Bluefield State College has announced the addition of 12 new sports to its athletics department for the 2021-2022 school year. These will join the ten existing sports to become a robust program for more than 400 student-athletes.
Leading the way is the return of Division II football, for the first time since 1980.
Bluefield State President Robin Capehart said, "Fielding a football team after such a long absence is a huge step forward. To do this now is our way of saying there is life after COVID for this College and our community."
Interim Director of Athletics Derrick Price added, "We're hiring for these new sports now. I'm prioritizing coaches with proven abilities to recruit. We will target good student-athletes with the goal of being competitive immediately."
- In addition to football, Bluefield State will compete in the following new sports:
· Women's soccer
· Women's golf
· Women's acrobatics and tumbling
· Women's swimming
· Women's bowling
· Women's indoor track and field
· Women's outdoor track and field
· Men's indoor track and field
· Men's outdoor track and field
· Men's swimming
It's expected that these sports will attract more than 250 new students to campus. They will join the nearly 150 student-athletes enrolled currently.
Full and partial scholarships will be available.
Bluefield State currently competes in Men's baseball, basketball, cross country, golf and tennis. Also, in Women's softball, basketball, cross country, volleyball and tennis.
"Expanding our athletics program is integral to the goals we set shortly after coming to Bluefield State," Capehart said.
"Our first priority remains attracting more students. As an HBCU, we have an obligation to recruiting more African American students. We have done that.
"We changed the name of our Library to honor an African American alumnus who went on to a highly distinguished career in the State Department.
"We are returning to a residential campus for the first time in 52 years with the start of construction on our Heritage Village residence halls.
"Adding these sports will increase opportunities for more students and add a vibrancy that we've lacked for too long. It also strengthens our relationships in the community as we partner on the use of various facilities."
Interim Director Price added, "Making this commitment to these young people also means making a commitment to doing all the things that go with a full-bore athletics program: new and improved facilities, upgraded training, residences and meals. It also means working with the Provost and Deans so that our athletes have tremendous academic experience as well.
"Bluefield State has a proud sports tradition, including two national football championships. I feel blessed to be here now and help write a new chapter to our story."