A history of Trinity sports


The hallway outside of the Ron and Genie Calgaard Gymnasium displays all trophies won by sports teams. Photo by Allison Wolff.

Trinity sports have a history of success, and if that seems like an oversimplification, consider the facts from the past 23 years. The Learfield Director’s Cup has named Trinity’s athletic program as one of the top 10 Division III programs out of over 400 Division III institutions five times. For a school not particularly known for its athletics, Trinity excels on the field, court and pitch due to our institution’s dedication to excellence in all areas.

Though not specifically known much for athletics now, from the 1960s all the way into the 1990s, Trinity was known for its remarkable Division I tennis program. Until 1991, Trinity teams were either Division II or, in the case of tennis, Division I. The men’s tennis team was a powerhouse even within this higher division, competing in the NCAA championship in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1977, and 1979, winning in 1972.

Until a few years ago when I began looking for colleges, my father, who lived in the jock dorms at Texas A&M University, only knew of Trinity University through his friends on the tennis team, who were routinely defeated by the Tigers. Their courts held world-class tennis players, including 1963 Wimbledon Men’s Singles Champion Chuck McKinley and current women’s coach Gretchen Rush (neé Magers), who won the 1983 NCAA Doubles Championship with Louise Allen. Butch Newman is in charge of the Trinity tennis program, and as a coach at Trinity he led the men’s tennis team in both the Division I and Division III era, from 1986 to 2009. He coached the women from 1991 to 2008 and was the coach of both the 2000 NCAA national champions.

Trinity football is famous for the Mississippi Miracle, a play which occurred in 2007. If you haven’t seen the play, which was voted the top sports moment of the year by Time Magazine, take a look here. Football is coached by former NFL player Jerheme Urban, who played for Trinity in college and to this day can out-run, out-lift and out-jump many of his own players.

Some of the strongest athletic programs at Trinity University right now are the men’s and women’s soccer teams, which consistently make it to the playoffs thanks to a combination of athletic players and great leadership. Men’s soccer coach, Paul McGinlay, is in his 27th year coaching the Tigers, during which time his boys won the national championship in the fall of 2003. Both the men and women’s soccer teams are staffed by coaches, who “” for the most part “” all played for Trinity, and both teams are consistently ranked high and make it to the playoffs almost every year.

The same calendar year that men’s soccer won the national championship, women’s basketball also claimed the title. In the spring of 2003, the Tigers were the victorious champions of Division III women’s basketball. Today the team is still strong and were ranked first in the nation last year before falling in the playoffs.

Our most recent national championship goes to the Trinity baseball team, who beat Keystone College last May to win the Men’s Division III College World Series and subsequently released a line of fashionable t-shirts to commemorate the occasion.

Trinity is also home to the Tiger Network, which began in the fall of 2015. Arguably the greatest broadcast of any Division III athletics program, the Tiger Network uses multiple cameras and commentators to broadcast home events in football, volleyball, soccer, basketball, baseball, softball and tennis on the internet for fans and parents at home. In addition to athletic events, the Tiger Network has also broadcasted events such as the annual Christmas Concert, the San Antonio Mayoral Debate and the Trinity Distinguished Lecture Series. This is all part of an effort on the part of the university to pursue excellence in every area, be it academic or athletic.

So to all you new students, welcome to Trinity! I hope you are proud to be a Tiger, because we sure are proud to have you.