MONTEVALLO, Ala. – University of Montevallo President John W. Stewart III and Director of Athletics Mark Richard have announced the addition of women’s acrobatics and tumbling as the schools’ 23rd intercollegiate athletics sport that will begin in the 2024-25 season.

The inaugural season for the program will begin in the spring of 2025 as it increases UM’s sport total to 23. The announcement marks the addition of the 12th new intercollegiate sport added at Montevallo within the past 10 years. Student-athletes will report to campus in the fall of 2024 and begin competing in the spring of 2025.

“We’re excited about the continued growth within our athletic department,” said Montevallo Athletic Director Mark Richard. “We’re proud to offer the opportunity for talented student-athletes to pursue acrobatics and tumbling at the collegiate level. We look forward to adding to our high-achieving student-athlete population on campus.”

Acrobatics and Tumbling is currently an emerging sport across all NCAA Divisions and Montevallo will become the 35th NCAA Division-II school to sponsor the sport. UM will become the only school NCAA school in Alabama to sponsor acrobatics and tumbling, a rapidly growing sport across the nation.

Currently, acrobatics and tumbling is governed by the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association which hosts the National Championships each April.

“The NCATA welcomes Montevallo to the Acrobatics & Tumbling community,” said NCATA Executive Director Janell Cook. “Montevallo becomes our first member in the state of Alabama. Gymnasts and cheerleaders in the state, and region, will benefit from new, unique opportunities to be a varsity student-athlete at Montevallo. We look forward to working with Athletic Director Mark Richard and his team to implement their program.”

A national search for the program’s first head coach will begin soon. The team will compete at Trustmark Arena, inside the Robert M. McChesney Student Activity Center, beginning in the spring of 2025.

Montevallo is the first institution in the state of Alabama to add acrobatics and tumbling. The University will become the 35th NCAA Division II institution to add the sport and the 52nd school across NCAA Division I, II, and III. In addition, Montevallo will be the only school in the Gulf South Conference to sponsor acrobatics and tumbling. It is estimated that over 900 student-athletes are competing in the sport during the 2022-23 season, with that number expected to continue rising.

“In addition to providing new opportunities for women, our continued growth is an important part of our mission to reach NCAA championship status. With 51 institutions actively recruiting, the addition of Montevallo strengthens our membership and paves the way for additional growth in the region.”