By John Gatto
BARBOURVILLE, Ky. – The Union College Department of Athletics will grow their sport offerings in 2015-16, as Men’s and Women’s Archery will be added to the school’s slate of intercollegiate athletics, Director of Athletics Tim Curry announced on Thursday. With the addition of the men’s and women’s archery programs, Union will now offer 25 intercollegiate athletic programs.
Curry also announced that a head coach has been hired for both programs in Cody Kirby. Kirby comes to Union from University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) where he was a part of starting a men’s and women’s archery program at the University.
“We are extremely excited about bringing Archery to Union College as a part of our Department of Athletics,” said Curry, “Archery is a very fast growing sport at the high school level in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and also very big within our area of Southeast Kentucky. I certainly look forward to seeing the development of our program under Coach Kirby and in following their success in the coming years.”
“I was impressed with campus when I came [to Union] to interview and the facilities that are on hand,” said Kirby. “I think it’s going to be a great thing to have archery at Union because of the area we are in. Archery is very, very popular in this region. Because of that, we can recruit a lot of local student-athletes from this area, but we will have a chance to bring in kids from all over the United States to take part in the sport.”
Competitively, the Bulldogs will take part in the United States Archery Association (USCA), and will be slotted in the Southeast region. Along with Cumberlands, Bethel (Tenn.) and Midway (Ky.) are the other NAIA schools who take part in the sport at the moment.
At Cumberlands, Kirby came to campus in 2009, and helped in the recruitment of the first archery freshman class at the school in 2011. In his senior season of 2012-13, Kirby participated on the team, achieving several USCA honors throughout his final season.
Following graduation from Cumberlands in May of 2013, Kirby joined the Patriot archery coaching staff as a graduate assistant. He’s also served as the head archery coach at South Laurel High School in London, Kentucky since October of this year.
At Cumberlands, Kirby earned his undergraduate degree in 2013 in Criminal Justice, Minor in Missions and Ministry, sporting a grade point average of 4.0. He plans to earn his Masters of Arts Degree in Teaching from the school in May of 2015.
For more information on the Union College Archery program, stay with GoUnionBulldogs.com or contact the Department of Athletics directly at 606-546-1236.