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Go, Hatters!

A guide to Stetson Athletics

Stetson is a Division 1 university with 18 NCAA-sanctioned teams and our co-ed cheerleading team, making a total of 19 athletic teams. We have eight men’s sports, 10 women’s sports, and a group of fabulous athletic staff who should be considered the school’s twentieth team. Whether you are a die-hard sports fan or someone who only knows that sports usually have a ball, a goal, and a point system, this guide is here to help you get to know Stetson Athletics.




Stetson University is a member of the ASUN conference and the Pioneer Football League (PFL), and is an associate member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). For those who might not know, this means that Hatters compete against the other member schools of these conferences. This list includes Bellarmine University, Eastern Kentucky University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Lipscomb University, University of North Florida and others. Our football team competes against an entirely different set of schools, as Stetson is the only ASUN member whose football team competes in the PFL. Our football competitors include, but are not limited to, Butler University, University of Dayton, Drake University, Marist College, Morehead State University, and Valparaiso University. Similarly, our women’s rowing team also competes in a different conference than Stetson’s other sports– facing many of the same names, including Dayton, Drake, Jacksonville, and Marist.




Throughout its history, Stetson’s baseball team has been a team to watch. Past the walls of Stetson, baseball alums proceed to garner people’s attention as they claim reputations for themselves. Jackson Olson, who earned his MBA at Stetson in 2021, walked on to the Savannah Bananas, arguably one of the country’s funniest baseball teams. Then there’s Logan Gilbert, a first-round pick for the Seattle Mariners after graduating in 2018, and Jason DeGrom, the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year and two-time Cy Young winner.


Though, baseball isn’t our only athletic claim to fame. As a whole, we have our fair share of impressive student-athletes: Grace Lenczyk, ’52, won the Canadian Women’s Golf Open twice and, in 1948, won the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship– today’s NCAA women’s golf championship. Donald Payne,’16, was signed by the Baltimore Ravens in 2017 and is the first Stetson alum to play in the NFL. Alexandra Buelow helped the women’s golf team win three consecutive ASUN championships and decided to go pro following her third year at Stetson. Natalie Simon, ’11, recently became the first Black American woman to hold a FIFA badge. 


But, that’s not all! For the last two years, our beach volleyball team has held the title of ASUN Conference champions. Two of our 2023 baseball grads, Christian Pregent and Austin Amaral, were drafted to the MLB (the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals, respectively). The women’s tennis team ended their 2023 spring season ranked ninth in the Southeast Regional Rankings. Additionally, according to Dan Schubert, Associate AD for Strategic Communication & Tickets, our basketball game against Kennesaw this past January saw Hatter support reach a pre-COVID-level high with around 800 people in attendance. 


To keep up with all these successes, it only seems right that our stadiums and events are outstanding as well. There are three significant changes to note in this area. The first is over at our football field in Spec Martin Stadium. Students spoke and our athletics staff listened; instead of corralling students on the hill this year, there is now a seated student section! The second is the return of a tradition: the Hatters are bringing back the bell. If you rang a bell on Hatter Saturday or committed to Stetson while on campus, you know exactly what bell this is because you rang it! Now, students can ring the bell to show their support whenever our football team makes a game-changing play, such as a touchdown or an interception. Finally, our baseball stadium, Melching Field, got an eight million-dollar facelift. Renovations include a new scoreboard, sound system, new lights, and some changes to The Green, which is the open space running alongside the first baseline.


Get Involved


As some might know,  Stetson is a pretty small school. Student-athlete life at Stetson isn’t the same as what it typically looks like at a big, public university. While we have some beautiful athletic facilities and incredibly caring staff, Stetson athletes are students first. Despite our small class sizes, you’re likely to have at least one student-athlete as your classmate. Our student athletes hold themselves to high standards, both on and off the field.


“Student athletes are very much part of the student community.” – Heather McCormick, Associate AD for External Communications


Whether you played a sport in high school or just want to give it a try, there’s always an opportunity at Stetson. All our teams will accept walk-ons. In fact, walking onto a team is highly encouraged- with athletes graduating each year and the heaping need for practice players. The downside is that walk-on spots are limited and often fill up quickly. So, if you’re interested in trying out for a team, contact the head coach and let them know. Either they’ll assign you to an assistant coach and have you start filling out paperwork, or a walk-on might not be needed and you’ll have to try again next semester or year. Walking on is highly variable, but if your athletic performance is just what the team needs, you might earn an athletic scholarship for the next semester.


Ready to try out and walk on? This fall, the Women’s rowing team will hold an information session on Tuesday, August 29 at 5:00 pm in the Stetson room, and tryouts will be held on Tuesday, September 5 at 6:00 am at the Sandra Stetson Aquatic Center. Another sport to look out for is cheerleading, where you can reach out to Head Coach Melissa Knepshield ([email protected]) for more fall tryout information.


If walking onto a Division 1 team isn’t your speed, Stetson also has intramural and club sports. These are not affiliated with Stetson Athletics, but are instead hosted by the Wellness and Recreation team. Club sports include, but are not limited to, aikido, surf, scuba and table tennis. Students wanting to join club sports can do so through Engage. Intramural sports occur at various points throughout the year, and registering for them begins by filling out a simple interest form under the intramural sports tab on the Wellness and Recreation page on


Game Day:


Regardless of whether you’re a student-athlete or not, here’s what you should know for this coming semester: 

  1. Football, men’s and women’s soccer, indoor volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country and cheer are all active in the fall
  2. The calendar on is the most up-to-date place for athletic information
  3. Student admission to games is always free–all you need is your student ID
  4. The student shuttle to Spec Martin Stadium leaves from the Athletic Training Center (ATC) one hour before kickoff
  5. Hatter Village, our big tailgate event with promotions and live music, will happen at the first and second home games, as well as  during our homecoming game


Clayton Barnes, Stetson’s Assistant Director of Marketing, Promotions, & Corporate Fulfillment, did an amazing job last year in making our games both meaningful and fun. These activities and promotions provide students with more incentives to look forward to when it comes to game night. One example from last year was our Stetson staff shootout, where President Roellke went up against athletic staff members Ben Cousins, Jack Hudon and Demetrius Weaver to win their section of students free Zaxby’s with the most three-pointers. Similarly, at the Our Kind of Stetson basketball game, various student organizations had their names put up on the scoreboard while they all played a game of Knockout. As for meaning, our Soccer and Lacrosse teams partner with Morgan’s message to help reduce the stigma of talking about mental health in sports. Stetson also regularly partners with Hilinski’s Hope Foundation for specific games and events. This year, be on the lookout for events like these, announcements of theme nights or game-specific freebie opportunities, and more on the Stetson Athletics calendar, on the @StetsonHatters Twitter account, and the @stetsonhatters Instagram account.


Going to a Stetson game, regardless of what sport you’re watching or what fun promotions the athletics team brings, is bound to be an exciting experience. You’ll support not just student-athletes but your classmates and friends. Plus, going to a game is a great way to meet new people or get to know the people you’ve already met. If you’re nervous about going, just remember that we’re all Hatters. “You’ll meet somebody, or you’ll see somebody you know or recognize. You’ll fall into your comfort zone.” – Daniel Schubert, Associate AD for Strategic Communication & Tickets



Tickets for non-students:, box office at the site, 1 hr prior. 386-738-4287 (HATS)

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Cas Bradley
Cas Bradley, Spread Designer/Illustrator

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