year, according to a press release.
Tennis will be the 15th sport offered at FPU, and a search for a head coach has already begun.
“We’re very excited to be reintroducing our women’s tennis program to the Central Valley as well as our campus community,” said Fresno Pacific’s Director of Athletics Aaron Henderson. “The regional popularity of the sport combined with the opportunity to continue to create athletic opportunities for young women throughout the Central Valley made it a logical choice for our next sport offering.”
Between 2006 and 2014, the college established a record of 200-41 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Golden State Athletic Conference.
In 2010, it won the NAIA National Championship and joined the National Collegiate Athletic Association just before the 2012-2013 school year.
During their two seasons in the NCAA’s Pacific West Conference, the FPU Sunbirds were nationally ranked each year.
When FPU begins the program in 2018-19, it will return to the Division II Pacific West Conference along with other colleges like Azusa Pacific University, California Baptist University, Point Loma Nazarene University and the University of Hawaii at Hilo, among others.
The tennis program was suspended in 2014 after the NCAA asked the college to repeat its provisional year with the athletic association due to violations in both the men’s and women’s tennis programs.
An investigation conducted by the college found violations including “extra benefits, financial aid and ethical conduct,” according to a 2014 press release.
Prior to the demand made by the NCAA, FPU had completed the necessary transition period mandated by the NCAA on time and had received marks, but had only been allowed to play in conference championships, according to a 2015 press release.
FPU was fully instated into the NCAA Division II in 2015, allowing it to compete in NCAA championships.