Drury announces addition of four non-NCAA sports beginning in 2015-16

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 25, 2015 — Drury University is introducing four new non-NCAA sports to its lineup of sanctioned competitive athletics beginning in the 2015-16 academic year.

Cycling, triathlon, bass fishing and bowling will join ice hockey and ultimate Frisbee as non-NCAA sports at Drury. Ice hockey is new this year and competing at Springfield’s Mediacom Ice Park, while ultimate Frisbee has been a popular competitive sport on campus for several years now.

Non-NCAA sports allow students to participate in a wider variety of intercollegiate competition beyond mainline athletics. The expansion continues Drury’s tradition of providing a wide range of outlets for students’ interests beyond the classroom, and will give current and incoming students even more options to consider.

“We’re extremely excited about adding these four new sports to our program beginning this fall,” said Edsel Matthews, interim director of athletics. “We have an outstanding group of coaches to lead each sport, and we have been successful in securing sponsorships to financially support each new program as well.

The coaches, who are working in a part-time capacity, include:

Bowling – Larry Hughes has more than 40 years of experience in the world of sanctioned bowling and is a member of the Springfield Bowling Hall of Fame.

Bass fishing – Rick Emmitt has more than 30 years of fishing industry and tournament fishing experience and has managed the Bass Pro/Nitro bass fishing team for six years.

Cycling – Brad Huff has been a professional cyclist for more a decade and won numerous national titles and is a two-time Pan American Track Champion. Huff has raced on nearly every continent and is currently racing professionally as a member of the Optum pro cycling team presented by Kelly Benefits Strategies.

Triathlon – Dave Armstrong has competed in more than 50 triathlons, including four Ironman Triathlons, two Ironman World Championships and two Subaru Ironman Canada triathlons.

Each of the four coaches are now recruiting students for the upcoming 2015-16 year. Anyone seeking information about the teams can call the DU Athletics Department at (417) 873-7265 or contact the coaches directly using the following email addresses:

Media Contact: Scott Puryear, Associate Athletic Director for Marketing & Communications. Office: (417) 873-4097; email:


Kids get free admission and special cheering section at basketball games

Wigs, boas, crazy hats, fake mustaches, pom poms and sunglasses are just some of the props that kids can use in the new Kids Corner section at Drury Basketball games. Not only is it fun, but’s also free.

Children 12 and under get into all Drury sporting events for free this this season, emphasizing Drury’s family-friendly environment. They must be accompanied by adult upon admission.

Similar to the Drury student section, the Kids Corner is a reserved area in the O’Reilly Family Event Center dedicated solely to kids ages 6 to 11, who are invited to cheer, hang out with friends, and even hold some of the giant posters of the players. Kids Corner allows parents to watch the game freely from their own seat and engages some of the younger audience members in their very own fan section.

Kids Corner

“As a parent, the biggest benefit for me is seeing the kids have fun and seeing a new and younger generation getting to enjoy the sport,” said Emily Givens, who supervises the section along with two other O’Reilly Center workers.

Janel Nibert, whose husband is a former DU basketball player, recently brought her two sons to a basketball game and they enjoyed the fun environment the Kids Corner.

“They had a great time — they dressed up in wigs and mustaches and, during a time out, they got to go on the court and shoot baskets,” she said. “I enjoyed watching them feel like they were a part of the game. I hope the 12 and under promotion brings in even more kids.”

Kids Corner D fence

The kids never have to worry about being too loud or “wild.” In fact, that is something the section encourages. They help with cheers and even get to go out on the floor and high-five the starting players. During the time outs, Drury cheerleaders will bring kids on court to dance to songs like “Shake It Off” and “Jump Around.”

“We want the whole event to be fun for kids and adults alike. The fun environment helps the players, too, and gets the team excited and more people in the stands,” Givens said. “It gives us a spirited stadium.”


Story by Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, a senior English and writing major at Drury. A version of this story originally appeared in the Springfield News-Leader. 

Drury’s Breech Pool gets a makeover

Springfield, Mo., Nov. 4, 2013 — Breech Pool, the home pool for the defending national champion men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams at Drury, is undergoing its first renovation in 27 years.

The Breech pool renovations started a little over a year ago, and include everything from updating the visual appeal of the pool to improving behind-the-scenes equipment. Workers took down the old acoustical tile, painted the ceiling black, installed a new timing system, and changed out the lighting, which now uses one-third of the power of the previous system. The ultraviolet lighting system also allows the pool to run lower levels of chlorine in the water, which helps to improve the air quality for both athletes and spectators.

Drury's Breech Pool

After draining the pool, workers water-blasted all the plaster off of the surface and replaced it with tile, which will last longer and require less maintenance.  Additionally, the pool deck has been updated with a more slip-resistant surface.

“These renovations have been long overdue, but they have definitely prepared us for the coming years,” said Brian Reynolds, Drury’s head swim coach.

The biggest improvements include the installation of a new HVAC system and new air handling equipment, which cuts down on the heat and humidity in the pool area.

The new renovations have greatly improved the air and water quality.  There was recently a youth club swim meet in the Breech pool and Reynolds said that parents were especially impressed with the updates, “Aesthetically, this has always been a beautiful pool from the amount of natural light available. The sliding glass doors allow us to open it up, which draws in passersby. With the renovations, we have ultimately improved the overall experience for athletes and spectators and made it a more enjoyable place to be in.”

The renovations aren’t entirely complete, new windows will be installed around the perimeter of the building. This will decrease condensation on the windows.

The Drury swimming and diving program truly deserves the improvements as it has won the last nine consecutive men’s national swimming and diving championships and four out of the last five on the women’s side. Reynolds said, “the athletes are noticing the difference everyday—the water is cleaner and clearer and the better air quality makes it perfect for training.”

Drury swimming and diving will show off its newly refurbished facility on their first official home meet on Nov. 9, 2013 at 1 p.m. against Delta State.


Story by Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, a junior English and writing major at Drury University