Roberts Wesleyan University President Deana L. Porterfield and Executive Director of Athletics Bob Segave announced that the university will add four new sports to its roster of NCAA Division II athletic offerings, bringing the total number of intercollegiate sports programs on campus to 20. Beginning in fall 2023, Roberts will add women’s field hockey, women’s triathlon, men’s volleyball and an electronic sports (Esports) team. These new athletic options will add a new dimension to the student experience and will afford more scholarship opportunities for prospective athletes.
“I’m delighted to share that we are planning to add these sports to Roberts Wesleyan University Athletics as a proof of our commitment to helping students succeed in all areas of life,” said Executive Director of Athletics Bob Segave. “I look forward to working with the new coaches and student athletes to build these programs at Roberts, the only NCAA Division II school in the Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes Region. I am committed to mentoring my staff to serve students by providing a sense of confidence, belonging and spiritual formation as individuals and as a team.”
The university will begin a national search to hire coaches for these new teams, including hiring an additional athletic trainer/strength and conditioning coach to further support new athletic recruits. Redhawks Athletics will immediately begin recruiting new student athletes for these sports. In alignment with NCAA Division II rules, athletics scholarships will be available for all new sports beginning in fall 2023.
“It’s an exciting time to be a Redhawk, and this expansion of our competitive teams provides a more robust athletics program. For 157 years Roberts Wesleyan University has been committed to education for character, and our athletic programs provide opportunities for students to become the best they can be on and off the field,” said President Deana L. Porterfield. “As an NCAA Division II university, we are committed to the development of the student-athlete, which pairs academic excellence with excellence in competition. At Roberts we go one step further, integrating faith in all that we do. Our students excel academically across all disciplines and serve the community out of a call to transform society. This is the Roberts difference.”
The university worked closely with USA Triathlon and its Chief Operating Officer Tim Yount to expedite competition for women’s triathlon and East Coast Conference (ECC) Esports, one of the largest electronic sports conferences in the country. The Esports program has emerged in recent years and has grown in popularity with students who are interested in competing in something other than traditional sports. The college-age demographic is shifting toward this type of competition to put their skills and strategies to work competing in game titles like Rocket League and Mario Kart. The university plans to have a dedicated Esports gaming center on the main campus and will compete against other schools in the ECC and all levels of NCAA.
“With the addition of these new sports also comes the opportunity to make an impact on enrollment goals,” said Segave. “Redhawks Athletics is grateful for the leadership and support of President Porterfield and the cabinet as we continue to position Roberts Wesleyan University in both the ECC and NCAA Division II level.”
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