Stevenson University has announced it is adding football to its roster of 19 NCAA Division III varsity sports for men and women. The University will recruit 40 to 50 student athletes for a developmental season to start in fall 2010 and kick off intercollegiate play in fall 2011.
The team will compete against current Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) members Frostburg State University, Salisbury, Wesley and Gallaudet and looks forward to cross-conference play. Now a logistics committee is moving forward with the development of the program and hiring a new coach this fall.
“Football is a great fit for Stevenson and reflects our commitment to Division III sports and educating student athletes,” said Paul Cantabene, associate director of athletics in charge of men’s sports. “Current students, alumni, and prospective students have all expressed a strong desire in having football here.”
Stevenson has witnessed tremendous growth over the past decade, building a new campus in Owings Mills and increasing its undergraduate population to nearly 2,700 students. The University intends to grow that number to 4,000 and expects that the excitement and interest that football creates will be key to attracting a greater number of students, especially male students. The institution expects to attract 40-50 students representing strong local and regional high school football talent for its fall 2010 developmental season and at least 40 additional students by fall 2011 for its first varsity season.
“Football will complement our existing athletic programs well and expenses will be offset by gains in admissions,” Cantabene said.
In an odd coincidence, Stevenson is bringing football back to the practice facility that was once the home of the Baltimore Colts and later the Ravens. It purchased the Owings Mills facility from Baltimore City and the Ravens in 2006. The University has existing practice fields on its two campuses and plans for new stadium on its Owings Mills campus.
Stevenson University, known for its distinctive career focus, is the third-largest independent university in Maryland with more than 3,400 students pursuing bachelor’s, master’s, and adult accelerated degrees at locations in Stevenson and Owings Mills.