BELTON, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor will add Acrobatics and Tumbling as a varsity sport for the 2019-20 academic year, Vice-President for Athletics Randy Mann announced on Thursday morning.

The program will become UMHB’s 15th varsity sport and is expected to begin competition in the Spring of 2020. Mary Hardin-Baylor is the 26th collegiate program to add Acrobatics & Tumbling as a varsity sport.

A search for the Cru’s first Acrobatics and Tumbling head coach will begin soon.

"We are very excited to add the sport of Acrobatics and Tumbling to our sport offerings," Mann said. "We have been studying this opportunity for a couple of years now, and the time is right for us to launch the Acrobatics and Tumbling program at UMHB. We are proud of our success as a department and look forward to having another competitive program. We are anxious to get a head coach in place to begin recruiting talented student-athletes with that goal in mind."

NCATA President Dr. Renee Baumgartner and NCATA Executive Director Janell Cook are pleased to welcome the associations’ 26th member on Thursday morning.

"We are proud to share the news that the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor has added Acrobatics & Tumbling to their varsity sport offerings, said Baumgartner. "Acrobatics & Tumbling continues to expand collegiate opportunities for young women to pursue their academic interests and compete in intercollegiate athletics across the country. UMHB is an excellent NCAA Division III institution that builds upon recent NCATA expansion in Texas. We are excited by their decision and commitment to new opportunities."

The mission of the NCATA is to bring the sport of Acrobatics and Tumbling through NCAA emerging sport status to become a fully sanctioned NCAA championship sport. NCATA is committed to promoting Acrobatics and Tumbling, creating new competitive opportunities for student-athletes, coaches, and institutions with an emphasis on the value of responsibility, competitiveness, dedication, sportsmanship, and education at the collegiate level. With the addition of UMHB, there are currently 26 schools sponsoring Acrobatics and Tumbling as members of the NCATA.

"It’s such an exciting time for UMHB and we are happy to work hand in hand with them to offer a new Acrobatics & Tumbling program," said Cook. "The number of potential student-athletes in Texas, and in surrounding states, is one of the highest in the country. They will no doubt be a destination for athletes excited to continue competing while they earn their degree."

UMHB Athletics ranks 14th in the country in the NCAA Division III Learfield Cup standings after winning one national championship (football) and three American Southwest Conference championships (football, men’s soccer, volleyball) this past fall. Four Cru athletic programs have been nationally ranked this school year and five programs have appeared in the NCAA Regional Rankings.