With a proud heritage dating back more than 100 years, American National University is re-establishing intercollegiate athletics, the university announced today. ANU will field a men’s basketball team to compete during the 2019-2020 season, with additional sports to be added over the next 3-5 years. The university will join the United States Collegiate Athletic Association as a provisional member.
“The return of intercollegiate athletics to American National University reflects not only our rich heritage, but is also in keeping with our future direction,” said ANU President Frank Longaker. “Guided by our vision statement, Evolution 2086, the university will continue to explore new avenues toward fulfilling our mission.”
As a global provider of career-focused education with a decentralized, distance-education focus, the development of ANU’s athletics program breaks new ground in intercollegiate athletics. While the university operates 14 learning sites in Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia in addition to its main campus in Salem, Va., ANU’s operating philosophy frees students from the limitations of a physical campus while still providing opportunities for individual contact and active participation in university programs. Consequently, the basketball team will utilize a game and practice facility in Newport News, Va., with a recruiting focus on the Hampton Roads area.
“The USCAA is thrilled to welcome American National University as a member this season,” states USCAA Executive Director Matt Simms. “American National University is the first primary distance education institution accepted to the association, and we look forward to them serving not only as ambassadors for our mission, but as leaders on the cutting edge of education delivery.”
Leading the men’s basketball program will be veteran college coach Franklin Chatman. Coach Chatman most recently headed up the Stratford University basketball program for the past two seasons, leading last year’s squad to the #2 seed in the USCAA Men’s Division I national championship tournament. Prior to that, he was the men’s head basketball coach at The Apprentice School from 2010-2017. Coach Chatman brings nearly two decades’ worth of coaching experience at the collegiate and prep levels to the program.
“Our goal is to develop young men to be champions in the classroom, on the basketball court, in the community, and in life,” said Coach Chatman.
The basketball team is currently filling its last remaining roster slots. The second fall term in ANU’s year-round, overlapping enrollment model begins September 29.
American National University was founded in 1886 and is one of the nation’s oldest and foremost providers of career-focused education. Today, ANU is an accredited, global university offering programs ranging from short-term professional programs and collegiate diplomas through associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs in a variety of career-oriented fields.