Men’s indoor and outdoor track returning to Purdue Fort Wayne

College Sports
kelley hartley hutton

Men’s indoor and outdoor track returns to Purdue University Fort Wayne Athletics beginning in fall 2019, increasing the number of sports at the university and bringing in even more high-achieving student-athletes. The university made the announcement today following a year of research and planning.

“We are so excited to bring men’s track and field into our program,” says Kelley Hartley Hutton, director of athletics. “We looked at the financial self-sustainability, potential impact on our other teams, coaches, and support staff, and compliance with Title IX in the decision-making process. We also considered the popularity of track and field in our region. We truly could not be happier.”

The addition of men’s track and field will bring the number of NCAA Division I sports at Purdue Fort Wayne from 14 to 16. Indoor and outdoor track count as two different sports for the NCAA. The move is expected to bring approximately 70 new student-athletes to campus by 2020–21.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer these two new sports, which will attract even more high-achieving students to our campus,” says Chancellor Ron Elsenbaumer. “This is just one more enhancement as we continue to position Purdue Fort Wayne as the first choice for prospective students seeking a first-rate college education.”

Ashley Botham, head coach for the women’s cross country and track and field teams, as well as the men’s cross-country teams, will also be the head coach for the men’s indoor and outdoor track teams.

“I’m excited about the reinstatement of men’s track and field,” says Botham. “Adding men’s track allows us to increase enrollment and bring in students who will help elevate this university to the next level, both academically and athletically. The City of Fort Wayne has a strong track and field presence, and we are excited to offer this opportunity to the local community and beyond. My staff and I are grateful for Chancellor Ron Elsenbaumer, Athletics Director Kelley Hartley Hutton, and everyone who worked tirelessly to make this possible. We are ready to get to work and make this program the best it can be.”

Men’s indoor and outdoor track and field was eliminated in 2003 as part of a realignment of the university’s sports offerings.

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