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Football became a varsity sport at Trine in 1995 and has steadily risen to become one of the top programs in NCAA Division III.  Now entering its 25th year of existence in 2019, the Thunder have won a total of six conference championships, including five as members of the MIAA and winning back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018.  Since joining the NCAA in 2004 (members of NAIA prior to joining NCAA), Trine has also made five appearances in the Division III Tournament and was a NAIA national semi-finalist in 1998.

In it's program history, Trine has had a combined 38 All-American awards (NAIA & NCAA) earned, including 10 players who have earned multiple recognitions.  Thunder players have been named conference "Most Valuable Player" a total of nine times, including one multi-time "MVP."  In 2010, former standout Eric Watt '10, won the Gagliardi Trophy (regarded as the Division III version of the "Heisman Trophy") and Lamar Carswell '18 was selected as a finalist for the same award in 2018.  A total of three coaches have earned national recognition as regional "Coaches of the Year," including current Head Coach Troy Abbs who earned the honor following the 2017 campaign.

A total of 127 All-Conference honors have been earned by Trine players (MSFA & MIAA) with 80 first-team selections.

Trine players have also been recognized for their success off the field in the classroom with five CoSIDA Academic All-Americans and multiple conference scholar-athletes.

Trine has had four undefeated regular seasons in its program history, including back-to-back regular seasons without a blemish in 2017 and 2018.  Over the years, Trine has accumulated a program record of 145-105 and has posted an impressive 21-2 mark in the past two seasons (2017 & 2018).  The Thunder have posted 16 winning seasons (out of 24 years) with six years of 10 or more victories.



Matt Land
Athletic Director

Being a member of the nation's oldest collegiate athletic conference, the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA), seeing more than 850 student-athletes participate in 26 varsity sports, in addition to nine club sports, and having some of the finest facilities to field exciting NCAA Division III competitive events is what makes Trine athletes know their college experience will be something they will remember the rest of their lives. The recent addition of athletic programs such as men's and women's ice hockey, esports, men's and women's bowling, women's triathlon, synchronized ice skating, figure skating and acrobatics and tumbling programs make this an exciting time in the history of our athletic programs. We invite you to be a part of Thunder history.

Trine University prides itself on strong academic programs. As we begin to look at our 135th year in existence as a university, the athletic department works closely with and understands the needs of our student athletes in order for them to meet the demands necessary to achieve the academic excellence needed to prepare for work and future challenges.

Our facilities continue to meet the expansion and growth of our athletic programs with the recent completion of the Thunder Ice Arena and MTI Center.  We continue to make improvements to our already existing facilities to make them some of the finest venues in the region and all of NCAA Division III.  

The on–campus 18-hole championship golf course and 3500 seat gymnasium have allowed us to host several collegiate tournaments. Zollner Golf Course and Trine athletics also served as the host of the 2012 NCAA Women′s National Golf Championship.

It is with great pride that we invite you to experience Trine athletics and to extend to you an open invitation to contact us. Better yet – come visit us at "Thunder Park" on the campus of Trine University and experience the THUNDER!