Friends University Falcons
Friends University competes primarily in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics), fielding eight men’s teams, nine women’s teams and two teams in coed competitive sports.
Women’s teams are basketball, cross country, golf, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball. Men’s teams include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, soccer and tennis. The coed teams are competitive cheer and powerlifting, which competes nationally with about 50 other programs across the country.
Friends University is a Christian University of Quaker heritage founded in 1898 in Wichita. Its current enrollment is between 1,500-2,000 students. The athletic teams’ mascot was the Fighting Quakers until the 1960s when students drove development of a new mascot, Freddy Falcon. The Friends Falcons colors are scarlet and gray.
The 54-acre campus of this non-denominational private college is west of downtown Wichita and includes several athletic facilities that have undergone major renovation projects.
In 2019, Friends University joined the NFL’s New England Patriots and MLS’ Sporting KC on the short list of teams that sport IRONTURF, a new synthetic turf system that is safer, more playable and longer lasting. Friends’ Adair-Austin Stadium has been considered cutting edge since the university was the first to install a synthetic football field in Kansas in 1996 and then installed another new turf again in 2006.
Other sports facilities on the Friends University campus include the Forrest C. Lattner Tennis Courts and the Garvey P.E. Center, which houses the 2,300-capacity Garvey Gymnasium, indoor practice facilities, weight rooms, training and sports medicine facilities and serves as home to the Falcon athletics offices. In the south lobby of the Garvey Gym is the Friends University Athletic Hall of Fame, with more than 80 inductees. The Garvey Gym is also home to the Wichita Wizards, a Minor League Basketball Association team.