It may be FIT’s best-kept secret. The college with the tagline “Where Creativity Gets Down to Business” excels at something very different: athletics.
FIT sports teams, which are part of the National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA), have ranked at the top of their division for many years, but in 2014 alone, four of the women’s teams finished Top 10 in the country. The women’s tennis team finished third and were Region XV champions. The women’s cross country team finished fourth, and the women’s half marathon team finished eighth. The women’s volleyball team also finished eighth in the country and were 2014 Region XV champions.
“We’ve always done well,” said D.J. Bevivino, FIT’s sports information director. “There’s not been a year that there has not been something extraordinary happening for one of our teams. We draw some of the top athletes in the country because they can’t get this caliber of education in their field along with this kind of athletic environment in which to play.”
Bevivino acknowledges that not everyone on campus knows about the college’s outstanding athletic records. “But if you ask any of the other coaches in the region what teams are the toughest, it’s FIT, and we want people to know that,” he said. “We have teams from all over wanting to play us.”
One key step toward enhancing the profile of the sports program is the launch of its new website, fittigers.com, which has been in the works for over a year and recently went live. The site is a key recruitment tool as well as a communication vehicle, with engaging photos, profiles of individual student athletes, and detailed information on the various aspects of FIT’s athletics program. Already, Bevivino says, it’s getting around 200 hits a day.
Kerri-Ann McTiernan, director of Athletics and Recreation, said the biggest takeaway about the athletics program is that it is on par with the other programs at the college. “FIT doesn’t do anything halfway, and if we’re going to do it, we’re going to want to have a national footprint. We know the caliber of the students we have here, and we compete at a very high level.”