May 26, 2022
WILMORE, Ky. – Asbury University announced today that it will begin a men’s and women’s intercollegiate track & field program at the start of the 2023 fall semester.
The University currently sponsors men’s and women’s cross country teams and will now expand recruiting for men’s and women’s track & field. The addition of track & field will increase the number of intercollegiate sports to 18 (10 women’s teams and 8 men’s teams). Asbury recently completed its first year of provisional membership in NCAA Division III.
“We are very pleased to introduce the return of track & field to Asbury Athletics,” AU President Dr. Kevin Brown said. “This is something that has been discussed among campus leadership for nearly a decade. We’re particularly thankful for the momentum and support for an outdoor venue that will serve multiple uses for our students, including the home of our track & field program.”
“Asbury is a place where student-athletes can thrive in all aspects of the campus community. The dedication, focus and talent required to be a successful track & field athlete translates well to the classroom.”
The search for a head coach to lead the men’s and women’s track & field program will begin this summer. Dr. Randy Crist, who serves as AU’s cross country head coach, will also play a key role in the refinement and implementation of the plan to launch the new program.
Several Asbury students competed in track & field during the 1970’s and early 1980’s under the leadership of Stan Wiggam, Tom Harper and Harold Rainwater. The 1976 and 1977 teams each earned conference runner-up honors in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) Championship Meet.
“This is another significant step in using the platform of intercollegiate athletics to grow our university and continue its Christ-centered mission,” Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics & University Communications Mark Whitworth said. “We are praying that God will lead students and coaches to Asbury that will contribute to the development of our track & field program and enhance our campus community.”
President Brown said he looks forward to welcoming these new students to AU adding that, “Asbury is a place where student-athletes can thrive in all aspects of the campus community. The dedication, focus and talent required to be a successful track & field athlete translates well to the classroom.”
Last month he announced the university is actively fundraising and planning for a multi-use outdoor venue that will include a lighted track, synthetic turf field, meeting space, locker rooms, public restrooms, and stadium seating.
“In addition to being home for the new men’s and women’s track & field program, we will be able to use the venue for other campus events such as commencement, concerts, or other large gatherings.” Brown explained. “It will also enable Asbury to become a destination for hosting a variety of youth sports events.”
The space can be utilized for a variety of club and intramural activities in addition to multiple intercollegiate sports.
“The idea is that every student at AU would benefit from this facility,” Brown said. “We have already had tremendous fundraising momentum behind the project – raising over $4.5 million thus far.”
More information about Asbury track & field can be found at https://asburyeagles.com/sports/track-field or on Instagram @asburytrackandfield and Twitter @asburytrack.