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CALDWELL, N.J.- Caldwell University has added Sprint Football to its sports program, increasing its varsity sports opportunities to 16. The Cougars will compete in the Collegiate Sprint Football League which will now include 10 teams.

Caldwell will hire a full-time sprint football coach in the Summer of 2016 and begin its first season in the fall of 2017. “We are extremely thankful to the membership of the CSFL for accepting us into this prestigious football conference,” said Assistant Vice President and Director of Athletics Mark A. Corino. “As the tenth member, it will afford the conference the opportunity to have two divisions and a balanced schedule. With the expansion to our 16th varsity program and seventh male sport, the athletics department is excited and enthusiastic about playing a major role in the continued growth of our institution.”

The Cougars will join the nine members of the CSFL: Army West Point, Chestnut Hill College, Cornell University, Franklin Pierce University, Mansfield University, the U.S. Naval Academy, Post University, Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Caldwell University President Nancy Blattner added, “Sprint football will increase the vitality of the student life experience at Caldwell and create an opportunity for the local community to become more involved with the university, our events and our students. Personally, I am thrilled with this addition to our sports offerings and look forward to our first game in fall 2017.”

Sprint football is a full-contact, intercollegiate, varsity sport and has the same rules as regular college football, except that all players must weigh 172 pounds or less. The league has existed since before World War II.

“We are excited to add football as our 16th athletic program and to be accepted into the sprint football league, with such a rich history, is quite an honor,” said Caldwell University Vice President for Enrollment Management and Communications Joseph Posillico.

Sprint football was created in 1934 by University of Pennsylvania president Thomas Sovereign Gates, who wanted to give smaller athletes a chance to play the sport. Michigan, Rutgers and Villanova once fielded sprint teams but have discontinued their programs. Penn and Princeton are the remaining original members from the league’s inception in 1934. All CSFL members are from the Northeast.

“It is a pleasure to welcome Caldwell University to the Collegiate Sprint Football League and we are excited about the future of our league,” said CSFL Commissioner Matthew Munnelly. “Caldwell University will be a great representative for the state of New Jersey. We look forward to a long and flourishing relationship.”

The league has gained four schools since 2008, including CACC members Post University and Chestnut Hill College. Future President Jimmy Carter played sprint, then known as “lightweight football,” at the Naval Academy as did Patriots owner Bob Kraft at Columbia University. George Allen, the Hall of Fame coach, began his career as a sprint assistant at the University of Michigan.