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UW-Parkside, Wisconsin’s only Division II university, upgrades athletics

“Historically, being the only Division II as well as being a geographic outlier within our state, I think those two things go hand and hand, has been a little bit of an asset and a liability for UW-Parkside,” UW-Parkside Director of Athletics Andrew Gavin says. “And I think we kind of have to approach it with some strategies with both of those things in mind.”

Gavin is leading a renaissance of Rangers athletics.

“We needed to up our game, for sure,” Gavin says. “And I think we’ve had a history of 50-plus years of high-level athletics at Parkside. I think that’s one of the things that was appealing to me, looking at the job five years ago was, this place has won. And it’s won in almost every single sport throughout our history. But to continue to do that, you have to have the facilities. You have to support student-athletes, in entirely new ways.”

Parkside and Kenosha’s Jockey International formed a partnership to upgrade facilities, athletics, career services, and community engagement.

“I think what I’m most excited about is kind of raising that profile and visibility around UW-Parkside and Parkside athletics specifically,” Gavin says. “And all of that does that right? If our student-athlete experience is better? If we’re more competitive? If our facilities are better? They’re going to bring more people to our campus. It’s gonna just lift everything up in terms of our reputation.”

And there is an incentive for the athletes.

“Let them understand that we offer athletic scholarships,” Gavin says. “I mean first and foremost, you know, being able to provide young boys and girls throughout the state of Wisconsin and beyond scholarships to come compete at the college level is a heckuva asset that we have and we need to talk about that as much as we can.”

Parkside is like a lot of universities and colleges, trying to raise their profile while helping impact the lives of young athletes.

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