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University of Rio Grande Adding Football and Marching Band in Fall ‘25

The growth phase at University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College continues with the announcement of both football and marching band coming to campus in the fall of 2025.

After a hiatus of nearly 75 years, the decision to bring back football to Rio Grande comes as part of the institution's ongoing commitment to enriching student life and fostering community engagement. President Ryan Smith expressed his enthusiasm for this historic decision, stating, "Football is a cherished tradition in Ohio, and we believe the time is now to revive it here at Rio. This initiative not only enhances the vibrancy of our campus but also strengthens our bond with the southern Ohio community." 

The addition of these two programs is poised to invigorate campus life, with an anticipated initial influx of 150-200 students. And this growth is projected to expand further in the coming years. The initial phase of football's reintroduction will focus on assembling a coaching staff, including a head coach and two assistants, who will begin recruitment efforts in the fall of 2024. Discussions with Jackson High School are underway, with plans to utilize their facilities for home games during the inaugural seasons.

In tandem with the football program, Rio Grande is proud to announce the establishment of a marching band, adding another dimension of cultural and artistic expression to campus life. The institution will begin the process of hiring a band director to lead this exciting initiative.

Rio will play in the NAIA’s Appalachian Athletic Conference.

The reintroduction of football and the introduction of a marching band mark significant milestones in the university's storied history.