Texas Lutheran University (TLU) announced today it will add women’s Acrobatics & Tumbling as its 19th NCAA varsity sport to begin competition in spring 2023. TLU becomes the fourth college in Texas to add Acrobatics & Tumbling and the seventh NCAA Division III program in the country. TLU will begin the search for a head coach immediately.
“TLU is excited to join the growing number of colleges to add an Acrobatics & Tumbling program to our strong and successful roster of women’s sports,” said TLU President Dr. Debbie Cottrell. “We believe this emerging sport is an exciting opportunity for TLU as well as the many talented female gymnasts and cheerleaders across our great state.”
"We are thrilled to welcome Texas Lutheran University to the NCATA community. TLU joins fellow ASC conference members East Texas Baptist University and University of Mary Hardin Baylor, as well as Baylor University, in sponsoring Acrobatics & Tumbling in Texas,” said Janell Cook, Executive Director for the National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association (NCATA). “Texas is one of the largest recruiting bases for Acrobatics & Tumbling with the number of gymnasts and cheerleaders training in these skill sets. We are hopeful to see additional growth in the region soon and thankful to have TLU leading the way to provide new opportunities for young women to compete."
Baylor University Acrobatics & Tumbling Head Coach Felecia Mulkey also warmly welcomed TLU to the Acrobatics & Tumbling community. “I am excited for the female athletes who will now have the chance to compete at the NCAA level as a Bulldog! I am equally excited for Texas Lutheran and the surrounding community to experience this sport and these amazing student-athletes that will be headed to your campus,” said Mulkey. “A huge thank you to the TLU administration for adding the sport of Acrobatics & Tumbling and creating opportunities that will inevitably change lives.”
TLU’s female student-athletes currently compete in nine sports: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, indoor track & field, outdoor track & field, and volleyball. “TLU has a long history of creating exciting and rewarding opportunities for female student-athletes to compete,” said TLU Athletic Director Bill Miller. “This is a great addition to our already competitive – and successful – women’s athletic programs.”
The NCAA & NCATA currently share governance of NCAA Acrobatics & Tumbling through the emerging sport process. Upon reaching 40 competing NCAA institutions, Acrobatics & Tumbling will be eligible for NCAA Championship legislation to create a NCAA Collegiate National Championship and be fully recognized as an NCAA championship sport.
Acrobatics & Tumbling is the evolution of different disciplines of gymnastics, which includes the athletic aspects of competitive cheerleading. The format was created at the collegiate level to address the interest and abilities of young women competing in this skill set. Individuals and small groups execute acrobatic lifts, tosses, and tumbling. Meets include six events, all of which are competed on the floor and in varying group sizes.