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3 College Senior

Athletics: Not too much average student support. Mostly friends of athletes attend the games (except homecoming obviously).

3 College Junior

Athletics: The coaches are all really great, but in my experience, the sports aren't very competitive or intense.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: Athletics are a big part of campus life at Wheaton College, but if you're not in sports it doesn't affect you much. The campus doesn't revolve around sports, even more so, sports are deemed separate from the college according to the students and many coaches.

3 College Junior

Athletics: I am not very involved in the athletics at the school. The teams are generally pretty good for a D3 school. The fan support and fan spirit is pretty low. Not many people like the football players

4 College Sophomore

Athletics: The students don't support the sports a lot. But the coaches and players are awesome. My coach was super helpful and supportive. My team was super chill and fun. Relatively we were mediocre.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Wheaton is a Division-III school, so sports are not the colossal event that they are at D-I schools. They do, however, raise substantial student support. Soccer draws the most fans (and the most enthused fans at that). You can expect to see men painted completely in orange and blue, acting as cheerleaders, shamelessly yelling, dancing, and chanting. Their enthusiasm is highly contagious, which makes soccer games perhaps the most spirited sporting event on campus. Second to that is men’s basketball, where you’ll see a sea of blue “Sixth Man” t-shirts. Football games are well-attended, but the fans are rarely rowdy. Club sports compete inter-collegiately, and though they don’t receive a big fan-following, the players do take them seriously. Both the crew and the ultimate Frisbee teams are nationally recognized. Wheaton athletes, whether varsity or club, train and compete with passion and diligence, striving to play to the best of their ability. So regardless of how frenzied the crowd is, the games are always exciting.

IM sports offer a less competitive athletic outlet for students. Some of the more obscure favorites include coed dodgeball, inner tube water polo, and bowling. Any group of students can get together and create their own team, complete with team name and uniform of their choice. Everyone on the winning team of an IM sport, whether flag football or badminton, receives the coveted IM championship T-shirt. Don’t be surprised when a fight breaks out during a close three-on-three basketball game; it’s all about the T-shirt. Except for when it’s not, of course. Many teams play more recreationally, dressing up like ‘80s pop sensations or stereotypical nerds and playing for the mere fun of it. Whatever your athletic dream, Wheaton's extensive, up-to-date facilities will help you on your way!

Facts & Statistics

Athletic Association
  • NAA
  • NCAA
Athletic Division
NCAA Division III (with football)
Athletic Conferences
Football: College Conference of Illinois and Wisc
Basketball: College Conference of Illinois and Wisc
School Colors
Blue and orange
School Nickname
Thunder (basically, a cloud and a lightning bolt)
Men Playing Varsity Sports
282 - 24%
Women Playing Varsity Sports
175 - 15%
Men's Varsity Sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Wrestling
Women's Varsity Sports
  • Basketball
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
Club Sports
  • Cheerleading
  • Crew
  • Dance team
  • Ice hockey
  • Lacrosse (men's, women's)
  • Soccer (men's)
  • Tae kwon do
  • Volleyball (men's)
  • Badminton (coed and men's)
  • Basketball (men's and women's)
  • Dodgeball (coed)
  • Flag football (men's)
  • Inner tube water polo
  • Kickball (coed)
  • Soccer, indoor and outdoor (coed and men's)
  • Softball (Chicago-style)
  • Tennis
  • Ultimate Frisbee (coed)
  • Volleyball, sand and court (coed)
Athletic Fields & Facilities
  • Chrouser Natatorium (swimming, water polo)
  • Joe Bean Stadium (soccer)
  • King Arena (basketball, volleyball, wrestling)
  • McCully Stadium (football, track)
  • Ruth Leedy Field (softball)
  • Sport and Recreation Complex (SRC)
  • Tennis Courts
  • Wrestling Room
Most Popular Sports
As for varsity sports, men's and women's soccer, football, and men's basketball receive the largest student turnouts. All the IM sports are popular, and 45 percent of the student body participates in at least one of the many options. Ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, soccer, and football pick-up games can also be found nearly every day, all over campus. Into disc golf? Well, you're in luck because Wheaton has its own course!
Most Overlooked Teams
Lacrosse and women's water polo. Many students also feel that the great talent of the women's soccer team is often overlooked.
School Spirit
A majority of Wheaton students take great pride in the College. Wheaton T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and other paraphernalia create a campus-wide sea of orange and blue. Students proudly wear the name of their college, nationally ranked in both academics and NCAA Division III athletics. Despite this great pride, not many students go crazy about Wheaton athletics. With the exception of men's soccer, men's basketball, and football, many games don't pull a big crowd. And even at crowded games, students are often content to just sit and watch, rather than hoot and holler and go crazy. With the exception, of course, of a few groups of rowdy boys, all decked out in blue and orange body paint, chanting and dancing and trying to pull the rest of the audience into the game. They're always successful in getting at least a few people to participate in their antics, which include, if you're watching a soccer game in Joe Bean Stadium, a cheer for the passing Metra train. "Gimme an M!" The school is at a high during Homecoming weekend, where festivities are kicked off in chapel, when all the students go wild trying to provoke President Litfin into putting on his Homecoming T-shirt over his dress shirt and tie, which he always does. During the weekend, the football team has a huge game attended by many alumni, and the sporty women on campus brave the football field in the beloved Powder Puff football tournament. Wheaton is not the craziest campus in terms of how far students will go in their school spirit, but students do support their teams. Whether you like to stay in your dorm during games, sit quietly and watch the games, or paint yourself entirely in blue and yell at the players as if you're on the field yourself, there's a place for you at Wheaton.
Getting Tickets
Tickets to Wheaton sporting events are sold at the door, and with the exception of Homecoming Weekend or playoff games, there will always be extra tickets. Students with a valid student ID do not have to pay admission for regular season games.
Best Place to Take a Walk
The town of Wheaton offers a multitude of neighborhood streets for your walking pleasure. If that's not your thing, the Prairie Path, a trail right off campus, is a favorite among runners, bicyclists, and walkers alike! You can also stroll into downtown Wheaton and enjoy the quaint shops, coffeehouses, and restaurants. Stop at Adams Park on your way there!
Did You Know?
  • Wheaton's 1904 basketball team participated in the first world Olympic college basketball championship, taking second place.
  • The 2004-2005 women's soccer team won the NCAA Division-III national championship title.
  • Wheaton has its own disc golf course right on campus.

Student Polls

How popular are varsity sports on campus?    Based on 57 responses

  • 2% Almost everything on campus revolves around them.
  • 35% Varsity sports are a big part of campus life.
  • 63% Varsity sporting events are attended, but not a huge part of campus life.
  • 0% No one pays attention to varsity sports.

How popular are intramurals and club sports?    Based on 54 responses

  • 39% They are just as popular as varsity sports (or even more so).
  • 44% They are overshadowed by varsity sports, but still a big part of campus life.
  • 17% Some people participate in them, but they aren't a big part of campus life.
  • 0% Almost no one participates in them.

How would you describe the athletic facilities?    Based on 55 responses

  • 11% The athletic facilities are some of the best in the country.
  • 78% Sports are important, and the quality of facilities shows that-for both athletes and non-athletes.
  • 11% The athletic facilities are good for athletes, but only mediocre for the average students.
  • 0% The athletic facilities are relatively subpar for the demands.
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