At George Fox, our Bruin athletes are fiercely competitive while maintaining a love of the game that isn’t subjected to the pressure and expectations that come with athletic scholarships. This allows these athletes to focus on faith, academics, extracurriculars and community, forming well-rounded student-athletes.

What is NCAA DIII? 

At the Division III level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, athletics and academics are equally important, which provides a well-rounded college experience. On a national level, NCAA Division III is made up of 433 schools, making it the largest division of the NCAA.

Courtney womens soccer portrait

Courtney Jones

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At first, Courtney Jones thought that playing soccer and pursuing a nursing degree might not even be possible. Some schools told her it wasn’t. At George Fox, she is getting the opportunity to do both.

“Becoming a nurse is what I am called to do, and getting to play soccer is a bonus,” she says. “Playing Division III sports allows you to pursue the degree of your choice, be a part of a community with like-minded people, and have an outlet to go ball out with your second family.” 

Jones also appreciates her team’s Bible studies and prayers before games.

“Not everyone has faith when they come to Fox, and sports opens doors for people to ask questions,” she says. “I believe those questions can be asked only after people build relationships, and what better place to build a relationship than to be on a team?”

What are the differences between varsity, junior varsity and intramurals at George Fox?

George Fox has a wide variety of sports for students to participate in, including: 

All of these are considered varsity sports since they compete at the collegiate level, but some of the programs offer limited junior varsity competitions to help develop younger athletes. 

In addition, all students have the opportunity to compete in intramural team sports. Our intramural program provides an outlet for friendly competition, relationship-building and memory-making. 

Intramural sports are often played in our Hadlock Student Center. The sports offered vary from year to year, but often include: 

“This is a great way to still enjoy your sport without the same commitment of being a student-athlete on campus,” says Ryan Forbes, the assistant director of undergraduate admissions. “George Fox has a vibrant intramurals program where students can compete in a variety of different sports alongside their friends.” 

Kaitlyn Johnson throws discus

Kaitlyn Johnson

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“If you're looking for a place where you can grow as an individual and as an athlete, then this is the right fit for you,” Kaitlyn Johnson says. “It can take a lot of discipline, but all of the resources are here.”

Because Johnson chose a Division III school, she was able to participate in track and field and play volleyball competitively for all four years of her college experience, which included a major in graphic design and two minors in marketing and photography. She also participated in a variety of clubs on campus, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the American Institute of Graphic Arts Student Group, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and more.

“I’ve really appreciated the opportunity to be involved in many different circles at Fox,” Johnson says. “It’s broadened my network and deepened my connections with my peers, faculty and community, which makes good on the Be Known promise. So long as you’re willing to invest some time and energy and take advantage of all of the opportunities we have here, you can thrive and be satisfied looking back at your college experience.”

But being a college athlete comes with its challenges. “I have definitely leaned into my faith during the hard and strenuous times, and it has had a huge impact on my athletic abilities and character,” Johnson says. “The volleyball team has played a huge role in cultivating my leadership skills and overall knowledge by encouraging team Bible studies, prayer before practices and after games, fellowship with other believing teammates and coaches, and more.”

How Do I Let Coaches Know I’m Interested in Being Recruited?

The best way to let coaches know you’re interested in being recruited is to fill out our recruitment form and then visit our campus. Meeting your coaches and teammates in person allows you to build relationships, ask questions, and truly experience what it is like to be a Bruin! Prospective students are even encouraged to watch a practice if their future team is practicing that day. 

“I would recommend visiting campus at least once or twice to get a feel for the school and the athletics department,” says Jenna Lacey, who plays on the women’s basketball team. “Getting to know my prospective teammates was something that I found really important in deciding where to spend my next four years.”

If you are unable to visit campus, we recommend that you send an email to the head coach of the team you would like to be recruited for to get connected.

“Our coaches are actively recruiting for talented athletes, but it’s also extremely helpful to know which students are interested in George Fox so that our coaching staff can evaluate them,” Forbes says. “As we are a very competitive athletics program, our teams generally do not have open tryouts, so it’s important to start these conversations while the athlete is still in high school.”

 Jenna Lacey dribbles a basketball

Jenna Lacey

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For Jenna Lacey, playing at the Division III level has allowed her to pursue a degree in nursing while playing basketball. “I think at a lot of schools that would not have been possible, but both the nursing and athletics departments have been very encouraging and supportive throughout my time here,” she says. 

When challenges arise, Lacey counts on her team to point her back to her faith as strength. Every week, the team goes through a devotional together. “These devotionals have been very impactful and have helped our team grow on a much deeper level,” she says. “Not only do the coaches support and encourage us along our faith journey, but the whole athletic department does as well.” 

What Are Other Ways to be Involved in Athletics at George Fox?

“Beyond being on a team, there are many ways to be involved with our athletics department, or simply involved in sports around campus,” Forbes says. Students can apply for part-time employment as a part of the game day management team, which assists with ticket sales, concessions, filming and more.” 

In addition, George Fox students receive one complimentary ticket per home game when they present their valid student or staff ID, so come cheer on your Bruins for free!

Watch video: Best in the Northwest Athletics Program

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