Texas A&M University-Texarkana has announced the expansion of their intercollegiate athletic department to include three new teams beginning with the fall 2024 semester. The university will add a coed esports team along with competitive cheer and dance teams, bringing the total number of varsity sports on campus to 14. Competitive cheer and dance are NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) sanctioned sports, while esports will fall under the governance of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE).
While esports is a newer and growing sport across the collegiate landscape, there are already a significant number of institutions who participate at the varsity level. The NACE boasts over 240 member institutions with more than 5,000 student-athletes receiving in excess of $16 million in scholarships and aid. The university will be renovating an existing space in University Center to construct a state-of-the-art esports arena.
“We are excited to be adding these three new teams to what is already a highly successful athletic department,” said Texas A&M University-Texarkana President Dr. Ross Alexander. “Launching these new teams gives the university an opportunity to recruit new types of student-athletes and allows us to capitalize on the fact that our local high schools are traditionally very strong in these sports.”
“Adding these new sports makes Texas A&M University-Texarkana more desirable to a large group of students who might not otherwise have considered us,” said A&M-Texarkana Athletic Director Michael Galvan. “We offer a world-class education at a very affordable price, but to participate in varsity esports or competitive cheer and dance they would have to have looked elsewhere. That’s no longer the case, and we look forward to welcoming more high-quality student-athletes to our campus.” Galvan said that the addition of these three teams will likely result in a combined 40-50 new student athletes enrolling at the university next fall.
Students who are interested in the new esports, dance, and cheer teams may contact Michael Galvan, Director of Athletics at firstname.lastname@example.org