What College Athletic Programs Exist in Alaska?

As the U.S becomes more open to formal and informal sports events, opportunities have increased for students to enjoy sports benefits. According to research conducted in 2003, over 50% of high school students in most states, including Alaska, participate actively in different sports events.

Some even go on to become professional athletes such as those you can wager on using the best Alaska betting sites information here. Even those that do not will still benefit from participating in sports from a young age. 

Most Athletic teams in Alaska have a name covering both the male and female teams. This may not be a general rule, but you’d find the colleges in Alaska have the units for equality, and their names are usually masculine.

When colleges in Alaska name their athletic teams, both terms “University” and “College” are not considered in alphabetic order. It becomes necessary to name them when trying to differentiate between schools.

Alaska Anchorage Seawolves

The Alaska Anchorage Seawolves is the general nickname that describes the 12 athletic teams (6 men and 6 women teams) representing the University of Alaska from Anchorage, Alaska, in all the NCAA national and local sports events.

A significant share of the teams plies their trades at the NCAA Division II except for the gymnastics and ice hockey teams, known as alpine and Nordic teams, respectively, who play in Division I. The Seawolves’ nickname is derived from the magical creation, Sea Wolf, based on the Haida and Tlingit tradition.

The teams in Division II are members of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC). Teams outside the conference are the college’s hockey team which has no affiliation, the gymnastics team (affiliated with the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, and the Ski team (under the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association).

The men’s teams include Cross Country, Ice hockey, Basketball, Track, and field. For the women, groups include Basketball, Volleyball, Gymnastics, Cross Country, and Track and Field. There are both men’s and women’s skiing teams.

Most of the home games take place at Alyeska Resort, Kincaid Park, The Dome, and the Alaska Airlines Center (Basketball), with a max capacity of 5,000. The Ice Hockey team only returns to the squad and plays their matches at the Seawolf Sports Complex. The entire team’s colors are Green and gold.

Alaska Nanooks

The University of Alaska, Fairbanks, has a series of athletics sports played by its team, the Alaska Nanooks. Nanooks as a name is derived from the word, Inupiaq “nanuq.” You will find 10 teams, including 4 men’s, 1 co-ed, and 5 women’s teams.

A massive chunk of the teams is under the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. However, the exceptions are the hockey squad. The women’s swimming squad is also not under the GNAC but the Pacific Collegiate Swimming & Diving Conference (PCSC). Other teams outside the GNAC are the rifle teams (Patriot Rifle Conference) and skiing teams (Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association).

With the teams’ colors blue and gold, almost all the home games are played in the Carlson Center except the Patty Center, which hosts the basketball squads.

  • Men’s squad: Basketball, Cross Country, Ice hockey, and Skiing.
  • Women’s squad: Basketball, Cross Country, Volleyball, Swimming, and Skiing.
  • Co-ed: Rifle.

All the sports teams representing the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, play in the NCAA Division II except the ice hockey men’s team that plays in Division I. There are no baseball teams currently, but perhaps that is a good thing considering Alaskan coaches once got into a brawl that went viral. Still, they are not the first and will nopt be the last to let competition get the better of them.

The Rifle Squad is a record ten-time NCAA Rifle championship holder (1994, 1999-2004, and 2006-2008). They are also four-time runner-ups. In addition, 12 members of the Nanook squad have won individual titles. Their most recent win also came in July 2013.

The hockey team was started in the 1925-1926 season. Although they play independently, they were once members of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association from 1995 to 2013.

A Final Word About Athletic Programs in Alaska

Alaska is the state where laws regarding Athletics sports are held in high regard. You’ll find several sports events like hockey, rifle, cross country (internal and external), etc. Unfortunately, there are no football squads here. For most Alaska sports lovers, the ability to enjoy athletic sports events is one of the government’s resolves to boost grassroots games. 

While Alaska is not among the top states creating pro athletes, the states athletic programs do ensure that children are introduced to sports and exercise from a young age. When you consider there is technology such as video games and mobile phones that can create and promote laziness within our children, you can see why these programs can be of big benefit. 

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