Under the leadership of Mary Burke, the Bryant University women's basketball team reached the Northeast Championship game in March.
Bryant's second NEC Championship game appearance in DI program history adds to what has been a historic week at Bryant University. The men's basketball program won its first-ever NEC Championship on Tuesday night, earning an automatic bid to the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Championships.
At 31 years, four-time Rhode Island Women's Basketball Coach of the Year ('07, '08, '13, '14) Mary Burke is the longest-tenured coach in the history of men's and women's college basketball in Rhode Island.
"Sport has the power to change lives," Burke says. "The ability to teach women and girls teamwork, self-reliance, resilience and confidence. Women in sports make inspiring role models, and show men and women as equals."
Mentored by Burke and supported by academic excellence programs that help students achieve their full potential, members of the Women's Basketball team succeed on and off the court, with student-athletes including Alana Perkins '23, who plays guard. Bryant's Division I women's basketball team, she says, is an outstanding complement to her classroom studies.
"Sports prepares you for life by helping you build your communication, leadership and time management skills," she notes. Perkins is a Biology major on the Pre-Health Track concentrating in Psychology. "Bryant sets you up for success with all the different opportunities they provide and the networking tools you need to get your future going."
"This is an exciting time for our university and reflects our increased focus on opportunities for female students and women's leadership development," said Bryant President Ross Gittell, Ph.D.
"Bulldog athletics has a tradition of recruiting female student-athletes who are very strong academically and leaders both in the classroom and on their sports field of competition," Smith noted. "We are proud of the exceptional performance by our women's teams."
Bryant's Volleyball team won the 2021 NEC Regular-Season Champion, Bryant Women's Swimming and Diving won its fifth-straight NEC Championship, Women's Tennis won it's second NEC Championship, Women's Lacrosse won the NEC regular season championship 13 women from Field Hockey were named to NFHCA National Academic Squad and 61 percent of female student-athletes were named to the Bryant University Dean's List in the Fall of 2021.
Bryant has added three new varsity athletic programs for women beginning in 2021-22, introducing Women's Golf and Women's Bowling and elevating Women's Rowing to NCAA varsity status. All three of the new programs are competing as club programs in 2021-22, before rising to varsity status for the 2022-23 academic year.
For nearly 160 years, Bryant University has been at the forefront of delivering an exceptional education that anticipates the future and prepares students to be innovative leaders of character in a changing world. The University delivers a uniquely integrated academic and student life experience with nationally recognized academic programs at the intersection of business, STEM and the liberal arts. Located on a 428-acre contemporary campus in Smithfield, R.I., Bryant enrolls approximately 3,800 undergraduate and graduate students from 38 states and 49 countries. Bryant is recognized as a leader in international education and regularly receives top rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Money, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wall Street Journal, College Factual, and Barron's. Visit https://www.bryant.edu/.