Penn State New Kensington Campus Athletics
Penn State New Kensington is the one of the elite athletic programs of Penn State's 19-commonwealth-campus system. The campus has won 37 conference titles in six sports with men’s basketball collecting 12 league championships, more than any other Penn State campus. The campus' only national title was garnered by the cheerleading team in 2008 when they won the American Cheer Power championship
The Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) comprises 15 teams from Penn State campuses across the state. The conference champion earns an automatic berth in the United State Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) tournament.
The USCAA is a national organization that is geared to provide athletic opportunities to small colleges — those with enrollments of less than 1,500. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, the organization has 87 member institutions from across the country.
New Kensington joined the USCAA in 2005. Since then, eight student-athletes were named to the All-America team and 42 were selected to the Academic All-America team. In 2017, Daniele Smith was the first New Kensington campus athlete to be named USCAA Student-Athlete of the Year.
Since the founding in 1958, Penn State New Kensington athletics have been an integral part of campus life. Playing as a collegiate club team, men’s basketball debuted on Nov. 25, 1958 with a 67-32 loss to Penn State New Castle (now Penn State Shenango). The first win came on Dec. 12 with a 50-37 victory over Natrona Heights Presbyterian. With that victory New Kensington created the blueprint for a successful athletic program in Penn State campus system.
In 1965, Bob Howard was appointed athletic director and basketball coach, and moved the basketball program from a club team to an intercollegiate team. A year later he helped found the Commonwealth Campus Athletic Conference, the forerunner of the current PSUAC and the Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference.
Cheerleading, the first women’s sport, was added in 1966. Throughout the years, the campus has sponsored athletic programs in men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s volleyball, baseball, soccer, softball, wrestling, and men’s tennis.
Penn State New Kensington is located on 72-acres in Upper Burrell, Pa. With close to 700 students, the New Kensington combines the quality academics expected of Penn State with the appeal of a small campus.