Champions in Athletics, Leaders in Life
The role of Athletics within the greater University system is to challenge our student athletes to “Aspire Higher” in academics and in sports. UNC Asheville’s Intercollegiate Athletic Program reflects the attitudes and values underlying the University’s overall goals of academic excellence, diversity, equity, integrity, service, and accomplishment. Accordingly, the athletics program encourages an atmosphere of respect for self and others through the development of ethical conduct, sportsmanship, leadership, and citizenship and provides equitable opportunities. Our 14 NCAA Division I programs also serve as a touchstone for the campus, alumni, friends, family, and the greater Asheville community.
UNC Asheville is a distinctive public liberal arts institution. The Department of Athletics seeks to sponsor a competitive, broad-based, fiscally-sound and ethically responsible NCAA Division I athletics program.
The hallmarks of our athletics program are compassion, fairness, honesty, respect, responsibility, and sportsmanship. Adhering to these values helps create a culture of excellence that emphasizes academics, community service, inclusion, and integrity for our fans, staff, and student-athletes. A successful, well-run athletics program also builds pride in and support for the University among the citizens of Asheville and Buncombe County and among students, faculty, staff and alumni.
Our focus is on the development of our student-athletes as “Champions in Athletics and Leaders in Life”, starting from recruitment and continuing beyond graduation. Our expectation is that the combination of a strong, liberal arts education combined with multi-dimensional athletics experiences will foster long-term community and professional accomplishments by our student-athletes after they graduate.
UNC Asheville intercollegiate athletics has participated in NCAA Division I competition since 1986 and has built a wonderful tradition. The school is a member of the Big South Conference and offers 14 sports. For men, the sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, indoor and outdoor track, soccer and tennis. Basketball, cross country, indoor and outdoor track, soccer, tennis and volleyball are offered for women. Highlights over the past couple of years include a Big South Conference championship and NCAA appearance for the women’s basketball team. The men’s basketball team captured a share of the Big South Conference men’s basketball title and became the first team in Big South history to be selected to the National Invitational Tournament. The women’s tennis team was named 2007-2008 ITA All-Academic team for their work in the classroom. Our volleyball team won its fifth Big South Conference regular-season title in 2009.
These efforts are built on earlier successes. The baseball team won the 2006 Big South Conference championship and advanced to its first ever NCAA Regional competition. Women’s soccer won the Big South title in the fall of 2006 and made the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever. Other successes include men’s basketball winning regular season championships in 2008 and 2003, and being the first team in Big South history to win a NCAA Tournament basketball game. Women’s basketball was the most improved team in the country in 2004. In 1984, the women’s basketball team made history by winning the NAIA National Championship.
The UNC Asheville Athletics Department offices are located in the Justice Center. The Justice Center houses a 1,100-seat basketball arena and locker rooms plus an indoor swimming pool. The Health and Fitness Center, located next to the Justice Center, has a weight and fitness room, an elevated track, and basketball, volleyball and racquetball courts. Outdoor athletic facilities include Greenwood Fields for soccer and baseball and the Karl Straus Track.
Looking to the future, UNC Asheville’s athletic teams will be playing in both renovated and new facilities. The school has adopted a master plan to renovate all of UNC Asheville’s outdoor facilities which means improved venues for baseball, soccer, tennis and track. Construction on the North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness and Kimmel Arena, the future home court for both basketball teams, began in the summer of 2008. Renovations to the Karl Straus Track began in the spring of 2009. The UNC Asheville Tennis teams will have a new home in the Fall of 2009 when they play near campus at the Crowne Plaza Resort.
Students have free admission to all home regular season athletics events. More information on UNC Asheville athletics, including home competition dates, is available on the web at www.uncabulldogs.com.