Rock Valley College’s softball team has proven to be in a class of it’s own at the Junior College (NJCAA) Division III level. So is it time for a move up to Division II?
That’s a topic that has been simmering a bit at RVC. The Golden Eagles have won six straight national championships. The time might be right for a move up to a higher level of competition. That would give head coach Darin Monroe and his girls another challenge.
Monroe would probably welcome that. He says it’s not his call to make although as the athletic director at RVC in addition to being a coach he certainly has a lot of influence in the decision-making process.
“That’s an institutional decison. That’s not an NJCAA decision,” said Monroe to Eyewitness News. “Those are topics of conversations that obviously now that I’m an athletic director that if we feel it’s in the best interest of our department and our program and our institution then we’ll open those doors, but currently we’re happy playing in the NJCAA Division III level.”
“Until I have a president, a vice-president and the support of trustee members that say, ‘Hey, this is something that we want to do,’ …I would always be in support of looking into it if that’s the best decision for our department to move.”
The Rock Valley College softball team already schedules several Division II opponents during the regular season. Monroe says it would be possible to bump all the sports at RVC up a division, or just a few of them could move up while the others remain at the D-III level.
“That is possible. That goes back to just philosophy and making sure that we have equity in all of our sports…that we’re making the best decision for the department not just for the softball program or baseball program or whatever it is.”
RVC has enjoyed success in all sports. The women’s basketball program has won four NJCAA D-III national championships in the last eight years. The men’s basketball program has won a pair of championships and last season it finished second in the nation.
The women’s volleyball team finished sixth at Nationals last fall. Even the new bowling team finished second in the nation last winter in it’s first season of existence. And the baseball team just set a school record for wins in a season with 38.
One advantage Division II schools have is they can give tuition waivers to student-athletes.
“For Division II you get paid up to tuition fees and books, so everything except for room and board,” said Monroe.