Just as the Naval Academy promotes the professional and intellectual development of midshipmen, so also must we ensure each midshipman’s physical development. This is met through an intercollegiate sports program that is one of the broadest in the nation—18 men, 12 women and three co-ed—and an equally ambitious intramural and club sports program. All midshipmen are required to participate in these programs, either at the varsity, intramural or club level.
Athletics play a major role in how we accomplish our mission. We challenge midshipmen physically so that when they graduate they will be prepared to successfully lead in combat. We want our future officers to be team builders and learn how to motivate others to excel. We want them to compete on the athletic field and win. In order to win, midshipmen must set high goals for themselves and their team and find a way to achieve them. Our hope is that by the time they join the Fleet and Corps as junior officers, they will have learned not only what teamwork, determination and leadership mean—but how they transcend to succeeding in combat. Developing midshipmen physically is also about hard work, stamina and physical and mental toughness. Aggressiveness, perseverance and toughness in the face of adversity are qualities we want our graduates to demonstrate as second nature.
The roll call of varsity “N” winners at the Naval Academy reads like a veritable Who’s Who in America—Rear Admiral Alan B. Shepard, the first American in space and a member of the heavyweight crew; Admiral Stansfield Turner, a former football lineman who became director of the Central Intelligence Agency; Admiral Arleigh Burke, a wrestler who later was Chief of Naval Operations; Rear Admiral Richard Byrd, the polar explorer who captained the Navy gymnastics team; Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, also a former Navy oarsman; Fleet Admiral Bull Halsey of World War II fame, a football player at the Academy; Heisman Trophy winners Joe Bellino and Roger Staubach, and basketball star David Robinson.
Over the years, Navy teams have been successful in both national and international arenas. Navy football teams have participated in the Rose, Sugar, Cotton, Orange, Holiday, Liberty, Aloha, Houston, Emerald, Poinsettia, Meineke Car Care, Eagle Bank and Armed Forces Bowls. Navy’s rivalry with Army is the greatest rivalry in all of college sports.
In 2013-14, Navy sports teams compiled a record of 305-172-2 (.642). Navy produced 15 All-Americans, five Academic All-Americans, 16 Conference Athletes of the Year and won 12 conference championships.
Navy won the Patriot League President’s Cup, which is awarded to the member institution with the highest cumulative sports point total for its Patriot League standings in sponsored men's and women's sports, for the second time in the last three years.
The Naval Academy’s intercollegiate athletics program is administered by the Naval Academy Athletic Association, a private non-profit corporation. The Association is chartered so that the Academy can offer intercollegiate athletics at no expense to the federal government. The athletic association arranges varsity schedules and provides coaching staff, equipment, and funding for the varsity athletic program.
The Naval Academy is a Division I college and a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Its primary conference affiliation is with the Patriot League, a group of highly selective colleges whose motto is, “today’s scholar-athletes, tomorrow’s leaders."
Full members of the league are American, Army, Boston, Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh, Loyola and Navy.
Several sports, including wrestling, sailing, rowing and gymnastics have affiliations in addition to, or outside the Patriot League. For example, football is an FBS independent that regularly plays Army, Air Force and Notre Dame, in addition to an intersectional schedule. The football team is scheduled to join the American Athletic Conference in 2015.
“At the Naval Academy, the athletic program is not just an extracurricular activity, it is part of the mission and as such receives a priority much different than at a civilian school. The athletic teams are an integral part of the overall education of a total person. Athletics provide leadership opportunities and the experiences of team play, cooperative effort, sportsmanship, commitment and individual sacrifice for goals that some may or may not be able to achieve. Athletics and competition are a big part of every midshipman’s life at the Naval Academy. The Naval Academy and the Naval Academy Athletic Association are committed to providing the best possible experience for our student-athletes.”
The Commandant of Midshipmen organizes an extensive intramural sports program that pits midshipman companies in athletic competition. These competitions award points to midshipman companies that help in determining the selection of the academy’s “Color Company” at the end of each semester. The games are particularly spirited and allow midshipmen to compete at a level appropriate to their individual athletic ability. Company teams compete in a variety of sports.
In addition to the varsity and intramural athletic programs, the Academy offers a variety of opportunities to participate in a very competitive Club Sports program. Most players in this program are former high school athletes who desire to continue playing a sport, or learn a new one, and seek rigorous competition. Although these teams are not sanctioned by the NCAA, they do compete against area colleges. Club sports offered include: boxing, cycling, fencing, men’s hockey, judo, karate, men's lacrosse, marathon, pistol, powerlifting, men’s rugby, women’s rugby, women’s softball, triathlon and men’s volleyball.
In looking around the Academy, the facilities for intercollegiate and intramural sports, physical education and personal fitness are unsurpassed:
- The renovated 34,000-seat Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
- Alumni Hall, completed in 1991 with seating of 5,710 for athletic contests lectures, assemblies, theatrical productions, concerts and official ceremonies
- Ricketts Hall, with a new and larger football locker room, a modern physical training facility, and an up-to-date 12,000 sq. ft. weight room.
- Lejeune Hall, built in 1982 and renovated in 2013, contains an Olympic-sized pool, diving platforms and tank, a wrestling arena and personal conditioning areas.
- Ingram Field, a 400-meter synthetic-surfaced outdoor track.
- Macdonough Hall, with facilities for gymnastics, boxing, volleyball, swimming, water polo, racquetball, basketball and personal conditioning.
- Halsey Field House, includes an indoor football practice facility, basketball courts, state-of-the art international squash courts, weight-training facilities, and climbing wall.
- Hubbard Hall, the home for Navy’s crew squads, with the state-of-the-art Fisher Rowing Center.
- Rip Miller Field, an all-weather synthetic-surfaced field for football and lacrosse.
- Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium, a recently-renovated 1,500-seat baseball stadium with a newly-added Joe Duff Indoor Batting Facility.
- A challenging 6,217-yard, 18-hole golf course.
- The Glenn Warner Soccer Facility is one of the finest college soccer facilities in the nation. The 16,300 square-foot facility houses the Naval Academy’s men’s and women’s varsity soccer teams.
- Robert Crown Sailing Center, home of the Intercollegiate and Varsity Offshore Sailing Teams, as well as the Offshore Sailing Training Squadron (OSTS).
- The Wesley Brown Field House, a 140,000-square-foot, $52 million structure, houses facilities for physical education, varsity athletics, club sports and personal fitness.
- The 155,000-square-foot Brigade Sports Complex features six hard-court surfaced indoor and outdoor tennis courts and an indoor ice hockey rink.
The Naval Academy Athletic Association arranges varsity schedules and provides coaching staff, equipment and funding for the varsity athletic program.
Men’s Varsity Sports
- Crew, heavyweight
- Crew, lightweight
- Cross Country
- Sprint Football
- Swimming & Diving
- Indoor Track
- Outdoor Track
- Water Polo
Women’s Varsity Sports
- Cross Country
- Intercollegiate Sailing
- Swimming and Diving
- Indoor Track
- Outdoor Track