Northern Kentucky University to Add Men’s and Women’s Swimming

Photo Courtesy: Northern Kentucky Athletics

Northern Kentucky University to Add Men’s and Women’s Swimming

Northern Kentucky University announced on Tuesday that it will add six varsity sports, including men’s and women’s swimming.

NKU is also adding men’s volleyball, men’s and women’s triathlon and women’s stunt. It’s the first expansion of varsity offerings from the school since 1997 and brings its number of varsity programs to 22. (The press release notes that that is the same as the University of Kentucky and Louisville and more than the University of Cincinnati or Xavier, for a little local shade.)

Swimming will begin competing in the 2024-25 academic year. Men’s triathlon will begin as a club sport before transitioning to varsity; men’s volleyball won’t begin until 2025-26. The university has an on-campus aquatic center to house the team’s operations.

“This is an exciting day to be a Norse,” NKU Vice President and Athletics Director Christina Roybal said in the release. “The addition of these programs furthers our commitment to providing diverse opportunities for students and enriching the overall collegiate experience at NKU.”

“We are thrilled to introduce new sports to our athletic program,” NKU President Dr. Cady Short-Thompson said. “This decision reflects our commitment to supporting the holistic development of our students, shaping character, instilling discipline and building lifelong skills that extend well beyond the field, pool, or court. As the best value in the state, NKU is dedicated to providing an exceptional, well-rounded education for our students while offering a thriving athletic experience.”

NKU, which competes in Division I, is also expanding its track teams for men and women and its dance, cheerleading and pep band programs. It expects 250 new student-athlete opportunities by 2026-27.

Northern Kentucky is a member of the Horizon League, which it joined in 2015. The league had six men’s and women’s swimming teams participate at its championships last year.

From the statement:

All of these moves are being done to help NKU increase enrollment, to increase campus vitality and to continue to build excitement surrounding Northern Kentucky University. It will also greatly expand the chance for high school students throughout the Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati tri-state area to have an opportunity to compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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