Within the pages of the John Carroll University Student Handbook, the mission statement itself exemplifies the value of athletics as part of the educational experience. This experience is meant to provide “opportunities for the students to develop as total human persons.” The John Carroll University Athletic Department offers these opportunities, both on a varsity (intercollegiate) and recreational (intramural) level. The information below focuses on intercollegiate athletics. For intramurals, click here, and for recreation, click here.
Affiliations and Organizations
Under the varsity umbrella, John Carroll is a member institution of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and is classified as a Division III school. Simply put, this designates John Carroll as an institution that does not offer financial aid or scholarships based on athletic merit. An athlete at John Carroll may receive financial aid or scholarships, but it is based on need or academic achievement.
In 1989, John Carroll University became a member of the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC). The OAC, the third oldest conference in college athletics, is predated only by the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1888) and the Big Ten (1895). The Conference is older than even the NCAA itself, and has survived two world wars, the Great Depression, the Korean War and the Vietnam Conflict. The OAC celebrated its Centennial during the 2002-2003 school year.
Through the years a total of 30 colleges and universities at one time or another have been members of the OAC, including current Division I-A institutions Ohio State, Toledo, Akron, Bowling Green, Miami of Ohio, Ohio University and Kent State. Currently the conference consists of ten schools, all of which compete under the Division III banner. The present OAC membership includes Baldwin-Wallace College, Capital University, Heidelberg College, John Carroll University, Marietta College, Mount Union College, Muskingum College, Ohio Northern University, Otterbein College and Wilmington College.
Since joining the Ohio Athletic Conference, John Carroll has maintained a high level of success both on the conference and national scene. Teams at John Carroll have captured over 60 league titles, have won four conference all-sports trophies, and have placed among the top ten Division III schools in the nation on 15 different occasions. Individually, John Carroll can boast of over 700 first team All-OAC selection and OAC champions, over 75 Division III All-Americans, and can even claim six national champions and three national Players of the Year.
All the while maintaining a high level of success on the field of play, participants in the varsity programs at John Carroll have excelled in the classroom as well. Several programs have been recognized for their team academic achievements, as have over 25 individuals who have been named Academic All-Americans either by their respective sport or by national organizations such as CoSIDA.
John Carroll offers 21 varsity sports covering three seasons during the school year. In the fall, sports offered include football, volleyball, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, men’s cross country and women’s cross country. In the winter, sports offered include wrestling, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s swimming and diving, women’s swimming & diving, men’s indoor track & field and women’s indoor track & field. In the spring, John Carroll offers baseball, softball, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s outdoor track & field, women’s outdoor track & field, men’s golf, and women’s golf.
Squad sizes at John Carroll range anywhere from 10 for the golf and tennis teams to 150 for the football team. Most preseason camps are by invitation only, but coaches can be contacted for tryout availability. Of the 21 sports, football, volleyball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and baseball have fielded junior varsity squads, and sports such as cross country, swimming & diving, wrestling and track & field have many all-inclusive meets throughout their respective seasons.
The varsity athletic programs at John Carroll also have had opportunities to travel to such locales as Ireland, Berlin (Germany), Barcelona (Spain), Rome (Italy), San Diego (California), Panama City, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale (Florida), Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head (South Carolina), and Bermuda. In recent years, Blue Streaks have competed at venues such as Quicken Loans Arena and Jacobs Field in Cleveland and the Olympic Baseball Stadium in Spain.
Staff and Facilities
The athletic department itself is comprised of 20 full-time staff members, 25 part-time staff members, 11 graduate assistants and five volunteer coaches. In addition to the varsity programs, John Carroll offers club and intramural sports for the campus community.
Athletic facilities include the brand new Don Shula Stadium at Wasmer Field, home of the JCU football, soccer, and track & field teams; Schweickert Field, home to the JCU baseball team; Bracken Outdoor Athletic Complex, home to the Blue Streak softball and tennis teams; the William H. Johnson Natatorium, home of the Blue Streak swimming and diving squads; and the 2,500 seat Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center, home to the JCU basketball, volleyball and wrestling teams. The Ralph Vince Fitness Complex, opened in 1991, features state of the art exercise and cardiovascular equipment.