The ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced on July 14, 2016, that Janine Pleasant has been named as the first head coach for the Buccaneers’ new women’s triathlon team, which will begin competition in the fall of 2016.
“We are extremely excited to introduce Coach Pleasant and to be talking about our newest women’s sport here at ETSU,” said ETSU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Richard Sander. “Janine has the background and knowledge we needed to help us launch this program, which is an emerging sport in the NCAA.”
Pleasant, who graduated from ETSU with a computer science degree in 1986, worked in the corporate world as an Information Technology Specialist for over 20 years before beginning a career as a swimming and triathlon coach. She competed in her first triathlon in 1998 and has completed two full Ironman races. She has also participated in over 100 shorter competitions.
Pleasant is a USAT Level 1 coach, as well as an AAAI/ISMA certified Personal Trainer. She has also served as the race director for two sprint and one Olympic triathlon held in Kingsport.
The Buccaneers are launching this new triathlon program in coordination with USA Triathlon and the USA Triathlon Foundation, which announced last summer that eight collegiate institutions would benefit from a share of the $2.6 million, multi-year Women’s Triathlon Emerging Sport Grant, created to drive the establishment of NCAA women’s varsity triathlon programs.
This funding program—the first of its kind ever offered to an NCAA Emerging Sport—is being provided by the USA Triathlon Foundation, with approximately $480,000 to be awarded this year and a total of $980,000 through the 2017-18 season.
ETSU joins programs such as Arizona State University, Queens University of Charlotte, Drury University, Black Hills State University, the University of West Alabama, Concordia University Wisconsin, and North Central College as the initial eight programs to receive grant funding.