Ivy Tech Northeast announced it’s creating a baseball team for its Fort Wayne campus. Once the team is accepted into the National Junior College Athletic Association, Ivy Tech Northeast will be a Division II school, which would be unlike any other Ivy Tech campus.
Ivy Tech Community College has campuses in 14 regions around the state, and none of them have an NJCAA team. Director of Student Life Christina O’Brien says this will allow student athletes to compete while also attending an affordable college.
“So I think this just improves accessibility, it provides a lot more opportunities for our students,” O’Brien said.
The team is funded through private donors and fundraising. A portion of the student activity fees will go to the team, but students won’t see an increase in tuition or fees.
A former Indiana Tech baseball coach will be the new Ivy Tech coach. Lance Hershberger spent 13 years at the Fort Wayne-based private college, and he also taught at two private Fort Wayne high schools, Bishop Luers and Bishop Dwenger. Hershberger says community college athletes can often be more focused than those at four-year universities.
“It’s not the end all. It’s the stepping stone, it’s the vehicle, and those are the kind of kids that I like to coach, that have goals and motivations,” Hershberger said.
The Ivy Tech Titans will play at Shoaff Park, which is about 3 miles away, but Hershberger hopes to build a field just for the team soon.