Quincy University has announced the addition of sprint football to its current roster of 21 varsity sports.  The Hawks will begin play in an independent athletic conference for sprint football, beginning in the fall of 2022.

Sprint football has been offered at American colleges and universities as a varsity sport for nearly a century. The sport, which previously has only been available only at East Coast colleges and universities, uses rules typical for American football while emphasizing quickness and agility over size and strength. Like many wrestlers, sprint football players must meet a weight limit, which in the modern form of the game is 178 pounds.

“Many American men who are in their late teens and early twenties and at a healthy body weight will qualify to play sprint football, especially if they are under six feet tall,” said Josh Rabe, QU director of intercollegiate athletics. “The reality for many NCAA and NAIA football programs today is that relatively few of their players are a match for sprint football, given the emphasis of the NCAA and NAIA versions of the sport on strength and body weight. Sprint football will make varsity, intercollegiate football available to hundreds of talented players in the Midwest and Upper South who don’t currently have access to a version of the sport that matches their size, quickness and athleticism.”

Quincy University will join five other private colleges and universities in the Midwest and Upper South as the charter members of a new, independent athletic conference, the Midwest Sprint Football League (MSFL).  The charter members of the MSFL are Bellarmine University (Kentucky), Calumet College of St. Joseph (Indiana), Fontbonne University (Missouri), Midway University (Kentucky), Quincy University (Illinois), and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (Indiana).

Quincy University already sponsors an NCAA Division II football team, which has a long history and tradition at the university. Sprint football at Quincy University will be a separate varsity sport, with its own players, coaches, practices, games and uniform designs.

With the addition of sprint football, QU will become the only university in the Midwest – and one of only a handful of universities in the United States – to sponsor two separate varsity football programs. Sprint football will also be only the second non-NCAA official sport offered by QU, an NCAA Division II institution and member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference since 1994. QU’s other non-NCAA official sport is men’s bowling.

“We believe that sprint football will address an unmet need of talented high school student-athletes in Illinois, the Tri-States, and much of Middle America,” said Brian McGee, Ph.D., QU president. “Giving underserved student-athletes an opportunity to benefit from QU’s Success by Design program and to experience an outstanding Catholic and Franciscan higher education is consistent with our mission and our values. I am excited by the opportunity for QU to support two varsity football programs and to continue our strong commitment to intercollegiate football.”

Sprint football evolved on the East Coast and has previously been sponsored only by the Collegiate Sprint Football League (CSFL). CSFL member universities include the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, Cornell University, Mansfield University, Alderson Broaddus University and the University of Pennsylvania. Some CSFL member universities only offer sprint football, while others sponsor both sprint football and NCAA football in Division I or Division II. The new MSFL will be only the second independent athletic league in the history of the sport to sponsor sprint football.

Quincy University fans are familiar with Bellarmine University, another charter member of the MSFL. Bellarmine University was a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) for many years before leaving the GLVC to join NCAA Division I.

A separate press release announcing the new Midwest Sprint Football League was made available today and contains additional information about the new league, league members and sprint football. Brian McGee, Ph.D., QU president, will be a member of the MSFL Board of Governors. Josh Rabe, QU director of intercollegiate athletics, will be one of two athletic directors to sit on the MSFL Executive Committee.

Five of the six founding members of the MSFL are Catholic colleges and universities, including QU. Those five institutions will join three Catholic colleges and universities that already sponsor sprint football as members of the CSFL: Caldwell University, Chestnut Hill College and St. Thomas Aquinas College (New York).

Founded in 1860 by Franciscan friars, Quincy University is a small Catholic university emphasizing the sciences, liberal arts and the professions. Quincy University offers undergraduate, graduate and adult education programs integrating practical experience and Franciscan values. Faculty and advisors work with students to design customized success plans to help them graduate on time, find their passion and prepare them for life. QU is a member of NCAA Division II for intercollegiate athletics. For more information, please visit www.quincy.edu or contact the Office of Community Relations at (217) 228-5275 or communityrelations@quincy.edu. Quincy University. Success by Design.