CENTRAL, S.C. – Southern Wesleyan University and the Department of Athletics are excited to announce Julia Reininga as the next Director of Athletics for the Warriors. She will become the third Director of Athletics for SWU, following in the footsteps of Dr. C Keith Connor and Chris Williams.
“It is my joy to announce that Julia Reininga will be the next Director of Athletics for Southern Wesleyan University,” said Vice President of Student Life, Chris Confer. “Her enthusiasm for helping the athletic department to realize its full potential, passion for keeping Christ at the center, and commitment to the best student experience possible are all things that moved Julia up to the top of the list. I am excited for this next season with Julia leading the way as SWU athletics continues to keep Christ overall and continually places team above self.”
Julia Reininga has been a great impact in the Southern Wesleyan community on and off the court since joining the Warrior team in 2012 as the Head Women’s Volleyball Coach. While serving as the Associate Athletics Director, Head Volleyball Coach and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) liaison, she has balanced her regular duties while also being a pivotal asset to the Warriors during the transition from NAIA to the NCAA. This has prepared her to take over the position of Director of Athletics. When she is not in the office, she will still be found on the volleyball court leading the team and welcoming everyone who enters Historic Tysinger Gymnasium. As both Director of Athletics and Head Volleyball Coach, Reininga looks to continue to have a large impact on the lives of both student-athletes and coaches alike.
In 2017, Reininga was awarded the prestigious NCAA Bob Frederick Sportsmanship Award. This award is given in recognition of individual athletes and administrators who exemplify sportsmanship, which is considered to be one of the core principles of the NCAA. In 2018, she received the NCAA Game Plan 4 Life Character Award, which is given in recognition of her career-long demonstration of sportsmanship both on and off the volleyball court.
On the volleyball court, Reininga has lead the Warriors to several NCCAA National Tournament appearances and into the Conference Carolinas Championship Tournament. During her time in the Warrior blue, she has recorded a 140-113 overall record.
“I would like to thank Dr. Todd Voss, Dr. Chris Confer, the hiring committee and the entire SWU community for their support and for allowing me to serve Southern Wesleyan University as the Director of Athletics,” Reininga said. “Using college athletics as a platform to further God’s kingdom has always been my passion. Southern Wesleyan University athletics has made amazing strides in the past 12 years under the leadership of Chris Williams, transitioning to NCAA DII, with facility upgrades and varsity sport offerings. I am so thankful and honored for the opportunity to work alongside the wonderful athletic staff and serve our amazing student athletes as we continue to push things forward and take SWU athletics even further.”
Prior to joining the Warriors, Reininga served as the head coach at her alma mater, Bethel College in Indiana. While there she posted a 336-210 career mark and guided the Pilots to the 1998 and 2007 NCCAA National Championship. She was named the NCCAA Coach of the Year after the 2007 season. As a player, Reininga won two NCCAA National Championships. She is the only person in Bethel history to win a national championship title as both a player and as a coach. Reininga graduated in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in Recreation Administration and later obtained a Master’s in Ministry in 2012.