Terra reinstates athletics program in fall

The Terra State mascot, Titan.

FREMONT – After being put on hold in 2017, Terra State Community College is finally ready to reinstate its athletics program starting this fall.

Terra State’s board of trustees approved the three sports of women’s and men’s basketball and women’s volleyball in March.

The decision to reintroduce athletics to the college campus and surrounding communities was made to help attract new students and to attract needed dollars to help assist Terra State in other areas, President Ronald Schumacher said.

“We listened to students about wanted more to do on campus and those residing in our residence halls were asking for more opportunities,” he said. “We wanted to help identify this need and, as a college, find another group of students to attract and give our students a well-rounded college experience.”

Also approved was the hiring of an athletic director, Jerry Buccilla, and the rejoining of the National Junior College Athletic

Association and the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference.

Buccilla, in addition to serving as athletic director, will be head coach for men’s and women’s basketball and budget manager.

Buccilla played high school and college basketball, playing at Groveport Madison High School where he helped lead his varsity team to a 38-6 record and two conference championships while earning all-conference and all-Ohio honors during his senior year. He also played at Heidelberg University and was inducted into the Heidelberg College Hall of Fame in 1999, ranking fifth in scoring, second in assists, most assists in a season, most seasons with 400 points or more and most games played during a single season.

Buccilla also has spent five years at Tiffin University as the head men’s basketball coach.

According to Buccilla, there are 27 students so far committed to the three sports and ready to start this fall.

The volleyball season is to kick off in August, and basketball in October.

In rejoining the NJCAA and OCCAC, Buccilla said student athletes also have the opportunity to earn athletic scholarships.

“This gives our students a great opportunity to play collegiately,” Buccilla said. “I am very excited to be able to offer this to our students.”

Also available to students is for student to be able to play at Terra State if they do not meet the requirements at their current or previous school. For example, if they do not meet grade requirements, Schumacher said they can play at Terra State until they are accepted back into their institution.

Three head coaching positions have been approved, one for each sport. Joining Buccilla are volleyball coaches Stephanie Champine and Shaun Dryden.

Terra State will prepare the Student Activities Center for intercollegiate sports through a one-time capital allocation of $60,000-$90,000. Between income projections and estimated expenses, the college looks to gain close to $40,000 per year by filling the rosters.

Schumacher said Terra State has worked on filling the roles of serving adult students, traditional college students, College Credit Plus students, transfer students and being a strong part of part of the community of Fremont and surrounding areas. Now, according to Schumacher, Terra State is fulfilling the role for student athletes.

“We just want to be able to give students another option,” he said.

For those interested, visit www.terra.edu.