On September 26, 1967, Houghton’s cross-country team had the privilege to “officially” represent Houghton College as they traveled to take on five-time state champion Roberts Wesleyan College. Two weeks later, Highlander men’s soccer took to the field for the first time, defeating Messiah College 2-1 and launching a storied tradition of success. Cross country also took home its first win that day over Geneseo. Men’s basketball began intercollegiate competition that winter with a limited schedule.
As the athletics program developed, new men’s teams were added in baseball, tennis, golf, and track and field. Basketball was the first women’s program to be added in 1969 followed by volleyball and field hockey. The women also began fielding teams in softball, track, cross country and tennis in the 1970s with soccer added in 1981.
The ensuing 50 years has seen a tradition of success for a department that places high priority on fielding competitive teams that are deeply grounded in Houghton’s commitment to Christ, character development and academic achievement. The athletic department motto of Excellence for the Glory of God is lived out by our athletes and coaches in each of these areas on and off the field of play.