With the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and Lawrence University serving as host institutions, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Baseball Championship will remain in the Fox Valley through at least 2018.
The NCAA released the 523 sites for its 82 available championships for 2014-18 on Dec. 11, making it the largest collection of host site announcements in association history.
UW Oshkosh also was selected to host the 2015 NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships, the 2016 NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball Championship and the 2014 NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Midwest Regional.
“The announcement that UW Oshkosh will host these events is a culmination of a shared vision by many in the Oshkosh and Fox Valley communities,” said UW Oshkosh Director of Athletics Darryl Sims. “We’ve had great success hosting these events in the past, and we’re thrilled to be working with Lawrence University, the Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau and our numerous community partners to ensure that level of performance.”
Starting in July, a total of 1,984 bids were submitted to host one of the NCAA championship events. The sites were selected by the respective sport committees, made up of coaches and administrators from NCAA member schools and conferences, and ultimately approved by the appropriate divisional championships cabinets or committees. Previously, selection announcements varied by sport.
UW Oshkosh and Lawrence University are already scheduled to host the 2014 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship from May 23-27. The event has been held in Appleton for the past 14 years, making Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium the most frequent site in the event’s history. A total of 49 different teams have played in Appleton since 2000.
UW Oshkosh served as the host school from 2000-02, while sharing responsibilities with Lawrence University from 2003-09. Lawrence University was the lone host for the last four championships.
Before coming to Wisconsin, the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship was held in Marietta, Ohio (1976-1987), Bristol, Conn. (1988-89), Battle Creek, Mich. (1990-94) and Salem, Va. (1995-99).
UW Oshkosh was a competitor at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium in 2003, when its game against Chapman University (Calif.) drew a championship-record 3,868 fans. The Titans have qualified for the NCAA Division III finals 17 times, winning national titles in 1985 and 1994.
The NCAA Division III Baseball Championship will celebrate its 40th edition in 2015. Linfield College (Ore.) won last year’s tournament, which drew 28,202 fans for the second-highest total in the 14 years that it has been in Appleton.
The eight-team NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball Championship will be held in Kolf Sports Center on Nov. 18-20, 2016. The event previously was in Oshkosh during 1996, when the Titans finished fourth in the tournament. UW-Oshkosh has made five trips to the Elite Eight since 1991.
In 2016, the NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball Championship will mark its 36th. Last month in Holland, Mich., Calvin College (Mich.) captured its second national title.
Winneconne’s Lake Breeze Golf Club will be the site of the NCAA Division III Cross Country Midwest Regional on Nov. 15, 2014 and the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship on Nov. 21, 2015.
UW-Oshkosh also hosted the regional in 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 2007 and 2009. The NCAA Division III Championship was held at the Lake Breeze Golf Club in 1999 and 2011.
UW-Oshkosh has captured eight national titles in cross country. The men’s team took first place in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 2002, while the women’s squad won championships in 1987, 1988, 1991 and 1996.
“We really want to thank everyone who put in a bid,” said Mark Lewis, NCAA executive vice president of championships and alliances. “The competitiveness of the bids made it extremely difficult for the sport committees to select sites, as there just weren’t spots for all of the great bids we received. Ultimately the sites that were selected will provide our student-athletes, coaches and fans the best experience possible.”
Covering nine sports, UW Oshkosh hosted the finals of 26 NCAA Division III Championships from 1994-2011. They were in the sports of baseball (2000-09), women’s basketball (1996), men’s and women’s cross country (1999, 2011), men’s and women’s indoor track and field (1994, 1997, 2001), men’s and women’s outdoor track and field (2007-08) and women’s volleyball (1996).