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UNG to help host five NCAA Division II championship events

October 28, 2020

The NCAA has awarded hosting duties for five Division II championship events to the University of North Georgia (UNG) for the 2023-26 seasons, including two in Hall County.

UNG will serve as the primary host for a regional championship event in men's and women's cross-country, and will assist with hosting national championship sites for women's rowing and softball. They are:

  • 2023 NCAA Division II Softball National Championship — Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • 2023 NCAA Division II Men's & Women's Cross-Country Southeast Regional — Oakwood, Georgia
  • 2025 NCAA Division II Softball National Championship — Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • 2026 NCAA Division II Softball National Championship — Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • 2026 NCAA Divisions I, II and III Women's Rowing National Championship — Gainesville, Georgia

UNG was poised to host the 2020 NCAA Division II Men's and Women's Cross-Country Southeast Regional this fall before it was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. UNG was awarded the right to host again in 2023. The championships will take place at the UNG Cross-Country Course on UNG's Gainesville Campus. It will be the second time the Nighthawks have hosted the regional meet.

"UNG's selection to be involved with the NCAA championship experience speaks volumes to our university's commitment to serving," said Lee Glenn, associate athletic director for external operations. "Specifically, we are honored to draw nearly 300 cross-country student-athletes to UNG's Gainesville Campus in 2023 and serve them with hospitality as our end goal is to provide them a first-class experience."

The Nighthawks hosted the Southeast Regional field in 2018, marking the first time UNG was awarded championship hosting rights through the NCAA's open bid process for a non-seeded event. It was also the first time that a NCAA championship event took place in Hall County.

Chattanooga Sports, a division of Chattanooga Tourism Co., was chosen as the host for the 2023, 2025 and 2026 NCAA Division II Softball Championship with games at historic Frost Stadium at Warner Park. UNG will collaborate with Lee University and Chattanooga Sports in hosting the championships. The Nighthawks were the 2015 NCAA Division II softball champions and have advanced to all 12 NCAA softball tournaments they have been eligible for since joining Division II.

In spring 2026, Lake Lanier Olympic Park will host the NCAA Divisions I, II and III Women's Rowing Championships. The City of Gainesville, UNG and Lake Lanier Rowing Club joined the Lake Lanier Olympic Park Foundation in its bid to host the 2025-26 NCAA Women's Rowing Championships at Lake Lanier.

Bidding for 86 of 90 NCAA championships began in August 2019 and more than 3,000 bid applications were submitted. Each sport committee, per division, selected the host sites based on the experience for the respective student-athletes, resulting in more than 450 total championship event sites being awarded. More than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships each year.

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