Athletics and Physical Education
Josh Centor, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Director of Athletics, Physical Education & Recreation
Location: Skibo Gymnasium, Tech and Frew Streets, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213
Carnegie Mellon emphasizes excellence in its intercollegiate athletic programs, as well as in its classrooms. The university strongly believes that academic and athletic excellence can successfully coexist. Intercollegiate athletics are important in student life and make a positive impact on the educational experience. Experience as a student athlete additionally provides benefits in professional and social endeavors following graduation.
Carnegie Mellon sports teams have competed intercollegiately since the early 1900s. In the past 15 years, the program has experienced extensive success. The Tartans have won 89 conference championships and competed in over 152 national championships since 1976. This success has been achieved while meeting all of the academic requirements of demanding programs and without athletic scholarships.
In 1986, Carnegie Mellon became a charter member of the University Athletic Association (UAA), an eight-team league of similar institutions with regard to academic and athletic programs. The UAA, a national association which geographically reaches as far north as Massachusetts, as far south as Atlanta and as far west as St. Louis and Chicago, sponsors intercollegiate competition in 23 sports including 12 for men and 11 for women. UAA members include Brandeis University, Case Western Reserve University, Carnegie Mellon University, Emory University, New York University, the University of Chicago, the University of Rochester and Washington University in St. Louis.
Carnegie Mellon, like the other seven UAA members, is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Its intercollegiate teams compete on the Division III level, which prohibits athletic scholarships and operates under the true meaning of amateurism. Student-athletes who play at the varsity level are students first and athletes second. All students, both athletes and non-athletes, are treated equally with regard to admission and financial aid policies. Carnegie Mellon fully supports a policy of equity in resources and opportunities for women and men.
The university fields competitive teams in 19 sports. The Tartans compete in football, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross-country, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, and softball.
Carnegie Mellon’s intercollegiate programs have consistently produced winners. The Tartans’ football team has won 18 conference championships, had a string of 35 consecutive winning seasons from 1975-2009, and has appeared in the NCAA Division III Championship playoffs six times. The Tartans have also played in seven ECAC Bowl games. In 1979, Carnegie Mellon was awarded the Lambert Trophy as the best small college team in the northeast. In 2019, senior defensive lineman Michael Lohmeier became the fifth Tartan named as a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, an award that recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation amongst all divisions.
The men’s cross country team won its most recent conference championship in 2019 and has had a student-athlete or team compete at nationals for 19 straight seasons. In 2019, the women’s cross country team made its third straight appearance and sixth overall at the national meet. The 1998 team placed fourth nationally, the highest in program history.
The volleyball team has made four straight trips to the NCAA Tournament and reached their highest AVCA national ranking in program history when they held the sixth spot for two weeks during the 2017 season.
The women’s soccer team has appeared in the NCAA tournament seven of the last eight years. In 2019, the Tartans advanced to the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship semifinals becoming the first women's team in Carnegie Mellon history to reach the semifinals of an NCAA tournament. The men’s soccer team has competed in postseason play 15 times since 2000, including 13 trips to the NCAA tournament. Jon Hall was named CoSIDA Men's Soccer Academic All-America of the Year in back-to-back years (2008 and 2009).
In 2015-16, the women’s basketball team advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. The following season, 2016-17, senior Lisa Murphy was selected as the Jostens Trophy award winner. The award is a symbol of excellence for the Division III student-athlete; it is an honor given to the top women's basketball player for their excellence on the court, in the classroom and in the community.
Kayvon Fatahalian, a freshman computer science major on the men’s tennis team, won the NCAA National Singles Title in 2000 with a sophomore Abhishek Alla claiming the ITA National Small College Championship title in 2013. The women’s tennis team also produced an ITA National Small College Champion when a sophomore Amy Staloch won the singles title in 2006. Both men’s and women’s swimming and diving and track and field teams annually qualify a number of athletes for the national championships. Swimming has produced a combined nine national champions while the men’s track and field team won the indoor and outdoor conference championships in 2017 and again won the indoor championship in 2019.
In the spring of 2018, the women’s golf team, competing in its fourth year of varsity competition, finished fifth at the NCAA Division III Championships. Then in 2020, the sixth year of the women's golf program, the Tartans landed at the top position in the final Division III national rankings by Golfstat. The number one ranking was the first for a women's team sport at Carnegie Mellon. The men’s golf team finished 11th, the highest in program history, at the 2019 NCAA Championships. The Tartans followed with ranked final national ranking of fourth in 2020.
Carnegie Mellon has accumulated 158 Academic All-America honors given out by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) since 1976. There have been 108 that have earned the honor since the 2004-05 season. The Tartans have also produced 19 NCAA Postgraduate Scholars since 2007-08, which is a scholarship that is awarded to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically and who are in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition.
In 2019, Carnegie Mellon Unveiled its Inaugural Athletics Hall of Fame. In October, 17 individuals and one historic team were inducted into the inaugural class.
To provide excellence throughout the athletic programs, the department employs full-time coaches in all varsity sports. Intercollegiate competition begins with the first football and soccer games in early September and ends with the NCAA track and field, golf, tennis and softball championships in late May. Students with athletic skills in any of the above mentioned sports are welcome to become members of the team. Participation is open to all students.
In addition to providing for its more formal programs and teams, Carnegie Mellon’s athletic facilities are available for use by individual students on an extensive seven-day per week schedule.
The Cohon University Center has facilities for swimming, basketball, volleyball, badminton, squash, and racquetball, as well as cardio and strength equipment. Gesling Stadium provides outdoor soccer, football and track facilities. Tennis courts, located between the University Center and Margaret Morrison, are lighted for night play. During the school year, they are open for use by students, faculty and staff.
These facilities are available to students, faculty and staff who have a valid Carnegie Mellon ID card. For hours, contact the Athletic Office at 412-268-5635, or visit our website.
The Department of Physical Education provides an elective program with an emphasis on personal fitness and lifetime recreation, thus preparing students for physical activity after the college years. Most classes are offered on a mini-course system with each class running seven weeks in length.
This program of more than 40 courses is designed for all students, from the beginner to those students who have already developed some skill. Courses include weight training, personal fitness, racquetball, tennis, golf, weight training and yoga. The department offers a wide variety of diversity in our course offerings. Instruction is also provided in several team sports. Carnegie Mellon also provides courses for American Red Cross certification in the four levels of swimming and lifeguard training.
For those who seek another level of competition or just like to participate and have fun, the Intramural Program provides recreation and relaxation for all students, faculty and staff, regardless of the degree of their natural athletic skills. The university prides itself on an intramural program which annually has over 3,000 participants. Men and women, both graduate and undergraduate, compete in more than 20 different activities. Major sports include flag football, soccer, volleyball, floor hockey. basketball, and softball. A few of our popular tournaments are ultimate frisbee, dodgeball, tennis, and badminton.
Through participation in this program, students are able to keep physically fit, put to good use various learned skills, and develop leadership, team play and sportsmanship. Intramural activities, like all sports endeavors, contribute to physical development, good health, and a sound state of mind, while providing keen competition and team spirit. In addition, intramural sports possess an inherent flexibility that allows for a limited commitment of time in light of academic priorities. The intramural program permits students from all departments to meet and socialize on an informal basis.
Fitness and Wellness
The university is well aware that fitness is a vital contributor to an individual’s well-being and productivity. For this reason the department is committed to providing the entire campus community with the opportunity and resources to keep fit for the new century.
The Fitness and Wellness program provides educational services, programs, workshops and seminars. The Group X program provides over 30 exercise classes per week ranging from yoga and pilates to zumba and indoor cycling.
About Course Numbers:
Each Carnegie Mellon course number begins with a two-digit prefix that designates the department offering the course (i.e., 76-xxx courses are offered by the Department of English). Although each department maintains its own course numbering practices, typically, the first digit after the prefix indicates the class level: xx-1xx courses are freshmen-level, xx-2xx courses are sophomore level, etc. Depending on the department, xx-6xx courses may be either undergraduate senior-level or graduate-level, and xx-7xx courses and higher are graduate-level. Consult the Schedule of Classes each semester for course offerings and for any necessary pre-requisites or co-requisites.
Physical Education Courses
Courses are modified this fall to meet the hybrid model. We are offering a very limited number of PE courses for in person and online. The following courses are offered: Yoga, Personal Fitness, Walking for Fitness, Racquetball, Beginning Swimming, Beginning Tennis and Swim Fit.
GARY ALDRICH, Associate Head Track & Field Coach/Instructor – M.S., Slippery Rock University,Carnegie Mellon, 2006–
MICHAEL BELMONTE, Assistant Men/Women Tennis – History, Duquesne; Carnegie Mellon, 2010–
BRANDON BOWMAN, Head Men's Soccer Coach – B.S., Centre College; Carnegie Mellon, 2017–
JOSH CENTOR, Assistant Director of Athletics – B.A., Brandeis University,Carnegie Mellon, 2008–
ALAN DEGENNARO, Strength and Conditioning CoachCarnegie Mellon, 2011–
SARA GAUNTNER, Assistant Director of Athletics for Instructional Programs & Recreation & Aquatics Director/Instructor – M.S., Duquesne University,Carnegie Mellon, 2005–
ANDREW GIRARD, Head Men's and Women's Tennis Coach/Instructor – B.S., Michigan Tech University,Carnegie Mellon, 2003–
ALICIA GORMAN, Diving Coach, Director of Acquatics – B.S., University of Tennessee; Carnegie Mellon, 2017–
ANDREW HELMS, Assistant Football Coach – B.S., Carnegie Mellon University; Carnegie Mellon, 2017–
JACQUIE HULLAH, Head Women's Basketball CoachCarnegie Mellon, 2011–
KIM KELLY, Head Women's Volleyball Coach/Instructor – MBA, Mt. St. Mary's University,Carnegie Mellon, 2005–
MATTHEW KINNEY, Head Swimming and Diving Coach/Instructor – M.S., Western Illinois,Carnegie Mellon, 2007–
RICHARD LACKNER, Head Football Coach/Instructor – B.A., Carnegie Mellon,Carnegie Mellon, 1979–
JEFF SIMMONS, Assistant Football Coach/Instructor – B.A., Geneva College; Carnegie Mellon, 2010–
PATTYE STRAGAR, Operations Manager for Fitness and Aquatics/Instructor – B.S., Northwestern University; Carnegie Mellon, 2003–
YON STRUBLE, Head Men's Soccer Coach/Instructor – M.S., Georgia State; Carnegie Mellon, 2010–
TONY WINGEN, Head Men's Basketball Coach/Associate Athletic Director/Instructor – M.Ed., Springfield College; Carnegie Mellon, 1990–