Athletics and 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.

John Carroll sponsors intercollegiate competition in 23 sports. The men’s intercollegiate programs are football, soccer, indoor and outdoor track, cross country, basketball, swimming and diving, wrestling, baseball, golf, tennis, and lacrosse, while the women’s programs include volleyball, soccer, indoor and outdoor track, cross country, basketball, swimming and diving, softball, golf, tennis, and lacrosse.

The Department of Recreation oversees ten 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.  Men’s ice hockey, rowing, men’s rugby, cheerleading and dance all have coaches, while ultimate frisbee, women’s basketball, sailing, women’s volleyball, and men’s volleyball are completely student-led.

The intramural sports program provides competitive opportunities for approximately 1,500 students.  Offerings include flag football, racquetball, tennis, soccer, softball, volleyball, basketball, badminton, dodgeball, and floor hockey.

The Department of Recreation offers a wide variety of group fitness classes to students, faculty, and staff. Examples include yoga, Pilates, 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, equipment room, and a training and rehabilitation room, as well as offices for the Athletics Department. The Recreation Complex provides additional facilities: two all-purpose courts for basketball, volleyball, and various net sports; one racquetball court; an indoor-banked jogging track; 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, Schweikert Baseball Field, the Short Family Tennis Center, 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. Adjoining the stadium are three tennis courts, which are used for instructional and recreational play. Don Shula Stadium also includes a weight room, training 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