Ashland University offers 24 intercollegiate sports – 12 for women, 11 for men, and 1 co-ed. The Eagles play in NCAA Division II, and in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
Swimming and diving
Swimming and diving
Indoor track and field
Indoor track and field
Outdoor track and field
Outdoor track and field
The 2022-23 academic year was a historic one for Ashland University athletics, now into its second century. This past year featured a third NCAA Division II national championship for women’s basketball, winning the Great Midwest Athletic Conference’s Presidents’ Cup (all-sports award) for the first time, and numerous firsts and firsts-in-a-long-time.
Fall 2022 Highlights
The fall of 2022 marked the first time in Ashland athletics history that football, volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer all reached the NCAA postseason at the same time. As announced by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) on Dec. 22, AU athletics racked up 153 Directors’ Cup points in the fall – the athletic program’s highest fall point total since 2012 (171.25) – en route to a 29th-place finish nationally at the end of 2022-23.
FOOTBALL – The Eagles went 10-2, winning their first outright Great Midwest championship and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs. The Eagles were 13th in the final 2022 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) NCAA Division II Coaches' Top 25 Poll of the season. Senior linebacker Michael Ayers earned All-American status, then signed with the National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent.
WOMEN’S SOCCER – Ashland ended the 2022 season at 15-3-3 overall and 11-1-2 in the Great Midwest, winning the conference tournament on the road. The Eagles also played in their fourth consecutive NCAA Division II postseason tournament.
MEN’S SOCCER – The Eagles finished the 2022 season at 12-7-1 overall and 9-5 in the Great Midwest, winning the conference tournament. The Eagles also played host to the program's first home NCAA Division II playoff game at Ferguson Field.
VOLLEYBALL – Ashland ended the fall at 23-9 overall and 16-1 in the Great Midwest, the best mark in the league. The Eagles played host to the 2022 Great Midwest Tournament, and earned a spot in the 2022 NCAA Division II postseason.
CROSS COUNTRY – The Eagle men placed eighth and the AU women 11th at the Great Midwest Championships, and each team competed at the NCAA regional meet.
ESPORTS – Ashland had a successful fall season, including the Fortnite team finishing in third place nationally in the NACE Fortnite Zero Builds Fall Championship, and the Counterstrike: Global Offensive and Overwatch teams qualifying for the NACE national playoffs and getting to the round of 16.
Winter 2022-23 Highlights
Eagle women’s basketball won its third NCAA Division II national title in the last 11 seasons, but the winter highlights didn’t stop there.
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL – The Eagles finished off a second 37-0 season with a 78-67 victory over Minnesota Duluth in Dallas, Texas. Ashland’s title was notable for many reason – the program became the first in D-II women’s basketball history to have three undefeated seasons, two seasons with 37 wins, and is the first in D-II women’s basketball annals to win three national championships with three different head coaches. Head coach Kari Pickens also became the first woman in D-II women’s basketball history to win national titles as a player, assistant coach and head coach.
MEN'S BASKETBALL – A young group of Eagles quickly grew up and became a force, both in the Great Midwest and regionally. A 22-10 finish overall and 15-5 mark in the conference included three wins against nationally-ranked Hillsdale (home, road and neutral), a 2023 Great Midwest Tournament championship and a spot in the D-II postseason.
STUNT – Not only did Ashland play host to the first STUNT conference tournament in history, the Eagles won the first STUNT conference tournament in history. A 13-6 season ended with a spot at the national tournament – accomplished in just the program’s second full campaign.
TRACK AND FIELD – The Eagle men and women turned a reloading year into third- (men) and fourth-place (women) finishes at the 2023 Great Midwest Indoor Championships, and both teams were third at the 2023 Great Midwest Outdoor Championships in the spring.
WRESTLING – Ashland finished second in the 2023 Great Midwest Championships, then ended the 2022-23 season tied for 20th at the NCAA Division II Championships.
SWIMMING AND DIVING – The 2023 Great Midwest/Mountain East Championships saw the Eagle men place second place and the AU women take third place.
Spring 2023 Highlights
The 2023 spring campaign for AU athletics was highlighted by one of its teams doing something that hadn’t been accomplished since a year before the first Super Bowl was played.
MEN'S GOLF – Ashland earned its first conference championship since 1966 in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference, topping Tiffin 2-0-3 in medal match play at the 2023 Great Midwest Championship. In the process, the Eagles went to the NCAA postseason as a team for the first time in nine years.
BASEBALL – The Eagles, with one of the youngest lineups and rosters in program history, finished at 33-21 overall and 22-10 in the Great Midwest – good for spots in both the conference and Midwest Regional tournaments.
SOFTBALL – Ashland’s improvement and infusion of young talent helped it not only finish at 21-29 overall and 13-11 in the Great Midwest, but also got the Eagles into the 2023 Great Midwest Tournament.
WOMEN'S LACROSSE – The young Eagles program continues to get better, and, for the first time, finished at .500 overall (9-9) and better than .500 in conference play (5-3). Ashland qualified for the Great Midwest Tournament for a second consecutive season, and had a program-best five-game winning streak in April.
WOMEN'S GOLF – An Ashland team with no seniors, and only one junior in the regular lineup, finished in sixth place at the 2023 Great Midwest Championship.
TENNIS – The Eagle men and women had no juniors or seniors on their rosters, but both still made it to the 2023 Great Midwest Tournament.
Softball Begins Play At Deb Miller Field at the Archer Ballpark Complex
For the first time, Ashland’s softball team played games at an on-campus field – Deb Miller Field at the Archer Ballpark Complex. The spring of 2023 saw the Eagles go 13-5 on their new all-turf stadium, including winning their first six games at their new home.