BETHANY, W.Va. (April 18) – The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced that the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC), league member Bethany College and the Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, West Virginia were selected to host the 2021 NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships Tuesday afternoon.
PAC Commissioner Joe Onderko and Bethany Director of Athletics and Recreation Brian Rose '98 teamed up to cultivate a comprehensive plan for the successful NCAA Championships bid. The final bid submitted by the PAC and Bethany rose to the top of a pool of six potential landing spots for the 2021 Division III Championships, which is scheduled to be played Tuesday-Friday, May 11-14. Practice rounds for competing student-athletes will be completed on Sunday-Monday, May 9-10.
This marks the first time the PAC will host a NCAA Championships event since its formation in 1955. Tuesday's announcement closes a rigorous 18-month campaign to acquire the Division III Championships, which included providing detailed information and background regarding the resort, the courses, banquet facilities, housing and hotel information and the surrounding Wheeling area. Information was also shared on a projected budget, travel logistics and event staffing and coordination.
The current NCAA Championships bid process spans 82 championships across a four-year cycle. Sites were recommended by the respective sport committees, made up of coaches and administrators from NCAA member schools and conferences, and ultimately approved within the Division III governance structure. Previously, selection announcements varied by sport.
"The bid process featured applications from some of the top golf courses in the country, but what Oglebay has to offer makes it an outstanding selection to host the Division III Men's Golf Championships," said Rose. "The first-class Palmer and Jones courses that Oglebay features were an obvious draw, but everything the resort and city of Wheeling provide helped lift Oglebay to the top of the list. One of the amenities that truly set Oglebay apart were the on-site cottages which teams will be able to use during their stay, providing a unique experience for the programs that no other sites could offer. We at Bethany College look forward to teaming with the Presidents' Athletic Conference and Oglebay Resort to welcome the top Division III golfers to West Virginia and provide a memorable championship experience for the student-athletes, coaches, families and fans."
Oglebay – a beautifully landscaped, 1,700-acre public resort studied by planners worldwide as the only self-supporting public municipal in operation – features championship courses at its Speidel Golf Club designed by Arnold Palmer and Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
"This is truly a historic day for the PAC, as our conference is selected to host a predetermined NCAA national championship for the first time in our 60-plus year history. So many people had a role in making this day happen, but I want to express my appreciation to the PAC Presidents' Council for their vision and unwavering support as we continue to develop into one of the elite Division III athletic conferences in the nation," said Onderko. "We look forward to working with Bethany to welcome over 200 student-athletes to Oglebay in May 2021 and providing them with a student-athlete championship experience that is truly second to none."
Located just one hour from Pittsburgh and two hours from Columbus, Ohio, Oglebay visitors can engage in a number of recreational activities, including visits to the Good Zoo, West Virginia's only accredited zoo, or enjoying the resort's picturesque natural beauty with a stroll along brick walking paths in its magnificent, 16-acre gardens. Oglebay is committed to being a good steward of its remarkable landscape with Green Initiatives that will preserve and sustain its natural beauty for generations.
Participating teams will have access to Oglebay's unique, on property cottages and the 258-room Wilson Lodge, situated on a hilltop in the heart of the resort.
"We are eager to show off one of West Virginia's most historic landmarks, and are proud of our long tradition of hosting first-class competitive events. It is a true honor to partner with the NCAA, the PAC and Bethany. We look forward to providing a seamless event experience through our first-class amenities and service, while welcoming some of the nation's best golfers to Oglebay in 2021," said Danny Ackerman, general manager of golf operations at Oglebay.
Oglebay has hosted numerous NCAA Division II regional championships, West Virginia State Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) regional and championship events and West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission (WVSSAC) events.
In mid-March, Oglebay announced its partnership with Billy Casper Golf (BCG) – the highly respected and innovative manager of golf courses, country clubs and resorts – which will center on BCG overseeing golf operations and strengthening the Ohio Valley's golf offering for the future.
About NCAA Division III
More than 180,000 student-athletes at 450 institutions make up Division III, the largest NCAA division both in number of participants and schools. The Division III experience offers participation in a competitive athletic environment that pushes student-athletes to excel on the field and build upon their potential by tackling new challenges across campus. Visit ncaa.org/d3 for more information.