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The Carthage College spirit team reveals Ember, the new Firebirds mascot, during Homecoming Weeke...

Competing in one of the strongest NCAA Division III conferences provides a first-class test that Carthage athletic teams frequently ace. Need proof? Just look at the shiny new hardware in our trophy case.

At Carthage, we’re firm believers that the best education combines all of your passions — not just the academic ones. About 40 percent of our students compete in 28 different sports: 14 for women, 13 for men, and coed esports.

Firebirds don’t settle for participation ribbons, either. In 2021 and 2022, the men’s volleyball team cemented its place as a perennial power, winning back-to-back national championships. Over the years, individual student-athletes from multiple Carthage sports have also brought home 19 NCAA titles.


A Carthage football player stands on Art Keller Field during the Homecoming football game, Oct. 1...

“I chose Carthage because it’s close to home. I really like the community and was recruited for the Carthage Esports team. Everyone I met in the program is enjoyable to be around.” 
Tony Lule ’26,

“My first year at Carthage, I ran on the women’s cross country and track and field teams. It was a great way to get involved right away. The team and coaches were so supportive, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to run and race with people who love running like me!”
Emily Halfmann ’25, Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field

“Playing athletics taught me how to manage my time, work through adversity, and compete against myself and others.”
Kyle Williamson ’24, Football

We Are Firebirds

More than a team name, “Firebirds” represents a unifying Carthage spirit. The quest for knowledge has burned continuously at the College for more than 175 years.

A legendary creature made of living fire or light, the firebird appears most prominently in Slavic folk tales. Its mythological ancestors, from the Greek phoenix to the Chinese fenghuang, can be traced back thousands of years.

The name and imagery evoke words like:

“The image we want to portray, as a program, is that we will always fight,” said Brady Lindsley ’95, head coach for the men’s and women’s tennis teams. “To me, that’s exactly what a Firebird is: rising from the ashes, unable to be held down.”

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FAQs about Carthage Athletics

“Not only do I get to play a game that I love, but I also get to play with people who I consider to be my close friends.”
— Nadia Musaitef ’25, Esports

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