Illinois Tech Joins NCAA Division III
“If you look at some of the best small schools in the country—MIT, Caltech, the University of Chicago—they are NCAA Division III, so we’re in pretty good company,” says Joe Hakes, Illinois Tech’s director of athletics, from his desk at Keating Sports Center. Beginning this fall term, the university is officially a full member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association at the Division III level. Hakes began working on the membership process shortly after arriving on campus in 2014. Coupled with Illinois Tech’s acceptance into the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference, Scarlet Hawks student-athletes will have ample opportunity to engage in postgraduate education, leadership development—and new sports challenges.
“Conferences provide our regular season schedule and access to NCAA tournaments,” explains Hakes. “Our goal from a performance standpoint is to win our conference so that we could go to the NCAA tournament. I think that we’ll surprise some people by getting there sooner than they think we will in some sports.”
Men’s Lacrosse Coach Readying New Team for Spring 2020
Women’s lacrosse debuted at Illinois Tech in 2014; in 2020 the men will also be dodging moves on Stuart Field. Head Coach Dan Sharbaugh has been assembling a passionate team of student-athletes. Formerly of Centre College, where he was head men’s coach since 2014, Sharbaugh has a reputation for bringing out the best in NCAA Division III student-athletes of all levels, both on the field and beyond the classroom.
In an announcement to the university community, Director of Athletics Joe Hakes noted that “[Sharbaugh’s] grasp of the issues regarding a startup program is strong, and he gets the Illinois Tech difference.”
At Centre Sharbaugh brought the team to 32 wins, including a 2015 Southern Athletic Association regular season championship and a 2016 SAA Tournament runner-up slot. He was previously an assistant at Gettysburg College, York College of Pennsylvania, and Eastern University, the latter his alma mater.