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’s 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 15 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, swimming, tennis and volleyball are offered for women.
UNC Asheville’s athletics program has many highlights. Our men’s basketball team won back-to-back Big South Conference championships in 2011 and 2012. The Bulldogs won the 2012 title in the new Kimmel Arena in front of a sell-out crowd and nationally televised audience on ESPN. In 2011, UNC Asheville won its second NCAA Tournament game in the “First Four” and advanced to the second round of the tournament. The men’s basketball team also became the first Big South Conference team to ever be selected to the post-season National Invitational Tournament in 2008 after winning the league’s regular-season title. The men’s baseball team won the 2006 Big South Conference championship and advanced to its first ever NCAA Regional competition.
The women’s basketball team advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2007 after winning the Big South Conference Tournament. They were named the most improved team in the country in 2004, and in 1984, the women’s basketball team made history by winning the NAIA National Championship. Our volleyball team captured its fifth Big South Conference regular-season championship in the fall of 2009, and the women’s soccer team won the Big South title in the fall of 2006, making it to the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever. Women’s swimming returned to UNC Asheville in 2011 as a varsity sport, and competes in the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association.
The men’s tennis team and women’s cross country team and have been honored for their work away from the playing fields. Our women’s tennis team has been honored by the ITA for their work in the classroom for four straight years.
The UNC Asheville Athletics Department utilizes various on-campus and community facilities for its 15 NCAA Division I programs.
- Kimmel Arena seats 3,200 and is the home for both Men’s and Women’s Bulldog Basketball.
- The Sherrill Center, which houses the Kimmel Arena, has classrooms, labs, fitness rooms, a wellness café, and a demonstration kitchen.
- The Justice Center includes administrative offices, a 1,100-seat volleyball arena, locker rooms, sports medicine room, Olympic weight room, and an indoor swimming pool.
- The Student Recreation Center located adjacent to the Justice Center has an elevated track and multi-purpose courts.
- Outdoor athletic facilities on campus include Greenwood Fields for soccer and baseball and the Karl Straus Track.
- The Asheville Racquet Club, located minutes from campus, is the home for Men’s and Women’s Tennis and includes both indoor and outdoor courts.
- McCormick and Memorial Field located in downtown Asheville hosts several baseball and soccer competitions.
Students have free admission to all home regular season athletics events. More information about UNC Asheville athletics, including home competition dates, is available on the web at http://www.uncabulldogs.com/