A private university in Connecticut announced it's adding multiple new sports to its athletics programs.
The University of Bridgeport announced Monday that it plans to add 10 new sports, which would bring the total number of NCAA and club sports on the Purple Knights’ campus to 17.
Courtesy of Bridgeport.edu
In the fall 2022 semester, UB will begin adding sports including NCAA Division II men's lacrosse, women's and men's indoor and outdoor track and field, and an esports club team. The university said it plans to add over the next few years new club sports including men's and women's rugby and women's bowling.
UB officials said they also anticipate fielding a men's sprint football team as early as the fall 2023 semester.
Jay Moran has returned to Bridgeport after serving as AD at Southern Connecticut State, and will begin hiring coaches for the new sports, the Connecticut Post reported.
UB is starting the process of hiring coaches for its new teams so they can begin recruiting student athletes. In accordance with NCAA rules, athletic scholarships will be available for men's and women's track and field athletes as well as men's lacrosse beginning with the fall 2022 semester.
"I'm proud to share that we are planning to add 10 new sports to our department at a time when many schools are cutting their athletic programs. It's proof of how committed we are to helping our students succeed in all areas of life," said Moran, vice president of athletics at UB. "I look forward to working with our new coaches and student athletes to build these programs into winning teams."
Esports and sprint football are two sports rapidly growing in popularity. The Purple Knights will compete against other schools in Connecticut and beyond in esports. The UB sprint football team is expected to compete in the Collegiate Sprint Football League against teams including Army, Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania. The CSFL follows the same rules as NCAA football, but players must weigh less than 178 pounds.
The Connecticut Post reported that UB has not fielded a football team since 1974, but sprint football could provide the university with a gateway to a full football program.