Lynn Athletic Director Devin Crosby has structured the athletics program so that student-athletes will have the best possible collegiate experience.
He has been able to establish the Division II culture and atmosphere while also creating opportunities for head-to-head competitions against Division I schools.
Already respected in D2 sports with successful programs like soccer, golf and tennis, Crosby wanted to show that Lynn athletics is capable of competing at the D1 level. As a first step this year, he entered Lynn into the South Florida Showdown, a nine-game series of competitions that gave Fighting Knight teams the chance to compete against Division I teams in men’s soccer, men’s golf, baseball, basketball and tennis.
“I personally feel that Lynn University has one of the most competitive athletics departments in higher education,” said Crosby. “[The South Florida Showdown] was an amazing opportunity for us to compete against D1 institutions to show the country how competitive Lynn University is and to show our culture.”
Per the Lynn Athletics website, Lynn garnered a 4-4-1 record in the clash with Division I universities. Through the wins and losses, many of Lynn’s student-athletes gained valuable playing time against top-tier talent.
This year-long challenge has not only been a fun and competitive experience for the teams and the students, but it has also drawn national attention to the university. With coverage of the athletic events by the likes of Sports Illustrated, the New York Times and ESPN, the programs have received great exposure.
“[People have said] look at that school in South Florida, Lynn University, and look what they are doing. They have been very successful,” explained Crosby. “This has been amazing for our institution and amazing for our higher brand position as innovators in higher education.”
Being innovators, Lynn also makes it a priority to make sure that their athletes are physically, mentally and emotionally prepared through strong coaching and sophisticated athletic training. Crosby firmly believes that if the whole person is taken care of, the athlete will be much stronger in competition.
Since Crosby has been a part of Lynn athletics, the program has prided itself on three defining characteristics: spirit, service and strength. He humbly believes that these attributes are the core values of the athletes, and that they dictate how they act.
“I believe that success in sports is never the goal,” Crosby expressed. “I think success and winning are the byproducts of who you are and [the] culture [you create].”
While interdivisional play, like the South Florida Showdown, has many benefits, Crosby thinks that D2 works well for Lynn and that it is important Lynn remains true to its culture of innovation, success and care.
“We are happy and proud to be a member of Division II because we believe in D2 values; life in the balance and education of the whole student,” said Crosby. “[That being said], we also [are able to] display to the world that, even though we are D2 and our resources may be a little less than Division I, we can still compete at that high D1 level.”