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Northern Michigan University releases details on its new sports — alpine skiing, eSports

MARQUETTE — Northern Michigan University has announced details about three new varsity sports approved by the NMU Board of Trustees on Dec. 13.

The men’s and women’s alpine ski teams will compete as varsity members of the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association, while the coed eSports team will be a member of the National Association of Collegiate Esports.

“The new teams will have full-time coaches and scholarships available, and we believe they will complement Northern’s wide range of existing sports,” NMU Director of Athletics Forrest Karr said in a university press release.

Karr added that NMU has a long history of successfully operating non-NCAA varsity sports.

“Our many positive experiences partnering with the United States Olympic Committee and various national governing bodies have shown that an alternative varsity sport model can fit well within the university vision.

“These additional three programs will create opportunities for a new group of students to enjoy being part of a team and competing as part of their collegiate experience.”

The alpine ski teams will use Marquette Mountain as their home training site. The eSports program will practice and compete in Harden Hall, which will have an area on the first floor renovated to create a state-of-the-art eSports venue, including around 30 gaming stations.

With competition set to begin in the 2020-21 season for all three programs, searches are underway for a head alpine ski coach and a head eSports coach.

Prospective students interested in competing for any of these teams can email Kate Hagenbuch, NMU assistant athletic director for compliance, at khagenbu@nmu.edu, or call her at 906-227-2939.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.

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