I certainly hope you are looking forward to some spring weather as much as Argo Athletics is! A bit more sun would be a boon for us all! Given the number of sports we sponsor during the Spring Semester we’ve certainly been tested and challenged with managing facilities, practice space and times, as well as travel during this recent stretch of inclement weather. For some of us, and I won’t put any specific dates or names on record here, it has been sort of a reminder of the way a Montana winter, and all of the associated challenges, used to be!
Much like the annual transition from “Winter quiet” to “Spring renewal and growth”, Argo Athletics continues to transition from a sleepy little department, to a rapidly growing and exciting entity through which we are driving enrollment to help grow and solidify the undergraduate student population at UP. The addition of Women’s Wrestling was the most recent offering and as you know, the initial competitions were held this academic year. Next cycle we will follow with Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey and eSports, and are now recruiting, planning, and positioning them to begin competition in the Fall of 2018. When our aggregate number of sports each reach their target roster sizes for FY ’19, we will be supporting over 120+ additional student-athletes over the last two Academic cycles, and that would once again accumulate to be the most student-athletes ever on-campus in Great Falls.
As an exciting co-curricular piece of the undergraduate athletic experience, we are also working on the “Champions of Character, Life-Skills and Ethical Leadership” components to be woven into each sport program. These components would supplement the University Formation and Student Affairs offerings. Our vision is that the “Student-Athlete Experience” will provide intentional opportunities to develop “our best self” beyond our sport of choice. May be best described as a Mission driven, holistic, “Ethical Leadership Cauldron”, if you will.
As this semester winds down, we anxiously begin preparations for August 2018, when over 400+ student-athletes will be migrating to campus. Also, as we look to coming years, let’s not forget that we continue to evaluate the options of Football, Women’s Lacrosse, Shooting Sports, Etc. As is the pattern of nature, especially when living on the Rocky Mountain front, there’s always something more on the horizon!