The U.S. Coast Guard Academy Division of Athletics announced today that it will elevate the men’s and women’s club lacrosse teams to varsity status, effective with the 2014-15 academic year. The teams will compete officially for the first time as Division III intercollegiate squads playing in the NEWMAC Conference in the spring of 2015.
“This is a very significant stride for the CGA athletics program,” said Director of Athletics Tim Fitzpatrick. “It’s a great thing to be able to accommodate the interests and talents of so many cadets by bringing two very strong club programs to the varsity level. The popularity and growth of lacrosse both regionally and nationally in the recent past is very well documented. We look forward to the addition of the two lacrosse programs helping us attract more of our nation’s best and brightest student-athletes to the academy.”
The men’s lacrosse club was started by John Senyard (USCGA, Class of 1983), and competed for the first time in the spring of 1984. In 1989, having risen to the rank of Lieutenant, Senyard died tragically in an aircraft accident in Ihithi, Kenya.
The current edition of the men’s club team has enjoyed a historic season, advancing to the MCLA National Collegiate Lacrosse Championship for the first time. The Bears will play Sam Houston State today in the opening round of the MCLA tournament in Greenville, S.C. The MCLA is a national organization of non-NCAA, men’s college lacrosse programs.