UNA Selected to Host Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Esports Competition
Nov. 08, 2023
FLORENCE, AL – The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) has named the University of North Alabama as the site of the Spring 2024 home of the statewide Esports competition, an event that will bring high school students and coaches from dozens of high schools from across Alabama.
“I am confident that the Guillot University Center on the UNA campus will provide a great experience and opportunity for our athletes to compete and represent their schools and communities in this still emerging sport,” said David Holtsford, Coordinator for Digital Media for the AHSAA. “I am excited for the future of Esports in Alabama.”
UNA is home to a vibrant and thriving Esports program that was founded on campus just a few years ago. With around a dozen students actively participating before 2019, the program now has grown to more than 120 UNA students regularly participating. The University has already hosted a number of local tournaments for area and regional high school Esports teams and community members.
“Our Esports program has grown tremendously, and there is so much energy among the group,” said Mark Linder, a faculty advisor as well as a lecturer in Sport and Recreation Management in the College of Education and Human Sciences. “We are thrilled to be able to welcome high school coaches and teams from across Alabama.”
Linder said UNA is also creating an Esports academic program that, pending funding as well as approval from accrediting agencies, will provide a pathway for employment post-graduation for students active in UNA Esports. The academic program could launch as early as Spring 2025.
About The University of North Alabama
The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering credential, certificate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs in the colleges of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering; Business and Technology; Education and Human Sciences; and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. The first-choice University for more than 10,000 on-campus and online students, UNA is on a bucolic campus in Florence, Alabama, part of the historic and vibrant Shoals region. Lions Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/