By Kevin Taylor, Point Park (Pa.) Director of Athletic Communications
PITTSBURGH -- The Point Park University (Pa.) athletic department is growing once again. The Pioneers will add two more sports teams when they begin competing in men's and women's track and field in the 2014-15 school year, the athletic department has announced. The addition of the two track and field teams will bring the number of varsity sports offerings at Point Park to 13.
The search for a men's and women's track and field coaching staff will begin immediately. Student-athletes interested in competing on the track and field teams are directed to complete the 'Prospective Athlete Questionnaire' on the Point Park athletics website and specify Track & Field.
"The addition of men’s and women’s track and field at Point Park will add more opportunities for student-athletes to enjoy everything that intercollegiate athletics has to offer," said Director of Athletics Dan Swalga. "The two new additions will give us 13 varsity sports.
"The KIAC offers a track and field championship meet, so our future student-athletes would have a goal to win their event at the conference meet and compete nationally at the NAIA meet. These programs add two more spring sports, which balances our seasonal offerings, and we expect this addition will serve to enhance the cross country programs that currently exist. We are excited about continuing the growth of athletics at Point Park University."
The addition of men's and women's track and field teams continues the steady growth of Pioneers athletics since the year 2000. As of the 1999-00 school year, Point Park sponsored six varsity sports. With the addition of the track and field teams, that number will have more than doubled by 2014-15.
The Pioneers' athletic department has been steadily adding sports every four to five years since the turn of the millennium. In 2000, Point Park brought back its men's cross country team for the first time since 1972 and also introduced women's cross country for the first time to bump the sports offerings up to eight.
In 2005, the Pioneers began competing in women's soccer as their ninth varsity sport. In the fall of 2009, men's golf was re-introduced after a 37-year hiatus. Also that same year, women's golf was adopted for the first time. After a period of five years, the department will welcome two more sports with track and field in fall of 2014.
The first year of Point Park athletics versus four-year competition was the 1967-68 school year. Men's basketball, baseball, men's cross country and men's golf were the varsity sports at the time, but only men's basketball and baseball have been sponsored every year since. Women's basketball was added in 1978-79.
The Point Park men's and women's track and field teams will be immediately eligible for competition in the KIAC and NAIA.
Other than track and field, Point Park's other 11 varsity sports teams are men's and women's basketball, baseball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, volleyball and softball.