University School of Milwaukee embraces the NCAA Division III philosophy, which stresses athletic programs that support, not compete with, academics. Our goal is to offer deep, rich programs that provide opportunities for all students to participate, compete, and excel. USM supports 24 varsity sport offerings (along with many junior varsity offerings), 13 Middle School sport offerings, and a variety of intramural programs. USM also embraces the “teacher as a coach” model, providing opportunities for teachers and students to get to know each other beyond the classroom. USM offers many National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) Level 1 accredited coaches.
USM maintains a no-cut policy, which exemplifies the school’s commitment to providing athletic opportunities for all students. At the same time, the program has built and maintained a standard of excellence. Our athletic achievements include titles in girls and boys tennis, girls field hockey, girls and boys hockey, boys soccer, and girls lacrosse over the past 10 years, in addition to individual state championships in boys swimming, girls and boys tennis, and boys track and field.
USM is a member of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA), which includes public and private schools. USM is also a founding member of the Midwest Classic Conference (MCC) and competes in this conference for the majority of its sports. The MCC does not offer all of the sports in which USM competes; therefore, USM teams also participate in other conferences, or as an independent.
The Upper School offers 24 varsity sport offerings. Most varsity programs also offer lower levels of participation. Each year we are proud that more than 90% of Upper School students participate in at least one sport. More than 50% of our students participate in multiple sports and approximately 20% of our students participate in all three athletic seasons.
At University School, we offer both intramural and interscholastic offerings for students in 5th through 8th grades.
Intramural sports teams meet after school for one to two days a week. The goals of intramurals are for students to have fun, make new friends, develop team skills, and get exercise. Students in intramural sports compete against their peers at USM in a more relaxed, recreational setting.
Interscholastic sports are introduced for the first time in Middle School. Interscholastic sports teams practice several days a week and compete in games after school or on weekends. The goals for the interscholastic athletics program are to meet the needs of the students for strenuous physical activity, as well as to help them develop a sense of team play and good sportsmanship. At this level, participation, rather than winning, is our policy. Therefore, no student will be cut from a team for lack of ability.