Wilmington University (D2 DE) Adds Men's Lacrosse

NEWARK, Del. - - The Wilmington University athletic department is proud to announce the addition of men's lacrosse to its expanding family starting competition in the spring of 2018.

The added sport will bring Wilmington's total up to 14 varsity programs. Men's lacrosse has long been a staple in the Mid-Atlantic and is a continuing trend in Delaware. Being located along the I-95 corridor, Wilmington University will look to add to the East Coast bias and help the expansion of already rapidly growing sport.

 "It's an exciting time for the athletic department with the addition of men's lacrosse," Director of Athletics Linda Van Drie-Andrzjewski said. "Not only does it mean growth within the department here at Wilmington, it means growth within the CACC and the sport of men's lacrosse in state of Delaware."

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The Most Frustrating Excuse Athletic Departments Use to Not Add Lacrosse

As the popularity of lacrosse grows across the nation college Athletic Directors at schools that do not sponsor the sport are being asked more and more if their school will add the sport in the future.  The majority of the time the ADs response is ‘not likely’ and falls into two categories.  They blame the cost associated with adding lacrosse, and or the challenges associated with adding a male sport while maintaining Title IX proportionality.  Both of these challenges have some validity to them, but as we have seen in recent years they can be overcome.   Big donors can step up to cover the costs associated with adding lacrosse and or a women’s team can be added to maintain proportionality.  Each of these are easier said than done, but at least there is a path to varsity status.

However, there is a third excuse that athletic departments also love to make.  One that should be extremely frustrating to the lacrosse community.  It’s most recent use was when Michigan State was asked in an article about the possibility of returning its program to varsity status.

“Currently Michigan State is focusing on getting its 25 other sports up to a competitive national level,” said Michigan State Athletic spokesperson Matt Larson.

This excuse is being used more and more by athletic departments when asked about adding lacrosse.  Why do they like it so much?  Because it leaves no path to adding the sport.  A donor can’t write a big check, adding a women’s sport isn’t enough….no, it depends on the success of EVERY OTHER SPORT.  Something no one can control but those teams themselves. And how is their success measured?  If every Michigan State team wins a national championship this year do we get lacrosse?  It’s a purposely vague and subjective response that leaves little hope for their lacrosse community.  

Michigan State is not unique… every athletic department in the nation is in a constant state of working to get their sports up to a competitive national level.  Unfortunately, when this is their position on adding lacrosse it tells us they are also in a constant state of impeding the sports return to varsity status.

Willamette University (D3 OR) Adds Women's Lacrosse

SALEM, Ore. – Willamette University Athletics Director Valerie Cleary has announced that the NCAA Division III Bearcats will hire a head coach for women's lacrosse in the spring of 2017 with the goal of competing within the Northwest Conference in the spring of 2019. "

After careful consideration of levels of interest in high school sports, student interest surveys completed on campus last spring, and competition available within the Northwest Conference, lacrosse quickly emerged as the top candidate for Willamette's new women's sport," Cleary said.

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Upper Iowa University (DII) and Central Christian College (KS NAIA) Add Lacrosse

Upper Iowa University and the Athletics Department is proud to announce that women's lacrosse will become the 16th varsity sport for the Peacocks with the first team set to compete in the 2018-19 academic year. A search for a full-time head coach will begin immediately with the position starting early this spring (2017) to establish recruiting, schedules and other day-to-day operations for the new program. The program's first competition will take place in spring 2019.

The team will compete and train at Harms-Eischeid Stadium. "We are excited to add women's lacrosse to our Athletics Department and provide new opportunities to new students looking at Upper Iowa University as their top choice for higher education," said President William R. Duffy II. "The caliber of student-athletes who compete in lacrosse will be an asset for our university, and we look forward to these young women becoming UIU leaders inside and outside of the classroom."

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The Central Christian College Board of Trustees and the President's Cabinet have approved the addition of Men's Lacrosse beginning in the Fall of 2017. The announcement was made late last week by Central Christian Director of Athletics, Steve "Twiggs" Reed. When Reed was hired in the summer of 2015, one of the projects he was tasked with by CCC President, Hal Hoxie, was to begin looking at other NAIA championship sports that could be added to the College's lineup of athletic programs, that would help place in CCC in the national spotlight, and also help to boost enrollment.

In his first year at the helm, Reed added men's wrestling to the docket, and after many months of research the decision was made to start a men's lacrosse program at CCC. Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States and has been gaining popularity here in the central states over the past decade. Currently it is listed as an invitational sport in the NAIA with 30 schools sponsoring a program.

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