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  • Midway Celebrates Athletic Success

August 25, 2022

Midway University Athletics celebrated a past year of athletic success ranging from conference championship wins, conference coaches of the year, and athletic director of the year to student-athlete recognitions (noted below).  Such success generated great excitement as new and returning student-athletes arrived on campus this past week and teams for fall sports began training for the coming season. 

In just six years since transitioning to co-education in fall 2016, Midway University’s Athletics program has grown significantly (adding both men’s and women’s teams). The University now offers 28 competitive team sports, including its two equestrian teams, with more than 600 student-athletes.  The latest addition is a Sprint Football program at Midway University. The team is part of the newly established Midwest Sprint Football League (MSFL) made up of six schools in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri. The first home game will be September 17 as part of the University’s Family and Homecoming weekend. This season’s home games will be played at Franklin County High School.

“Our athletics program has not only grown in numbers,” said Dr. Rusty Kennedy, Vice President of Admissions & Athletics, “It has grown in its competitive success within the conferences we compete in. We have enjoyed both academic and athletic success as a department and that has always been our goal. We are a student first program.”

“We haven’t just added sports without great consideration of the sport we are adding, how it will fit into our program and campus culture, the costs of running the program, and our anticipated success on the field,” added Kennedy. “We work hard to find the right student-athletes to join our programs and our coaches are some of our best recruiters.”

Here are some of the many highlights from just this past year.

Conference Championships & Achievements

  • Men’s Cross Country – In 2022 Midway’s Men’s Cross Country earned their first River States Conference Championship and advanced to NAIA Nationals for the first-time ever.
  • Women’s Golf - In 2022 Women’s Golf was the Runner-Up in the River States Conference Championship; previously the Women’s Golf team won five River States Conference Championships in a row from 2016 to 2021.
  • Men’s Golf-In 2022 Men’s Golf won its second consecutive River States Conference Championship. The 2021 year marked the first ever conference championship since the program began in 2016, when Midway University went co-ed and added men’s golf.
  • Western Equestrian – Midway’s Western Equestrian Team won the IHSA Zone 6 Region 3 Regional Champions, advanced to Nationals for the first time in 19 years, and finished 6th
  • Women’s Basketball – Won the River States Conference Western Division Title and advanced to the NAIA Nationals for the first-time ever.
  • Women’s Volleyball – Had its best season in school history and advanced to the NAIA Nationals for the first-time ever.

Other Recognitions

  • NAIA Gold Level Champions of Character – Midway University has been named a Gold Level NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star Institution; this is the 6th consecutive year at the highest level.
  • River States 4th Place Commissioner’s Cup – Midway Athletics recorded its highest finish in program history, finishing fourth in the 2021-22 River States Conference Commissioner’s All-Sports Cup. Schools earn points for their teams’ athletic accomplishments in conference play over the academic year.
  • Coaches of the Year: Jonea Rima, Otis Smith, and Jay Walls were named River States Conference Coaches of the Year for their respective sports.
  • Athletic Director of the Year: Rusty Kennedy was named River States Conference Athletic Director of the Year.
  • Baseball – Baseball was awarded the 2021-22 American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Team Academic Excellence Award (programs that post a team grade point average of 3.0 or higher earn this award).
  • Men’s Basketball – Seven students were named to the 2021-22 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Honors Court (student-athletes who have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher to earn the award).
  • Men’s & Women’s Volleyball – United States Marine Corps and the American Volleyball Coaches Association recognized both teams with the Team Academic Award for the 2021-22 academic year. Teams who maintain a year-long grade point average of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale earn this recognition.
  • Men’s Soccer – Following a vote of the River States Conference (RSC) Athletics Directors, the RSC honored the Midway men’s soccer team with the 2021-22 RSC Men’s Team of Character Award. The RSC Team of Character awards honor one men’s and one women’s team each year for their exemplary character and sportsmanship on the field, on the campus, and in the community.
  • Men’s & Women’s Soccer – The United Soccer Coaches honored both teams with the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award for their exemplary performance in the classroom during the 2021-22 academic year.
  • Men’s & Women’s Track & Field – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced that both programs were named All-Academic Teams for the 2022 NAIA Men’s Track & Field season.

Other Athletic Highlights from 2021-22 season

  • The total athletic department posted a 3.18 GPA for the entire year.
  • Record number of athletes (373) were named to the Athletic Director's Honor Roll in Spring 2022.
  • Women's Basketball, Women's Volleyball, Softball, Men's Basketball, and Wrestling all posted school records for wins.
  • 61 All-Conference Team Selections.
  • 47 Conference Players of the Week.
  • 169 Academic All-Conference Selections.
  • 2 NAIA All-Americans.
  • 1 NAIA All-American Honorable Mention.
  • 3 Conference Coaches of the Year.
  • Conference Athletic Director of the Year.
  • 6 Newcomer/Freshman of the Year Awards.
  • 12 Individual Qualifiers for Nationals.
  • 5 teams qualified for Nationals.
  • 3 Conference Runner-ups.
  • 3 Conference Third-place finishes.

 To learn more about Midway University Athletics, visit