The William Woods University athletics department is about to expand.
The school announced Monday it will add men's and women's tennis beginning in the fall of 2015. William Woods previously played women's tennis from 1976-99, but 2015 will be the inaugural season for men's tennis.
"We are eager to add two additional varsity sports to the William Woods athletics department," athletic director Jason Vittone said in a press release. "We are confident the sport of tennis is a great fit for our university and department.
"We are eager to start a search for our tennis coach and begin the recruiting process."
One coach will head up both the men's and women's programs, starting in August, and will recruit players to fill the rosters during the 2014-15 academic year. William Woods' tennis courts will also be resurfaced during that time.
In the American Midwest Conference, William Woods joins Missouri Baptist University, Lindenwood University-Belleville (Ill.), St. Louis College of Pharmacy and Stephens College as members that sponsor women's tennis. Stephens is the only school that doesn't have men's tennis.
"Currently the AMC competes in an unaffiliated grouping to qualify for the national tournament," Vittone said. "The conference needs six member institutions to receive an automatic bid.
"With William Woods adding tennis, it gets our conference one step closer to that goal."
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Ryan Boland can be reached at (573) 826-2422, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.