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Georgia Northwestern Technical College Forms Women's Basketball Team

After launching collegiate athletics at Georgia Northwestern Technical College three years ago with menís basketball and womenís volleyball, Northwest Georgiaís largest college is now adding womenís basketball to its athletic arsenal beginning this fall.

The new program will be based on the collegeís Floyd County Campus in Rome, Georgia. In 2007, the Presidents of what were then Northwestern Technical College and Coosa Valley Technical College became a part of the TCSGAA, Technical College System of Georgia Athletic Association. And now, the newly-merged college, Georgia Northwestern is becoming one of the latest schools to add womenís basketball to their offerings for student-athletes.

Administrators are currently discussing the process of selecting the first-ever coach of womenís basketball at Georgia Northwestern. GNTCís current head menís basketball coach, David Stephenson was the first-ever coach of the menís program for the old Northwestern Technical College program and has continued in his role with the new college.

Stephenson, who also serves as the director of the TCSGAA, is looking forward to the addition of the new womenís offering. "We have a huge talent pool when it comes to prep basketball in our region," said Stephenson. "This kind of addition simply adds to student life on our campuses. Itís a good outlet for our student-athletes to have a chance to not only participate athletically on the next level, but to also provide another way to pursue success in the careers they are planning on."

Georgia Northwestern has more than 6,100 students enrolled this quarter. The two-year college educates and trains nearly 20,000 students in some capacity every year. For those of you comparing familiar numbers, Butler University who played for the national championship in NCAA Division I College Basketball on April 5 has only 4,500 students enrolled, 1,600 less than Georgia Northwestern.

Tryouts for menís and womenís basketball at Georgia Northwestern are expected to take place at the beginning of fall quarter later this year. Although there is no word on how long of a schedule the womenís program will play in its first season, the men played a 15-game season that concluded at the end of February in the TCSGAA Tournament held in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

"With the birth of this merged college, Georgia Northwestern, we are also faced with finding a new image for these kinds of ventures," said Jeff King, GNTC Provost. "So a process is underway that will involve everyone in the GNTC family to find a new mascot for the college." No word on the mascots currently being considered by the college. An announcement is expected once a thorough survey of all GNTC students, faculty, and staff is completed.

Before the merger, Northwestern Technical College was the Mustangs and Coosa Valley Technical College was the Bruins. "We kept the Mustang moniker for this first season as Georgia Northwestern," said King. "Now, with big changes coming, itís important that we make this move now as we move forward together as one college."

Also making waves on the four campuses is the beginning of intramural athletics. "Co-ed volleyball will begin this quarter," said King. "Thanks to a great coordinator in David McBurnett, we are also making plans for flag football this fall. We are also looking at a couple of other options."

The addition of intramural athletics is one the college is a move many are looking forward to. "Itís something for our students to get excited about, outside of the classroom," said Dr. Craig McDaniel, Georgia Northwestern Technical College President. "Intramurals are a great avenue for our students to get to compete, to network, and to enhance their campus life."

For more information about student life at Georgia Northwestern, go to GNTC.edu or call GNTC at 866.983.GNTC.