Wayne State College
Wayne State College is a four-year public college in the Nebraska State College System in Wayne, Nebraska, United States. The current enrollment is 3,571.
Wayne State College is a proud member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Its 15-sport program competes at the Division II level. Men's sports sponsored include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field. The women compete in basketball, cross country, golf, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, softball, volleyball and soccer. WSC is a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference in all sports. Athletics at Wayne State College have enjoyed a rich tradition of success and been an important part of college life since at least 1912, when football began competition as an intercollegiate sport. Men's basketball began around that same time, and men's track & field started in the early 1920s. Through World War II those three sports were the main varsity sports on campus, with the athletes and coaches for all three generally being the same. During those years Wayne State competed in the Nebraska Intercollegiate Athletic Association (NIAA), which included the other three Teachers Colleges (Chadron, Kearney and Peru) and for a time Omaha University. The post-war era brought many changes to WSC athletics. First, the NIAA became the Nebraska College Conference (NCC) and through the 1950s included nearly all the colleges in Nebraska. Several new sports were added, including baseball, cross-country, golf, swimming, tennis and wrestling. For a while boxing was even a varsity sport - one at which Wayne State was very successful, winning several conference team and individual titles. The 1960s were one of the high points of WSC athletics, with some of school's most successful athletes and teams coming from that decade. Several teams and individuals made their mark on the national level, with perhaps swimming and wrestling being the cream of the crop. However, other sports like cross-country (9th at the NAIA national meet in 1960), basketball (several national tournament appearances in the late 1960s) and track and field (Frank Burgasser, national champion in the javelin in 1969) enjoyed some of their greatest successes during this period. The 1970 football team, which made WSC's only appearance in a bowl game, marked the end of an era. During the 1970s, athletics at WSC - and at many colleges across the country - struggled to redefine its role in an era of declining enrollments and budgets. By 1980, cross-country, golf, indoor track, swimming, tennis and wrestling were dropped. There were some bright spots, however. Cross-country won its only conference title in 1975, and the newly added women's varsity sports of basketball, softball and volleyball competed at national tournaments during the seventies. The NCC, which had shrunk to just the four state colleges by the 1970s, disbanded in 1976. Wayne State and Kearney State then joined the Central States Intercollegiate Conference (CSIC), which became known as one of the toughest conferences at that level in the country. A leaner athletic department was able to compete successfully in the CSIC during the 1980s. The women's track and field team, while never able to capture the conference crown, had some of the best sprinters and relay teams the school has ever had. The baseball team also was very successful during those years, as was volleyball and women's basketball. The 1988-89 school year marked the beginning of a new era for the WSC athletics program. As the CSIC disbanded, the school ended its long-time association with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to step up to the NCAA Division II level. That change has brought an increased level of funding to the program, along with the higher level of competition and prestige NCAA membership brings with it. In 1988, Pete Chapman became the school's first full-time athletic director to help Wayne State College make the transition to NCAA Division II athletics. The 1989-90 season marked Wayne State's first year of competition in NCAA Division II athletics. The school was scheduled to begin competition in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference during the 1990 season with football scheduled to play in the RMAC in 1991. But WSC president Dr. Donald Mash announced in March, 1990 that Wayne State College was withdrawing from the conference due to travel and NCAA equivalencies and financial aid issues. While being an independent presented its own unique challenges, WSC rose to the challenge and developed strong regional programs capable of competing at the national level. Three highlights include the 1993 football team's record of 9-1 (best since 1949), Lamart Cooper's 55-meter dash national title during the 1996 indoor track season and James McGown's three NCAA All-America honors in cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track during the 1997-98 school year. In 1997, women's soccer was added as a varsity sport at Wayne State, giving the school 15 varsity sports (eight women's programs and seven men's programs). It was the first varsity sport added at Wayne State since 1989 when women's golf made its debut. The late 1990's also saw the Wayne State men's basketball team turn into one of the top teams in the NCAA Division II North Central Region under coach Greg McDermott. The Wildcats posted five straight 20-win seasons from 1996-2000 and reached the NCAA Post-Season Tournament twice. WSC hosted the 1999 North Central Regional Tournament at Rice Auditorium and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the 1999-2000 season, falling to eventual national champion Metro State in the North Central Regional championship game in Denver. The Wildcats finished the 1999-2000 season with a 26-6 record, setting a school record for wins in a season. On May 20, 1998 the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference announced that it was expanding to 10 teams, with WSC, Concordia-St. Paul and Minnesota-Crookston to be its newest members. Wayne State benefitted from the increased visibility of its athletic programs and the opportunity to compete for individual and team conference titles and honors through its membership in the NSIC. Sports such as cross country, track and field and golf were allowed to compete for conference championships in the 1998-99 school year with other sports such as football, volleyball, soccer, men's and women's basketball, baseball and softball becoming eligible for conference titles in 1999-2000. The 1999-2000 WSC men's basketball team was the first Wildcat team to win a Northern Sun Conference title. In 2001, the Wildcat baseball team won their first NSIC title and advanced to the NCAA Central Region Tournament for the first time in school history. The WSC volleyball team clinched the 2001 NSIC regular season title and just missed a berth in the NCAA Tournament with a 24-9 record. The 2005-06 school year proved to be Wayne State's most successful as a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. The Wildcats won five conference titles and finished second in the NSIC's All-Sports Competition. WSC won conference titles in men's cross country, men's indoor track and field, women's basketball, baseball and men's outdoor track and field. 2005-06 also marked the first time that Wayne State College sent three teams to NCAA regional play as the volleyball, women's basketball and baseball teams all participated in NCAA regional competition. For volleyball and women's basketball, it marked their first appearances in NCAA post season play while the baseball team reached the NCAA post season for the third straight season and fourth time in six years. Another milestone was achieved by Katie Wilson during the indoor track and field season as the shot putter placed fifth at the NCAA Div. II Indoor National Track and Field Championships to become the school's first NCAA All-American in women's track and field. The 2008-09 season saw nine of Wayne State's 15 sports qualify either as a team or individually for the NCAA Division II Tournament. A record four teams (football, volleyball, baseball and softball) qualified for post-season play while men's cross country, men's golf, women's golf, men's outdoor track and field and women's outdoor track and field saw individuals qualify for their respective NCAA Tournament. Football tied a school record with nine wins and reached the NCAA Division II playoffs for the first time in school history while softball also reached the NCAA Tournament for a first time. Baseball tied a school record with 45 wins and reached the Central Regional final for the second time in five years. Facilities at Wayne State have also undergone improvements in recent years. A new floor was installed in Rice Auditorium in 2004, the Pete Chapman Baseball/Softball Complex is one of the best in the region with a oak, wood fence installed at the baseball field during the 2005 and '06 seasons. Bob Cunningham Field witnessed a new, eight-lane running track put in during the spring and summer of 2003 and the WSC Recreation Center installed a new, six-lane mondo track surface in 2001. In the fall of 2008, a $4.5 million dollar state-of-the-art renovation was made to Rice Auditorium along with a new weight room at Memorial Stadium. The basement of Rice Auditorium was completely renovated and now features classrooms for the Health, Human Performance and Sports Department along with renovated coaches offices on the main floor of Rice Auditorium. In Memorial Stadium, renovations include a new weight room with 18 platforms and racks along with new football coaches offices and a first-ever locker room for women's soccer. With the improved facilities, Wayne State has been able to host such events as the 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2010 NCAA North Central/Central Regional Cross Country Championships, the 2004 NSIC Indoor Track and Field Championships, the 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 NSIC Baseball Tournament, the 2006 NSIC Red Baron Women's Basketball Classic and the 2006 and 2008 NSIC Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Wayne State also hosted the 2010 NCAA Central Regional Softball Tournament and the 2010 Northern Sun Conference Cross Country Championships.
Wayne State College is a comprehensive institution of higher education dedicated to freedom of inquiry, excellence in teaching and learning, and regional service and development. Offering affordable undergraduate and graduate programs, the College prepares students for careers, advanced study, and civic involvement. The College is committed to faculty-staff-student interaction, public service, and diversity within a friendly and collegial campus community.
Byron Chamberlain, NFL and Pro Bowl tight end Greg L. Adams, state senator and Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature. Charlie Janssen, state senator in the Nebraska Legislature. James Keogh, journalist and political adviser. Assistant managing editor of Time, Special Assistant to President Richard Nixon, Director U.S. Information Agency. John H. Kyl, U.S. political figure. Member of the House of Representatives from Iowa's Fourth Congressional District 1959-1965, 1967-1973. Asst. Secretary, Dept. of the Interior, 1973-1977. Father of Arizona Senator Jon Kyl. Hilda Neihardt, history author and daughter of John G. Neihardt John Neihardt, writer and poet. Poet Laureate of Nebraska, author of Black Elk Speaks. Gale McGee, U.S. political figure. Democratic Senator from Wyoming 1959-1977. U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States. Ruben Mendoza, NFL guard Brad Ottis, NFL defensive end/defensive tackle Val Peterson, U.S. political figure. Governor of Nebraska 1947-1953, Director of Federal Civil Defense Administration, Ambassador to Denmark and Finland. Wayne State College's Peterson Fine Arts Building is named after him. Brett Salisbury, quarterback and author of The Transform Diet Tom Sherlock, British Basketball League forward Kevin Swayne, AFL and NFL wide receiver Brian Wansink, Cornell University Professor and author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think DaVarryl Williamson, quarterback and boxer
Rural, 128 acres (52ï¿½ha)