The news is official: McKendree University joins Monmouth College as Illinois’ second varsity intercollegiate water polo program. The men will begin play in the fall of 2016 and increase the number of varsity teams in the US to
45 46. The Bearcats make the total number of women’s teams 61 63, that after the recent cancellation of the program at Notre Dame of Ohio .
Gregg Emde has been named head coach at McKendree as was first reported by the CWPA. In an interview with the Bearcat Sports Network Emde said that he expected to draw talent from the Midwest, California, and overseas. Emde’s men’s national club championship team at Lindenwood boasted talent from Spain in particular.
It’s exciting to be a part of a brand-new venture at McKendree and it’s exciting that I will see and help this water polo program grow from day one… I cannot wait to step in and help make McKendree a known entity in the world of collegiate water polo.
– McKendree Head Water Polo Coach, Gregg Emde
The Bearcats are slated to call the new 10-lane all deep pool at the McKendree Metro Rec Plex their home. A local real estate developer announced plans for the proposed 45-acre development in November of last year. The Rec Plex will house facilities for ice hockey as well as aquatics.
The number of NCAA water polo teams are 63 women’s and 45 men’s as of 2016, figures since updated in this piece.