COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon, along with Greensboro College Director of Athletics Kim Strable, today announced that Greensboro College in Greensboro, North Carolina, will become the 38th school in the nation to offer women’s triathlon at the varsity level. The school also announced the hiring of Karen Buxton as the team’s head coach. The NCAA Division III team will begin competing in fall 2022.
The commitment of the 38th school is a key step in triathlon’s journey toward becoming an NCAA Championship sport, as USA Triathlon is now two schools away from its goal of securing 40 varsity programs by 2024. Deemed an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women in 2014, triathlon has a 10-year window to demonstrate sustainability at the NCAA varsity level.
“USA Triathlon is proud to welcome Greensboro College to the women’s collegiate triathlon family,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “Women’s collegiate triathlon is thriving in North Carolina and this addition is particularly exciting as now six schools have added women’s triathlon since March of 2020. We’re one step closer to full-fledged NCAA Championship sport status and thrilled that Greensboro will offer more opportunities for student-athletes in the Southeast Region.”
Greensboro College is the sixth school in North Carolina to offer varsity women’s triathlon, joining fellow Greensboro, North Carolina, school Guilford (DIII), Belmont Abbey College (Belmont, N.C., DII), Lenoir-Rhyne University (Hickory, N.C., DIII), Queens University of Charlotte (Charlotte, N.C., DIII) and Wingate University (Wingate, N.C., DIII). The Pride competes in the USA South Athletic Conference.
The addition of women’s triathlon as Greensboro’s 19th varsity sport is made possible through a grant from the USA Triathlon Foundation. The USA Triathlon Foundation Women’s Emerging Sport Grant is distributed to select NCAA membership institutions to develop, implement and sustain women’s triathlon programs at the varsity level.
“Greensboro College is pleased to be making history in helping USA Triathlon achieve the NCAA benchmark in advancing women's intercollegiate triathlon from the 'Emerging Sport' category to a full-fledged NCAA championship sport. That benchmark of 40-plus sponsoring colleges and universities is expected to be achieved early next year, and our program is part of the final push to make that happen,” Strable said.
Greensboro College’s new coach, Buxton has been a professional triathlon coach for more than 30 years, and holds USA Triathlon Level III and Youth and Junior Certifications. A graduate of Johnson State College with a master’s degree in athletic administration from Temple University, Buxton has served as Secretary-General of USA Triathlon’s Board of Directors and Chair of the USA Triathlon Age Group Committee. Buxton is a 13-time IRONMAN finisher, placed fifth at the 2000 U.S. Long Course National Championships and won silver in her age group at the 2007 Long Course World Duathlon Championships.
“When I think about one of the top coaches in all of the U.S., Karen Buxton comes to mind. Not only is she one of the most respected coaches in triathlon, she is one of the most knowledgeable and well positioned to take on the task that the collegiate triathlon system will present to her,” said Tim Yount, USA Triathlon Chief Sport Development Officer. “She will be a great leader, respected recruiter, and community collaborator as we all know having support of a city is vital to a sport’s success. Greensboro couldn’t have selected a better coach.”
Women’s triathlon is a fall sport, and the varsity season includes four National Qualifiers followed by the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships, typically held in November. The draft-legal races are sprint-distance, featuring a 750-meter open-water swim, draft-legal 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run.
For more information about triathlon as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women, visit usatriathlon.org/ncaa. Interested in helping to identify and recruit the next women’s varsity collegiate triathlon program? Inquiries may be directed to Tim Yount, USA Triathlon Chief Sport Development Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women’s Varsity Collegiate Triathlon Programs (as of Dec. 2, 2021):
NCAA Division I (9)
Arizona State University (Tempe, Ariz.)
Delaware State University (Dover, Del.)
East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, Tenn.)
Hampton University (Hampton, Va.)
Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, Texas)
University of Denver (Denver, Colo.)
University of San Francisco (San Francisco. Calif.)
University of South Dakota (Vermillion, S.D.)
Wagner College (Staten Island, N.Y.)
NCAA Division II (15)
American International College (Springfield, Mass.)
Belmont Abbey College (Belmont, N.C.)
Black Hills State University (Spearfish, S.D.)
Colorado Mesa University (Grand Junction, Colo.)
Daemen College (Amherst, N.Y.)
Davis & Elkins College (Elkins, W.V.)
Drury University (Springfield, Mo.)
Emmanuel College (Franklin Springs, Ga.)
King University (Bristol, Tenn.)
Lenoir-Rhyne University (Hickory, N.C.)
Montana State University Billings (Billings, Mont.)
Newberry College (Newberry, S.C.)
Queens University of Charlotte (Charlotte, N.C.)
St. Thomas Aquinas College (Sparkill, N.Y.)
Wingate University (Wingate, N.C.)
NCAA Division III (14)
Alvernia University (Reading, Pa.)
Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
Central College (Pella, Iowa)
Coe College (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
Concordia University Wisconsin (Mequon, Wis.)
Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, Va.)
Greensboro College (Greensboro, N.C.)
Guilford College (Greensboro, N.C.)
Millikin University (Decatur, Ill.)
North Central College (Naperville, Ill.)
Northern Vermont University-Johnson (Johnson, Vt.)
Transylvania University (Lexington, Ky.)
Trine University (Angola, Ind.)
Willamette University (Salem, Ore.)
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon, paratriathlon, and indoor and virtual multisport events in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,000 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Triathlon Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of World Triathlon and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).