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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Beacon College joins New South Athletic Conference to compete across Southeast

Beacon College has joined the New South Athletic Conference to compete in basketball and cross country across the Southeast. 

The college has taken another significant step forward in the evolution of the school’s athletics program with its recent admission into the New South Athletic Conference providing more competitive playing opportunities in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association. 

“As part of the college’s strategic plan, Beacon is devoted to better rounding out its athletic, fitness and wellness programming of which the move to intercollegiate athletics is a part,” said Dr. George J. Hagerty, Beacon president. “As Beacon has moved up in the competitive rankings, the college now is going head-to-head in admissions with institutions that provide an intercollegiate outlet. Acceptance into the New South Athletic Conference bolsters pride in the institution, further reputational recognition, and increases the college’s ability to become more competitive in recruiting new students.”  

Not only does admission in the league establish the college as part of an established and structured organization, but Gabe Watson, Beacon director of fitness and athletics, said it helps achieve the college’s goal for athletics of being “on the same plane to make for an equally competitive atmosphere and I think we’re making steps in that direction.” 

Beacon will compete in league play in men’s and women’s basketball and cross country. Formed in 2020, the New South Athletic Conference consists of small colleges and universities in the Southeast. Other schools in the NSAC include Apprentice School, Atlantis University, Blue Lights College, Central International College, John Melvin Christian College, John Melvin University, Lighthouse Christian College, Mid-Atlantic Christian University, South Carolina Central Christian College and Virginia State University. 

In 2022, the college attracted former NBA star and head coach Sam Vincent to build the men’s basketball program. Joining Beacon this year to helm the women’s basketball team is Mfon Udoka, a seasoned WNBA player and women’s basketball coach. Assistant director of fitness and athletics Tony Wrice oversees cross-country.  

“Our teams are continuing to be challenged by facing great competition on a high level. Competing in this conference provides our players with the experience to grow as athletes on and off the court in immeasurable ways that will have a long-term, positive impact,” said Vincent.  

As for recruitment, finding neurodivergent student-athletes to sport the Beacon jersey just became a bit easier, Watson agreed. 

“As we take a step into the recruiting process, it definitely provides a more enticing atmosphere for a high school athlete or transfer student to potentially consider Beacon,” he said. “The main thing it provides is legitimacy for what we’re doing. It’s just another step for us having the same opportunities as other colleges have — to provide the best atmosphere for our students and student athletes.” 

League play in the NSAC for Beacon College kicks off with cross country in September. 

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