Academics

Gallaudet University Athletics Director Warren Keller, ’10, has announced Brian Bennett, ’12, as the department’s first triathlon head coach for the newly established fall program.

“We are excited to launch this program for our female student athletes and future Bison,” said Keller. “Coach Bennett is the perfect person to lead this program with his extensive triathlon experience. I can’t wait to see Brian continue to impact so many lives.”

Coach Bennett, who continues as the Gallaudet swim coach, begins his new triathlon duties immediately. He will be recruiting prospective Bison to join the first women’s triathlon varsity team for the 2024-205 school year.

“I am grateful to Gallaudet Athletics for trusting me to lead the new triathlon team,” said Bennett. “As a triathlete myself, turned coach, I am excited to turn my passion into a career and inspire our student athletes to reach their potential.”

According to Coach Bennett, students interested in triathlon should be able to swim 750 meters, bike 20 kilometers (12.4 miles), and run a 5K (3.1 miles). Coach Bennett is an active participant in triathlon events as he has completed 10 sprint, four Olympic distance, four Half Ironman (70.3), and three Ironman (140.6) competitions in his career.

“Triathlon is a growing sport not only in the NCAA but also in the Deaf community at-large. I have seen this growth and am happy to be a part of its expansion,” said Bennett. “I am also grateful to the USA Triathlon Foundation for seeing this growth and vision and supporting Gallaudet with a grant to be able to create this new program.”

Women’s triathlon is a NCAA Emerging Sport that currently has 42 schools sponsoring the sport, according to USA Triathlon. This fall sport is currently a recognized varsity sport in all three NCAA divisions. Teams of at least three student-athletes will compete in four to six meets in a sprint format.

“I can confidently say that our announcement of Gallaudet as the next NCAA triathlon program, 14th at the Division III level, might be one of the most rewarding days we have had over the past 10 years,” said USA Triathlon Chief Sport Development Officer, Tim Yount, after GU added the sport last month. “This addition will open the doors to many new athletes, both in the U.S. and internationally, who are eager to meet their academic and athletic goals. Not only are these student-athletes breaking barriers for NCAA triathlon, but they are leading the way for inclusion in every NCAA athletic program. We are fortunate that Gallaudet Athletic Director, Warren Keller, had the vision to see triathlon as a great stepping stone for them to also meet their many goals as an academic institution.”

The university’s addition of women’s triathlon as a collegiate varsity sport is made possible through a grant from the USA Triathlon Foundation. The USA Triathlon Foundation Women’s Emerging Sport Grant is distributed to NCAA membership institutions to develop, implement, and sustain women’s triathlon programs at the varsity level.

“The addition of Gallaudet University in the NCAA women’s triathlon movement represents a major milestone that will continue to pave the way for inclusion in multisport,” said USA Triathlon CEO Victoria Brumfield. “We are excited to see new athletic opportunities for female student-athletes at Gallaudet and are excited to see them shape the future of our sport.”

Students and prospective who are interested in making history and being part of Gallaudet’s first triathlon team should contact Coach Bennett at brian.bennett@gallaudet.edu.

Coach Bennett said that several students have already reached out and are working this summer to prepare for the new season.

“The student athletes who have already expressed interest in triathlon for the upcoming season have already shown tremendous tenacity and a willingness to learn new things,” added Bennett.

The women’s triathlon varsity season includes National Qualifiers, followed by the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships. Women’s Varsity Collegiate Regional Championships are being held October 12 in Springfield, Missouri and Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships will be held November 9 in Clermont, Florida.
For more information about triathlon as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women, visit https://www.usatriathlon.org/multisport/ncaa-triathlon.

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