At Mercer, our Bears are true student-athletes. Not only do they compete, they compete well — both on the fields and courts and in the classroom.
The mission of the Mercer University Athletic Department is to develop well-rounded student-athletes academically, athletically and socially. The program is committed to integrity, sportsmanship and equal opportunity for all students and staff.
Mercer University is an NCAA Division I institution and competes in the Southern Conference. Mercer first fielded an athletic team in January 1892 when its football team played the University of Georgia in Athens. It was the first college football game played in the state and one of the first in the Southeast. Mercer, in the fall of that year, would defeat Georgia Tech in its first football game ever.
Mercer Athletic Teams
Men's and Women's Sports
Mercer Athletic Foundation
Established in 2008, the Mercer Athletic Foundation is the fundraising arm of the Mercer University Athletic Department. Its mission is to raise funds to help increase athletic scholarships, upgrade facilities and recruit and retain top-level coaches.
Mercer athletes are true student-athletes with emphasis placed equally on performance in the classroom as well as on the playing field or court.
- Mercer placed a Southern Conference-best 336 student-athletes on the league’s 2020-21 honor roll, continuing the University’s streak of having the most selections, which has happened every academic year since becoming a SoCon member. The 336 nominees are 108 more than the second place institution. The Bears also had 91 Commissioner’s Medal recipients and 39 student-athletes with a perfect 4.0 GPA for the academic year.
- Graduation success rate: 93%
- Overall student-athlete GPA: 3.452
- Mercer softball player Allie Jones is the recipient of the 2021 Dorothy Hicks Scholarship. Jones, a two-year captain for the Bears, has collected many athletic accolades, capped off by her selection to the 2021 all-conference second team. The Calhoun, Georgia, native was named to the All-Freshman team in 2018 despite playing with a nagging injury. She earned the starting nod in center field her sophomore season, where she was a preseason all-conference selection. Jones was tabbed as a preseason second-team all-conference selection in the COVID-shortened 2020 season but was honored for her work in the classroom, being named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District first team and becoming just Mercer’s second CoSIDA All-American when she was selected to the third team. She’s also been named the Academic All-SoCon Team twice. In the classroom, Jones has maintained a 4.0 GPA despite a rigorous class schedule while majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology. She is a member of the Phi Eta Honor Society and the American Chemical Society and has participated in several research projects, ranging from traditional chemistry to a more biochemistry-focused investigation, and presented her findings at multiple conferences. Despite her busy schedule, Jones has found a way to be involved in the community, volunteering over 1,700 hours in a range of roles from shadowing doctors, tutoring, and serving as a softball camp instructor to assisting at the local food bank, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, and helping with the toy drive for Jay’s Hope, an organization that aims to bring joy to children with cancer. She plans to become a physician.
The Southern Conference is a national leader in emphasizing the development of the student-athlete and in helping to build lifelong leaders and role models. Member schools, in addition to Mercer University, include: The Citadel, East Tennessee State University, Furman University, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Samford University, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Virginia Military Institute, Western Carolina University and Wofford College.
- The University Center at Mercer is the heart of Mercer athletics and student life. Known to Mercerians as the UC, it is one of the premier playing arenas and fitness facilities in the conference. The UC provides a welcoming and accommodating space for athletes, the press and fans and is one of the most sought after event venues in Central Georgia. It houses the Mercer Athletic Department
- Betts Stadium, home of men’s and women’s soccer
- OrthoGeorgia Park Claude Smith Field, home of the baseball team
- Five Star Stadium, home of football and men’s and women’s lacrosse
- Hawkins Arena, home of men’s and women’s basketball teams and volleyball
- Leroy Peddy Tennis Center, home of men’s and women’s tennis
- Bear Beach Volleyball Complex, home of beach volleyball
- Sikes Field, home of the softball team
Hall of Fame
The Mercer Athletic Hall of Fame now consists of 183 members. These men and women made invaluable contributions to the University either participating as a student-athlete, coach or some other athletic-related capacity. View the members of this prestigious group.
Several exquisite cases display the history of Mercer Athletics in the foyer of the UC’s main entrance, just outside the arena. In addition to cases depicting historic moments in Mercer sports history, others are dedicated to recognizing other University achievements.