Matt Land
Athletic Director

Being a member of the nation's oldest collegiate athletic conference, the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA), seeing more than 850 student-athletes participate in 26 varsity sports, in addition to nine club sports, and having some of the finest facilities to field exciting NCAA Division III competitive events is what makes Trine athletes know their college experience will be something they will remember the rest of their lives. The recent addition of athletic programs such as men's and women's ice hockey, esports, men's and women's bowling, women's triathlon, synchronized ice skating, figure skating and acrobatics and tumbling programs make this an exciting time in the history of our athletic programs. We invite you to be a part of Thunder history.

Trine University prides itself on strong academic programs. As we begin to look at our 135th year in existence as a university, the athletic department works closely with and understands the needs of our student athletes in order for them to meet the demands necessary to achieve the academic excellence needed to prepare for work and future challenges.

Our facilities continue to meet the expansion and growth of our athletic programs with the recent completion of the Thunder Ice Arena and MTI Center.  We continue to make improvements to our already existing facilities to make them some of the finest venues in the region and all of NCAA Division III.  

The on–campus 18-hole championship golf course and 3500 seat gymnasium have allowed us to host several collegiate tournaments. Zollner Golf Course and Trine athletics also served as the host of the 2012 NCAA Women′s National Golf Championship.

It is with great pride that we invite you to experience Trine athletics and to extend to you an open invitation to contact us. Better yet – come visit us at "Thunder Park" on the campus of Trine University and experience the THUNDER!


The softball team got its start in the mid-1980s and enjoyed some early success. Under early leadership, the team was able to be an NAIA District 21 contender finishing as runner up in 1990 under the leadership of Linda Beeler who was named “Coach of the Year” for the region by the National Softball Coaches Association.

Head coach Donnie Danklefsen took the helm for the 2005 season as the team made its debut in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) and in the NCAA Division III. After just two seasons the team was an MIAA contender winning their first conference championship in 2007 and then repeating the next two years.

The team did not stop there going on to become a national contender with a current streak of 12 consecutive NCAA Division III Regional appearance. They have won four Regionals and three Super-Regionals, making three appearances in the NCAA Division III National Championships from 2014 to 2019, including a third-place finish in the 2019 campaign.

Thunder players hold several national records. During the 2015 season, Carly Searles became NCAA Division IIIs all-time leader in hits, triples and runs scored. Sarah Belote holds the national records for most home runs, RBIs and total bases in a game. Three Thunder players have tied the national record with two home runs in an inning.

In its program history, Trine has a combined 15 All-American awards (NAIA & NCAA) earned. Thunder pitchers have earned MIAA Most Valuable Pitcher six times and players have earned Most Valuable Player five times.

A total of 109 All-Conference honors have been earned by Trine players (WHAC & MIAA) with 55 first-team selections.