Over the years Trinity has added some memorable sports teams to the athletics roster. Anything students enjoyed was fair game, including, trap and skeet, bowling, equestrian riding, and chess. While some teams have disappeared over the years, others have remained an essential part of the Trinity experience.
The Trinity bowling team began knocking down pins in the mid 1950s. The TU Intercollegiate bowling club initially had 24 members and competed in numerous bowling matches against Texas A&M and other SWC schools for several years. A bowling alley was put in where the Stumberg Fitness Center is now located for the student and faculty bowling teams to play and practice. However, in 1991 the alley had to be removed because of rising costs to keep the equipment going.
In 1953, a group of Trinity students wanted to play competitive chess and teach non-chess players the intricacies of the game. The club held tournaments against other students and faculty members and eventually started competing against other schools. The chess club also became known for their unconventional methods of advertising. Pictures in the February 2003 Trinity Life magazine featured students posing provocatively with chess pieces. These photos became posters advertising the club and were posted all over campus. A student in the magazine commented, “It’s Trinity’s version of being centerfold or on the cover of a magazine...the posters get a lot of attention and have therefore gotten the Chess Club’s name out there.”
In 1970 Trinity was the only university in the nation that offered Trap and Skeet as a course to fulfill the physical education requirement. Articles in the Trinitonian report that the program attracted many students to the school who would otherwise not have gone here and encouraged contributors who would otherwise not have contributed.
Between 1975 and 1982, the team won eight consecutive national titles. Trap and Skeet Coach Tom Hanzel retired in 1985 after winning 19 individual world championships and seven Texas skeet crowns.Trap and Skeet remains a club sport open to all men and women, regardless of skill level, and is open to all interested men and women, regardless of skill level, and can still be taken as part of the physical education requirement at Trinity; beginners are welcome.
While bowling is no longer on Trinity’s campus, the equestrian team remains, with more and more members joining each year. The team was formed in 1998 and competed in their first Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) riding competition in 1999. An equestrian team rider commented in a 2006 Trinitonian article that while “riding is not as easy as it looks, you’re supposed to make it look easy.”
Trinity provides all students with the opportunity to start their own club sport if they desire. Some newer clubs that have surfaced include an esports gaming club and a classical film club; any and all ideas are welcomed. These various clubs and sports are part of what makes the Trinity community so unique.