FORT WAYNE - Purdue University Fort Wayne says it will once again offer men's indoor and outdoor track and field. The university says the programs, which were eliminated in 2003, will return in the fall of 2019.

Purdue Fort Wayne says the decision follows a year of research and planning. It brings the number of NCAA Division I sports at the university from 14 to 16 and is expected to bring 70 new student-athletes to campus by the 2020-2021 academic year.

"We are so excited to bring men’s track and field into our program," Kelley Hartley Hutton, director of athletics, said in a news release. "We looked at the financial self-sustainability, potential impact on our other teams, coaches, and support staff, and compliance with Title IX in the decision-making process. We also considered the popularity of track and field in our region. We truly could not be happier."

Ashley Botham, who currently serves as the head coach for the university's men's and women's cross-country teams, as well as the women's track and field teams, will also become head coach of the men's indoor and outdoor track teams.

The university says men's indoor and outdoor track and field was eliminated as part of a realignment of its sports offerings.