A winning culture

The role that college athletics plays is different at every institution. Navigating different athletic cultures —regardless of whether a student has plans to compete for a roster spot or engage from the sidelines — is something that students should think about during their college search. At Denison, we strive for excellence in every endeavor and believe that athletics is a complementary yet critical component to the community; instilling leadership, grit, tenacity, and an overwhelming sense of pride for the campus. We hope to help turn top-notch student athletes into top-tier people, and it begins with our winning culture.

A quick look at the 2021-2022 academic year tells the story of our commitment to athletic excellence. Denison claimed eight team and 30 individual North Coast Athletic Conference championships, earning a combined twelve national tournament appearances between team and individual sports. Additionally, Denison produced 36 unique All-Americans and an individual national champion in women’s swimming and diving en route to winning the NCAC All Sports Championship for a league-leading 18th time. Among the 326 NCAA Division III institutions, Denison placed 35th in the final 2021-22 Learfield Division III Directors’ Cup standings, which identifies the top overall athletics department in the nation. This marks Denison’s 12th top-40 finish since 2004.

In addition to our teams’ excellence on the field, our coaches have also received notable recognition in the last year. Specifically, five of our coaches received distinction as NCAC Coach of the year in their respective sports while three programs were recognized with regional coaching awards. This dedication to developing the full individual is part of the reason why Denison ranks in the Top-20 in NCAA DIII CoSIDA Academic All-American selections, with two additional entries added in 2022.

All Denison students arrive on campus eager to engage in the transformative, mentor-driven environment found throughout our campus. Our athletes enjoy the added benefit of teammates and coaches that work to unlock potential extending beyond the field of play. It’s important that prospective students are aware that collegiate athletics prepares student athletes in significant ways beyond the sport they play. The winning culture at Denison makes our community stronger, in the classroom and on the field. Go Big Red!

Nan Carney-DeBord ’80 is the Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics at Denison University and was named the NCAA Division III Nike Executive of the Year (2020-21 School Year) by Women Leaders in College Sports in September of 2021.