Bellarmine Knights

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Bellarmine Knights
UniversityBellarmine University
SoCon (men's lacrosse)
CCSA (men's and women's swimming & diving)
Independent (field hockey, wrestling)
NCAADivision I
Athletic directorScott Wiegandt
LocationLouisville, Kentucky
Varsity teams22
Basketball arenaFreedom Hall
Baseball stadiumKnights Field
Soccer stadiumOwsley B. Frazier Stadium
ColorsScarlet and Silver[1]

The Bellarmine Knights are the athletic teams that represent Bellarmine University, located in Louisville, Kentucky, in NCAA intercollegiate sporting competitions.

Bellarmine's 22 athletic teams compete at the Division I level. The Knights are members of the Atlantic Sun Conference (ASUN) for most sports. The Knights had been members of the Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) from its formation in 1978 until joining the ASUN in 2020.

On June 18, 2019, it was officially announced that the Knights would join the ASUN beginning in the 2020–21 school year, starting a four-year transition to NCAA Division I. Five Bellarmine teams in sports that are not sponsored by the ASUN have varied homes. The men's lacrosse team, which has competed as a Division I member since the 2005 season (2004–05 school year), is a member of the Southern Conference (SoCon). Men's and women's swimming and diving joined the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association, a league with which the ASUN is a partner. Field hockey and wrestling became Division I independents, with the field hockey program to join the Mid-American Conference as an affiliate member in 2021.[2] During the transition period, Knights teams other than men's lacrosse will be ineligible for NCAA-sanctioned postseason play. Men's lacrosse is not subject to this restriction because it had been a D-I member before the transition.[3][4]

Varsity teams[edit]

Men's sports Women's sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Cross country
Cross country Field hockey
Golf Golf
Lacrosse Soccer
Soccer Softball
Swimming Swimming
Tennis Tennis
Track and field Track and field
Wrestling Volleyball
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor.

In addition to the NCAA-recognized sports, Bellarmine recognizes its all-female dance team as a varsity team.


On March 26, 2011, the Knights won the NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Championship.[5]

On April 10, 2015 the Bellarmine University Dance Team captured their first national title at the 2015 NDA Collegiate Dance Championship. On April 5, 2019, the team captured its second national title at the 2019 NDA Collegiate Dance Championship.[6][7]

Individual sports[edit]


The university announced the athletic department would begin sponsoring men's lacrosse in 2004. BU hired Jack McGetrick as the program's first head coach. In 2005 the team competed as independent members in NCAA Division I. In 2007 the Knights joined the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) after the league lost Butler[8] to athletic department cuts. In 2010 the GWLL ceased operations after Notre Dame left the league for the Big East. Bellarmine and the remaining members of the GWLL joined the ECAC Lacrosse League.[9]

Tragedy struck the Knights Lacrosse program in October 2010 when coach McGetrick died after a long battle with cancer.[10] Since founding the program he led the Knights to a 45–41 record. Before Bellarmine, McGetrick coached of the University of Hartford Hawks for 11 seasons. McGetrick ranks in the top-50 of Division I men's lacrosse coaches with a record of 132–115.[11]

The 2014 season was Bellarmine's last in ECAC Lacrosse. After the Big Ten Conference announced it would begin sponsoring both men's and women's lacrosse in the 2014–15 school year (2015 season),[12] which took two of the six schools then in the league, Bellarmine announced it would become a lacrosse-only member of the ASUN effective in July 2014.[13] However, before the conference move took effect, the ASUN and Southern Conference (SoCon) announced an agreement under which sponsorship of men's lacrosse would switch from the ASUN to the SoCon after the 2014 season. Accordingly, Bellarmine lacrosse began SoCon play in the 2015 season.[14]


Men's basketball has been a part of Bellarmine's athletic department since the school's founding in 1950.[15] That same year student Ted Wade became the first black player on an integrated college basketball team in Kentucky.[16] The basketball program has been coached by 11 different men and is currently headed by Louisville native Scott Davenport.[16] Davenport is one of two Bellarmine coaches who have also guided teams to Kentucky's high school championship, both doing so with Louisville schools.[16] He did it in 1988 at Ballard High. The other coach who moved up to the college level was Joe Reibel, who won with St. Xavier High in 1962.[16] Reibel is Bellarmine's winningest coach with a record of 346–277.[16] A unique Bellarmine coach was Bob Valvano. Valvano is an ESPN personality and was a member of Mensa, an international organization for only the brightest two percent of people on Earth.[16] Arguably the most famous Bellarmine coach was Alex Groza, the Fabulous Five (Kentucky Wildcats) great at the University of Kentucky.[16] Groza was an All-American, Gold Medal winner in the 1948 London Olympics and first team NBA.[16]

In its history, the Knights have won five GLVC men's basketball titles and four NCAA Midwest Regional titles.[17][18] On March 26, 2011, the Knights won its first NCAA Division II National Championship, led by guards Jeremy Kendle and Braydon Hobbs.[19] The Knights defeated BYU–Hawaii for the title, 71-68.[20] The championship game aired on national television on the CBS network.[20] An estimated 2,906 fans were in attendance for the championship game.[21] Most of which were Bellarmine fans that had made the 900-mile (1,400 km) trip from Louisville to watch the Knights compete in the championship held in Springfield, Massachusetts at the MassMutual Center.

Swimming and diving[edit]

In 2012, Bellarmine University announced the start of its swimming program.

Track and Field[edit]

Headed by Coach Jim Vargo.


  1. ^ Bellarmine Athletic Branding Draft (PDF). August 12, 2016. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  2. ^ "Bellarmine to Join MAC as Affiliate Member in Field Hockey" (Press release). Mid-American Conference. June 9, 2020. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  3. ^ Crawford, Eric (June 17, 2019). "Done D-1 Deal". WDRB. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  4. ^ "ASUN Conference Announces Addition of Bellarmine University" (Press release). ASUN Conference. June 18, 2019. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  5. ^ Haeberle, Bennett (March 26, 2011). "Bellarmine Knights win Div. II basketball title". WDRB. Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Butler University Announces Changes to Athletic Program". January 26, 2007. Archived from the original on May 10, 2008. Retrieved May 5, 2008.
  9. ^ "ECAC Lacrosse League Adds Five New Members for 2010". ECAC Lacrosse League. July 9, 2008. Retrieved January 18, 2011.
  10. ^ "Bellarmine Coach McGetrick Dies of Cancer". Lacrosse Magazine. October 12, 2010. Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  11. ^ "Bellarmine Mourns the Passing of Coach Jack McGetrick". LaxPower. October 9, 2010. Archived from the original on January 3, 2011. Retrieved January 18, 2011.
  12. ^ "Big Ten Announces Institution of Men's and Women's Lacrosse and Addition of Johns Hopkins as Men's Lacrosse Sport Affiliate Member" (Press release). Big Ten Conference. June 3, 2013. Archived from the original on July 10, 2013. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  13. ^ "ASun Welcomes Bellarmine As Men's Lacrosse Affiliate" (Press release). Atlantic Sun Conference. July 8, 2013. Archived from the original on November 4, 2013. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  14. ^ "SoCon, A-Sun Partner to Enhance Lacrosse" (Press release). Southern Conference. January 9, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  15. ^ "Bellarmine Commencement Ceremony set for Dec. 15th". Bellarmine University. Retrieved June 18, 2011.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h Cox, Earl (April 6, 2011). "Davenport Sets the Bar High". The Voice-Tribune. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved June 18, 2011.
  17. ^ "Bellarmine to Represent GLVC Men's Basketball in NCAA Elite Eight". Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  18. ^ "Bellarmine Wins Another GLVC Title". NCAA. March 6, 2011. Retrieved June 18, 2011.
  19. ^ "TRIO OF THE YEAR: Bellarmine's Benedetti, Hobbs, Kendle share College Notebook Male Athlete of the Year honor". News and Tribune.
  20. ^ a b "Bellarmine Wins First National Championship". NCAA. March 28, 2011. Retrieved June 18, 2011.
  21. ^ Gallant, erik (March 29, 2011). "Your comments: D2 Elite Eight needed more time to grow in Springfield". Retrieved June 18, 2011.

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