Softball field
Softball field at Ernest Ledford Grindle Athletics Park

Golden Tigers to Join Appalachian Athletic Conference

Dec 9, 2016
Kristen Bowman

The Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) continues to expand its reach with the addition of a new full-time member in Brenau University effective for the 2017-18 season.

Located in Gainesville, Georgia, Brenau becomes the 14th full member of the AAC. A member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, Brenau has been competing in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC).

“We are proud to welcome Brenau University to the AAC next year,” said AAC Commissioner John Sullivan. “It has a solid athletic program, including swimming, which we began sponsoring this year. It has added lacrosse, which we currently sponsor. Brenau’s strong academic reputation fits well with our emphasis on academics first and character-driven athletics.”

Brenau, whose mascot is the Golden Tigers, currently sponsors 14 intercollegiate teams, including junior varsity and cheer programs, and sponsors only women’s athletics. In the AAC, Brenau will compete in cross country, soccer, volleyball, basketball, swimming, softball, tennis, golf, track & field, and lacrosse.

“We have enjoyed our long and successful affiliation with our current conference (the SSAC) and will certainly miss the many great relationships that we have formed over the years. However, we are at the point where, to better serve our student-athletes, the Appalachian Athletic Conference will be a better fit for us,” said Brenau Athletics Director Mike Lochstampfor. “Over the years we have developed great relationships with many of the current AAC colleges and universities through our normal sports team’s scheduling, so the transition will be fairly seamless.

“Throughout the application process and during our meetings with the site visit team, I have enjoyed getting to know the representatives from the Appalachian Athletic Conference,” Lochstampfor continued. “They are a wonderful group of folks with a great leader in Commissioner John Sullivan. Everyone has been very professional and supportive, and we are looking forward to a long term relationship and a new home for our athletics program.”

Founded in 1878, Brenau is a comprehensive, liberal arts-based university with more than 3,800 total students (undergraduate and graduate on multiple campuses and online), including about 850 this year at the residential women’s college. Brenau offers a range of studies in more than 50 areas that lead to doctorates; an M.F.A. degree; a range of master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees; and professional certifications. The women’s college provides a full slate of academic and extracurricular experiences, including nationally competitive intercollegiate athletic teams, national sororities and honor societies, and outlets for artistic expression and community service.

Currently, the conference has full members in six southeastern states. The other full members include: Allen University (South Carolina), Bluefield College (Virginia), Bryan College (Tennessee), Columbia College (South Carolina), Milligan College (Tennessee), Montreat College (North Carolina), Point University (Georgia), Reinhardt University (Georgia), SCAD Atlanta (Georgia), St. Andrews University (North Carolina), Tennessee Wesleyan College, Truett-McConnell College (Georgia) and Union College (Kentucky.). Asbury University (Kentucky) and The University of the Cumberlands (Kentucky) are affiliate members in men’s and women’s lacrosse, while Asbury and West Virginia University Institute of Technology are affiliate members in men’s and women’s swimming.