Athletics & Recreation

John Carroll University traditionally stresses the importance of athletics and recreation as an integral part of the total development of students. With a strong, organized varsity athletic and club sports program, as well as multiple recreational opportunities, all John Carroll students have an array of opportunities to participate in recreational and organized physical activities. The University also provides physical education classes and an active intramural/fitness program to meet the needs of its students at all levels of physical activity. John Carroll is committed to providing the means for students to develop mind, body, and spirit.

The University first participated in intercollegiate athletics in 1919 and was a member of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference from 1955 to 1989. In 1989, John Carroll rejoined the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC), which it had left in 1949. Founded in 1902, the OAC is the third oldest conference in the United States.

The Department of Athletics at John Carroll is a relation-driven organization that strives to guide and support its student-athletes. The goal is to help every young person reach their highest potential in the classroom, in competition, and in preparation beyond JCU. Ultimately, the mission is to develop men and women for tomorrow.

John Carroll sponsors intercollegiate competition in 24 sports that involves approximately 690 student-athletes. The men’s intercollegiate programs are baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming and diving, indoor and outdoor track, tennis, wrestling, while the women’s programs include basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, indoor and outdoor track, tennis, volleyball, and wrestling.

JCU Recreation oversees 15 club sport programs, which offer opportunities for students to compete against other colleges and universities. The organization, leadership, and success of each club sport are driven entirely by our exceptional students.  Esports, men’s ice hockey, rowing, men’s rugby, cheerleading, and dance all have coaches, while baseball, men's basketball, women’s basketball, men's soccer, women's soccer, tennis, men's volleyball, and women’s volleyball are completely student-led.

The intramural sports program provides competitive leagues and tournaments played by approximately 1,100 students each year.  Offerings include, but are not limited to, basketball, flag football, volleyball, soccer, softball, floor hockey, golf, tennis, racquetball, pickleball, and dodgeball.

JCU Recreation offers a wide variety of group fitness classes to students, faculty, and staff. Examples include yoga, cycling, and Zumba.

The campus athletic facilities include the Johnson Natatorium, which has a swimming pool, diving well, electronic timing system, and scoreboard. The Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center is the varsity gymnasium with a seating capacity of 1,300. The center also contains the Meuse wrestling facility, indoor batting cages, equipment room, locker rooms and a training and rehabilitation room, as well as offices for the Athletics Department. This includes student-athlete academic support services provided through grant funding. The Recreation Complex provides additional facilities: two all-purpose courts for basketball, volleyball, and various net sports; one racquetball court; a fitness studio for group fitness and dance practice; and locker facilities.

Dedicated on February 23, 1991, the Ralph Vince Fitness Center and the Tom Corbo Weight Training Center—more commonly known as the Corbo Fitness Center—round out the indoor recreational opportunities for students, staff, and faculty. Newly renovated in Fall 2020, this state-of-the-art fitness center offers brand new cardio equipment such as treadmills, steppers, ellipticals, and bikes, as well as new strength equipment including dumbbells, Olympic racks/platforms, and selectorized strength machines.  

The outdoor facilities consist of the Don Shula Stadium, Wasmer field, Zajac track, Bracken Softball Field (turf), Schweickert Baseball Field (turf), the Short Family Tennis Center, outdoor batting cages, and the Hamlin Quad. Don Shula Stadium, which opened in fall 2003, is home to the JCU football, soccer, track, and lacrosse teams. The stadium has a seating capacity of 6,000, and Wasmer Field had a major replacement of its surface in 2019. The project also involved a total reconstruction of the track substructure and Beynon full-pour surface system. Don Shula Stadium also includes a weight room, training room, equipment room, locker rooms, and coaches’ offices. The Short Family Tennis Center, completed in fall 2021, features six brand-new tennis courts and a scoreboard.

More information about athletics is available online at