FREMONT, Ohio — As the Terra State Community College’s sports teams continue to make gains since athletics returned to campus in 2019, the college this week approved adding golf and soccer to the lineup starting this fall.
The women’s volleyball team made its second straight appearance in the NJCAA Division II volleyball championship tournament and the college’s men and women’s basketball teams are in the thick of their seasons.
Last year, Terra announced last year it would be adding baseball.
On Wednesday, Terra State’s board of trustees approved the addition of men and women’s golf as well as men and women’s soccer, a move in line with President Ron Schumacher and other administrators’ stated goals of using the college’s athletic programs to boost enrollment.
Those four teams would start play in the fall 2022 semester.
Gregg Hedden, Terra State athletic director and baseball head coach, said he thought adding four more sports teams would help the college as it looks to bump its enrollment numbers.
“I just think it makes sense to move forward with that,” Hedden said.
Hedden told the board in November Terra State would ideally like to have up to 200 student-athletes on campus within two years.
A pro forma budget generated for men and women’s soccer and golf teams projected Terra State would have 20 student-athletes (10 on each team) for golf and 50 (25 for each team) for soccer.
Enrollment down in 2022 spring semester
With the obstacles of a lingering COVID-19 pandemic, Terra State’s enrollment has dropped sharply in the last three years.
Garien Hudson, vice president of student affairs and enrollment services, said enrollment headcount for Terra State’s 2022 spring semester stands at just under 1,800 students with a full-time equivalent student enrollment (FTE) of 463.
“We are not in a place we were expecting to be,” Hudson said.
By comparison, Terra State’s spring 2021 enrollment headcount stood at 1,879 students and a FTE of 504.43 at roughly the same timeframe.
That was down from the college’s spring 2020 numbers of 2,083 and 529.1.
In Terra State’s athletic department’s fiscal year 2022 pro forma budget, there were 87 student-athletes spread over the college’s four sports teams: women’s volleyball, men and women’s basketball and baseball.
Those student-athletes generate a gross revenue of $498,757.
That revenue includes tuition and general fees, State Share of Instruction (SSI) income, and miscellaneous fees.
SSI income from the state is calculated in the pro forma budget looking at factors such as course completion, degrees and certificates awarded and weighted GPA.
Total pro-forma budget expenses associated with Terra State’s athletic program totaled $415,789 and include salary and benefits for the college’s athletic director, head coaches and assistant coaches, as well as travel, practice gear and supplies, recruiting and training/insurance/conference fees.
With a net revenue of $83,968, Terra State’s contribution margin, or money that’s going back into the college from athletics after expenses are subtracted from revenues, stands at 13.49 percent.
Seeking to raise sports’ contribution margins
Schumacher, Hedden and other administrators want the college’s athletics programs’ contribution margins to reach at least 25 percent.
For soccer and golf, the projected contribution margins are 36.10 percent for golf (net revenue of $52,145) and 51.58 percent for soccer (net revenue of $177,347), according to pro forma budgets submitted to Terra State’s board.
Hedden said those net revenue numbers for golf and soccer are based on Terra State reaching its student-athlete goals for those sports.
Men and women in both of those sports would be initially club sports and eventually competing in NJCAA Division III’s level, which is non-scholarship, Hedden said.
Hudson said, in the future, Terra State’s soccer programs could be an element of international student recruitment.
Ultimately, Hedden said, Terra State needed to make sure that it did a better job recruiting future student-athletes that could be successful in the classroom and were financially able to attend the college.
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