GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Calvin University is adding a football program, a move the university’s president hailed as a “win-win.”
“The response has been outstanding,” Director of Athletics, Jim Timmer said.
Among the crowd of people highly anticipating the new football program are students at the university. Taylor Sanborn, a student-athlete, called it a “cool new chapter.”
“I feel it’s going to drive new students and alumni. It’s just going to be an awesome opportunity for the university,” said Sanborn.
The college has over 20 varsity sports and plans to add more in addition to football.
Calvin’s strategic plan for athletics, which was approved Friday, also includes the addition of women’s acrobatics and tumbling and men’s volleyball — searches for head coaches in those programs has already started. The school is also eying the addition of ice hockey, including for women.
“We are one of the premier athletics programs in all of Division III and so why not add more offerings that meet the needs of our students,” university President Wiebe Boer stated. “By adding these sports, we are providing students who have competed throughout high school the opportunity to get the best Christian liberal arts education around and continue in the sport they love. It’s a win-win.”
The Grand Rapids university doesn’t anticipate playing next fall. It plans to build the football coaching staff and recruit players with hopes of beginning the season in 2024-2025. The search for a coach will start next month.
“Even if they have the football team in 2026-2027, I’d be one of those alumni coming to the games,” student Evan Triemstra said.
The strategic plan will also fund a renovation and expansion athletics facilities, including the construction of new outdoor soccer, lacrosse and football fields.
Students added that the new sports additions will only make the campus community much stronger.
“Football is such a fun sport to watch and to go to games is just a fun experience. To be able to have that here at Calvin will enhance the experience. We’ll have something to do on a Saturday,” Lily Gaastra said.