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Milligan adds mountain biking to athletics program

MILLIGAN COLLEGE (December 9, 2008) – Milligan College is tapping into the region’s natural resources to offer a new mountain biking program as a club sport. Scholarships will be available for new students, beginning next Fall.

“Mountain biking is a collegiate cycling discipline that has evolved into its own sport,” said Mark Fox, vice president for student development. “While primarily a recreational pastime, it is now a national discipline with ten conferences and its own national championship.”

While cycling is not a sanctioned NAIA sport, Fox said the region is fortunate to have several outstanding collegiate programs to compete against, including East Tennessee State University, Lees-McRae College, Brevard College, Appalachian State, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Union College, and Warren Wilson College. Milligan will compete with these schools in the Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference.

Initially, Milligan will focus on mountain biking events as the biking program is developed. Mountain biking has a fall competitive season and involves four events: cross country, short track cross country, dual slalom and downhill. Milligan’s campus and the surrounding area are perfect settings for each event.

Brad Hill has been named the head coach for the biking program. Hill is no stranger to Milligan or to coaching. As a student athlete, he was a member of the record setting baseball team that tied a school record for wins in 2004. Hill then went on to coach two years at Morristown East High School. During the 2005 and 2006 summers, Hill was the head coach for the Tennessee Thunder, a member of the Southern Collegiate Baseball League. He has spent the past two years as an assistant coach for the Milligan Buffaloes baseball team.

“I am excited about the opportunity to build this new program at Milligan,” said Hill. “Milligan is an academic leader in this community and has been highly competitive both regionally and nationally in many sports. With the growth of mountain biking as a collegiate sport and our fortunate location, it is the perfect sport for the college to expand its athletic endeavors.”

An advisory council comprised of local mountain biking enthusiasts will assist Hill with the program’s launch.

For more information, visit www.milliganbuffs.com, or contact Coach Hill at 423.461.8330 or by email at jbhill@milligan.edu.

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MILLIGAN COLLEGE is a Christian liberal arts college in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The college offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan College, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.

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