Kuyper College student-athletes will have the chance to compete for national championships already in the 2023-24 academic year thanks to the college’s recent acceptance into the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA).
Kuyper joins Justice College of Chandler, Arizona, and Westmont College of Santa Barbara, California, as the newest NCCAA members. And Kuyper becomes the fourth NCCAA school in Michigan, joining Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Grace Christian University in Grand Rapids and Great Lakes Christian College in Lansing.
For Kuyper Athletic Director and men’s basketball coach Gary Bailey getting word this week about NCCAA membership was the best way to start what he believes will be an amazing year for the college.
“I have been associated with the NCCAA for almost 20 years,” he said. “There is no other level of collegiate athletics that I would rather be involved with. Having the ability to mentor kids for Christ, while coaching will always be the most important thing I do in my profession.”
In a press release announcing Kuyper’s entry into the NCCAA, Executive Director Dan Wood said: “We continue to see a mix of new members utilizing intercollegiate athletics to grow along with past members reconnecting. While each institution is developing at its own pace and for its own unique purposes, all new members are intentionally Christ-centered partners with the NCCAA in keeping Christ at the center of intercollegiate athletics.”
Kuyper will compete for national championships in nine NCCAA sports:
- men’s cross country
- women’s cross country
- women’s volleyball
- men’s basketball
- women’s basketball
- men’s indoor and outdoor track and field
- women’s indoor and outdoor track and field
In announcing the formation of the Kuyper Athletic Department in the fall of 2022, Kuyper President Dr. Patricia Harris noted that it was no accident that the department would operate under the oversight of the Kuyper Academic Office with Bailey reporting to Dr. Tim Detwiler, Kuyper’s Academic Dean.
“This reporting structure provides a powerful organizational message about the ways in which academics and athletics together will provide a holistic educational experience for our student-athletes,” she said.
Bailey said he is 100 percent on board with that philosophy and that he is eager to see Kuyper students excel in the classroom and in competition. A former Athletic Director and men’s basketball coach at Grace Christian, he led his teams to 15 NCCAA post-season berths in Division II, including six national championships.