Athletics, New College style.

New College has a wide range of competitive athletic teams that compete in individual and team sports.

New College students are known for being scholars, but there are plenty of scholar-athletes here, too, and a wide range of competitive teams – both intercollegiate and intramural – to provide you with a physical challenge to match the intellectual challenge.

You can find an outlet from studying through sports including sailing, tennis, swimming, flag football, soccer, fencing, racquetball and even quidditch.

New College athletic teams are known as The Null Sets. Learn the history of our unique nickname.


The New College Sailing Team is part of the Intercollegiate Sailing Association of North America, competing in the South Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association.

With its home base on the College’s Bayfront, the team has easy access to practice on gorgeous Sarasota Bay in its fleet of eight International 420 Class sailboats, and has hosted regattas in 2012 and 2013.

In 2014, the Sailing Team has brought home the first-place trophy from the Allstate Sugar Bowl Regatta in New Orleans.

In 2012-13, New College’s sailors competed in six regattas, against schools including College of Charleston, Eckerd College, Florida State University, Georgia Tech, Jacksonville University, Rollins College, University of Florida and University of South Florida. The New College Women’s Sailing Team was ranked sixth of 23 teams in SAISA for the season.


Coach Tiffany Dabek directs the New College Tennis Club and holds regular practices on the college’s two lighted hard courts. The team is part of the USTA Tennis on Campus program and is beginning intercollegiate play in 2013.

Dabek, a former professional player, reached No. 170 in the international Women’s Tennis Association rankings before retiring in 2007.

“I have been active with the Tennis Club for the past two years, and Tiffany (our instructor) has done a great job of organizing lessons and improving everyone’s skills. Last year we held a small tournament among students, and this year Tiffany is looking to get us playing another school. We have a great group of students playing this year… Tennis has definitely helped me manage my stress and stay healthy while at New College, and it’s far easier to exercise when you’re doing something fun and enjoyable.” – David Smith, Economics AOC.


The Swimming Club is coached by J.R. Ayers, an accredited America Red Cross trainer in lifeguarding and water safety, and a certified strength and conditioning coach with 25 years’ experience. The club has two to three practices each week, before the academic day, in the College’s 25-meter pool. During cooler months, the club uses the Arlington Aquatic Complex in downtown Sarasota. The club welcomes swimmers of all levels, and competitive swimmers compete in Sarasota Masters swim meets.

“By going to Swim Club, I am so much more balanced. I can handle the pressure of school when I have a healthy and fun activity to look forward to twice a week… At the Swim Club practices, the time passes by quickly and it is easy to forget the everyday worries. It also gives me the opportunity to meet other students that I would probably not have met, as well as others who share my interests.” – Nicole Hernandez, Biology AOC .

Flag Football

The “Null Sets” flag football team may the most visible sport on campus, with its frequent practices on Z Green and its wildly popular rivalry with Ringling College of Art and Design. The teams’ spring charity benefit game draws fans from all over the area, attracts local television coverage as proceeds from the game benefit a local charity.

“The New College academic program is incredibly rigorous, and having sports as an outlet has counteracted the stress of the academic program and allowed me to be more successful and passionate about my coursework. My friends on the football and sailing team are the same people I lean on when I have stress in my life; our shared interest brings us together and creates great friendships. I still keep in touch with Mike Dexter, the captain of the football team when I got here my first year. He’s become one of my closest friends, and I’ve visited him in DC often. Without football, it’s likely we never would have met.” – Michael Long, Economics AOC, 2013 Truman Scholar


New College has two popular student-run club soccer teams, the UGLYZ (women’s team) and the Funk (men’s team). Both teams practice on the New College campus fields and play weekly in recreation leagues in the Sarasota-Bradenton area. They also have a long-running rivalry with Ringling College of Art and Design as well.

“Before coming here I was shy, and I was uncomfortable taking initiative and making good work great. But in my first year I met some fantastic people in Soccer that weren’t just role models, they were great friends, and even those who ended up graduating at the end of that year left a serious impact on my life. I started earning Strongly Satisfactory designations in my classes, and that is because sports at New College teach you several things: the value of teamwork, the thrill of an enjoyable (competitive yet disciplined) game, and the importance of responsibility. New College sports allow could-have-been-professionals to play alongside novices in a manner that allows for group development and so much more.” – Bennet Bastian, Political Science and Religion AOC


The New College Fencing Club is one of the more popular teams on campus, with some 15 regular participants and a history of excelling in local tournaments. Last year the team competed against Florida Atlantic University and clubs from across the state. The team practices three days a week under the direction of team captains and coach Lawrence Levine.

Other sports clubs

New College students organize and direct clubs each year in sports as diverse as golf, basketball, running, racquetball, scuba diving, dodgeball, ultimate Frisbee and quidditch, the game created and popularized through the “Harry Potter” book series. The campus Fitness Center offers classes in yoga, pilates, Zumba and dance.

Runners train on the campus’s beautiful grounds and on scenic roads paralleling Sarasota Bay, and frequently compete in 5K, 10K, half-marathon and triathlon events sponsored by the Manasota Track Club.