By: KAYLA SMITH
The IU South Bend Athletics Program welcomes the new academic year with the addition of four new sports on the Titan lineup: men’s and women’s cross country, men’s Golf and men’s Baseball.
Titan Athletics will begin its fall season with women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s cross country followed by men’s golf and men’s baseball in the spring.
The four new sports were added to comply with the regulations of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to create a total of six varsity sports. In order for IU South Bend to be eligible for any post-season competition, this change was needed.
According to Steve Bruce, executive director of athletics and activities and head women’s basketball coach, “Baseball was an unplanned addition that occurred as a result of Holy Cross dropping their baseball program.”
A majority of the baseball team and coaching staff are from Holy Cross and serve as a foundation for the new sport. Titan Baseball will be led by Brian Blondell, who was the head baseball coach at Holy Cross.
“When all factors were considered, it made good sense to add baseball,” said Bruce.
Welcoming new student athletes to our university serves as a positive aspect for IU South Bend as a whole, as well as more on campus student involvement, according to Bruce.
“The number of student athletes has risen significantly with the addition of our new sports. We will have approximately 115 student athletes this coming year,” he said, “It is our goal for our new sports teams to represent excellence in both the classroom and the competitive arena. This is our vision for all of our sports.”
Presently, the fall season will bring the cross country teams into play, led by Head Coach Rob Carrasco, an outstanding runner at Mishawaka High School in the 1980’s, and most recently the cross country coach at John Glenn High School. Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams will participate in events hosted by various schools and at other sites.
Following in the spring, men’s golf will have South Bend Country Club as its practice course. Head Coach Justin Akers, who comes from Ohio Wesleyan University, will lead the team.
“We have hired three outstanding head coaches for our new sports. I am very confident in their leadership,” said Bruce. “We are very excited about the growing momentum of our athletics program here at IU South Bend and hope to play a significant and uplifting role for the success of our great university!”
To stay up to date on the inaugural seasons be sure to follow on Twitter at @IUSB_Baseball and for all Titan Athletics information at @IUSBTitans.