The nature of athletics has evolved tremendously at Kentucky Christian University in Grayson, according to Athletic Director Corey Fipps, who makes no attempt to conceal his excitement as students and student athletes return to campus for fall classes, practices and games.
“When I started here I saw an athletic department that was developed as a way for ministry students to blow off steam,” Fipps said, explaining KCU officials saw athletics as a driving force for similar sized schools in Kentucky.
KCU had existing scholarship programs for football and softball only. Fipps said, adding KCU adopted an expanded and competitive scholarship program to attract more students to the Grayson campus. Baseball, track and field and even bass fishing are now part of the athletic roster at KCU.
“We have gone from 263 to 430 student athletes and this is the largest incoming class in the university’s history – and this is the centennial of this university!”
Facility improvements, including new lighting, has also allowed KCU to host area high school athletes, including those from East Carter and West Carter High School, for games and practice sessions.
“We had cross country but the kids wanted a full track and field roster,” Fipps commented, adding the track and field team uses Boyd County’s indoor facility for training under the direction of Coach Chuck Wentz. The KCU bass fishing team has initially drawn from students who got started in “the Boyd and Russell areas,” and enjoys having Grayson Lake nearby. The fishing team’s members also tend to be particularly good students, he said.
Looking forward, Fipps said, “We will be full court press,” with plans for men’s and women’s wrestling, bowling, men’s volleyball and electronic sports. “We feel there’s a lot of opportunity for growth,” he said. “KCU is a unique Christian experience and we want to be a department that mirrors the university,” Fipps concluded.
Almost as an afterthought, Fipps added Kentucky Christian University has also signed a five-year agreement for shoes, uniforms and apparel by Nike.