Tag Archives: Varsity

NAIA Lacrosse: St. Gregory’s University (OK) Adds Men’s Lacrosse As Varsity Sport In 2014-15; Growth Of Lacrosse In State Cited As Primary Reason

St. Gregory's Men's LacrosseLacrosse has grown in popularity in Oklahoma, part of a larger national trend. More than 100,000 boys participate in high school lacrosse nationally, according to the NFHS.

It is not currently recognized as one of the NAIA’s championship programs, but there are more than 30 NAIA schools offering men’s lacrosse. Potter said SGU will play a hybrid of NAIA, NCAA and college club teams. The Cavaliers will compete at Fr. Victor Roberts Field, currently the home venue of the men’s and women’s soccer teams.

“We are beginning to see several high schools in our region add lacrosse, so we want to be proactive in being able to offer it here,” said Potter, who indicated that women’s lacrosse may be looked at as a future addition to SGU’s athletic offerings.

St. Gregory’s University will add three varsity sports for the start of the 2014-2015 academic year, athletics director Jeff Potter announced Wednesday. Men’s and women’s swimming and diving in addition to men’s lacrosse will bring SGU’s total offering of athletics programs to 17.

Potter said the university has already begun a search to fill the staffing needs of all three sports.

“Swimming and diving is an underserved sport in our region, and lacrosse has been identified as one of the most rapidly growing games in the United States,” said SGU President Greg Main. “We are excited to be adding these programs and look forward to providing SGU’s quality educational experience to future students who may be interested in them.”

SGU joins Oklahoma Baptist as the only varsity collegiate swim teams in Oklahoma. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), of which SGU is a member, has sponsored swimming since the 1950s. Swimming is similar to track and field in that athletes qualify for the NAIA’s national meet by meeting time standards.

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), approximately 33,000 high school students at more than 900 schools participate in swimming programs in Oklahoma’s six-state region.

“We feel like there are several potential students we can attract to SGU who may otherwise leave the state to continue their careers collegiately,” Potter said.

SGU added men’s golf to its list of athletics programs earlier this year and men’s and women’s track, men’s and women’s cross country and women’s golf in 2012.

For more:  http://www.sgucavaliers.com/article/577.php

NCAA Lacrosse: University Of Colorado Women’s Lacrosse Elevated To NCAA Div I Status On Growth And Success Of State’s Club And High School Lacrosse Programs

CU Athletic Director Mike Bohn cites that trend, as well as the interest generated by organizations such as Team 180 Sports, the state’s premier club program, as making CU’s move toward lacrosse a natural. In last November’s early national signing period for the Class of 2012, 19 members of Team 180 accepted scholarship offers from schools that rank among the heavyweights of college lacrosse. When everything is in place, CU believes it can look in its backyard for many of its top prospects, competing only with DU in Division I for talent that wants to stay in-state.

For the first time in 16 years, the University of Colorado is adding a new sport – and from all indications, the fit will be as natural for Boulder as the Flatirons.

Women’s lacrosse is joining CU’s athletic lineup, with competition scheduled to begin in the spring of 2014. The addition of women’s lacrosse will push CU’s number of sports to 17, a figure that includes women’s competition in basketball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, golf, skiing, cross country and track and field.

Before briefing the school’s Board of Regents on Wednesday night, Athletic Director Mike Bohn said the presence of a “strong (lacrosse) club team on campus reflects a strong interest from students, but more importantly it’s the fastest growing sport within the state of Colorado amongst girls.”
Bohn added, “We recognize the importance of bolstering our participation numbers and meeting our Title IX obligations.”

For budgetary reasons, CU cut seven sports in 1980 and another (men’s tennis) in 2005. However, three women’s sports were added – volleyball (1986), golf (1994), and soccer (1996).

Why add women’s lacrosse and not another sport? Bohn and Associate Athletic Director Julie Manning said six or seven other sports were scrutinized before the department settled on lacrosse.

“We factored in the weather and the fact that it’s a spring sport and the existing facilities and infrastructure that exist within our program,” Bohn said. “All of that provides an appropriate fit for us to take advantage of the growth in the state and the popularity of the sport.”

And there’s no doubting that lacrosse’s popularity is on the rise at the NCAA level and higher. According to a US Lacrosse Participation Survey in 2010, men’s and women’s lacrosse were the fastest growing sports at the NCAA level over the past five years. In 2010, a total of 32,431 players competed on club and varsity teams, up 2.6 percent from 2009. The number of men’s programs had increased 22.4 percent during that span, with the number of women’s programs rising 30.3 percent.

Also, lacrosse at the professional level in Denver – the Denver Outlaws of Major League Lacrosse (outdoor) and the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League (indoor) – has surged beyond being merely well-received. Inside Lacrosse magazine named Denver the nation’s No. 1 lacrosse city in 2009, and attendance figures justify it.

The Outlaws averaged 12,331 in 2011 – their sixth consecutive season of leading the MLL in attendance – while the Mammoth’s 15,037 average last season was second only to Buffalo (16,605) in the NLL.

At the club level in Colorado, no one has monitored the sport’s burgeoning popularity like Sam Bartron, who eight years ago founded Team 180 Sports and now is considered the in-state matriarch of women’s lacrosse.

During last November’s early signing period, 19 senior members of Bartron’s Team 180 accepted college scholarships. The breakdown: 15 are headed to NCAA Division I schools, one to Division II, three to Division III.

Of those 19 players, Bartron said only one was staying in-state (Regis), and Bartron wondered aloud what the presence of another Division I women’s program (CU joins the University of Denver) would do toward keeping homegrown talent at home.

“If (CU) had a program up and running, many of those girls would have considered it,” Bartron said. “The growth of the sport has been so fast in Colorado, it’s just unbelievable how quickly it’s happened. In just 10 years, it’s like, ‘Wow, it’s completely blossomed.’

“Hands down, this is one of the more exciting things that’s happened around here; it’s the best news I’ve heard in a long, long time. But the biggest piece of the news is the opportunity now for girls to play locally. This state produces a lot of top athletes; that’s good news for CU.”

And it should be for DU, she noted: “Competition breeds excellence. Having another Division I program ups the ante for everybody. It will be interesting to follow.”

Also, as pointed out by Danielle Bernstein – Inside Lacrosse’s Online Editor and a CU club lacrosse player and 2008 journalism graduate – the addition of another Division I lacrosse team in Colorado should benefit scheduling for both schools.

Wrote Bernstein: “Having two teams in the state gives teams traveling to Colorado more bang for their buck with the ability to get two games in over a couple of days versus making the trip and just getting a game against DU in.”

And like Bartron, Bernstein believes CU’s lacrosse staff will be able to take long satisfying looks in-state when the time arrives to begin recruiting. She believes the return looks from top Colorado prospects will be reciprocal.

“. . . a team at CU gives these (Colorado) players a place they can potentially continue their careers without having to look to the coasts in order to achieve their goals,” Bernstein wrote. “Should CU be able to capitalize on a strong talent pool within the state, while also pulling some players from more traditional hotbeds — which I would think is extremely feasible, have you seen the campus?! — they’ll be able to put together a competitive program from the beginning.”

The 15 members of Team 180’s Class of 2012 headed for Division I programs are bound for schools also boasting prestigious academics – Stanford, Duke, Princeton, to name three. Bartron is certain CU can offer competition on that front, too.

“What I’m seeing with lot of these athletes is that they’re headed to what you would call pretty good academic schools,” she said. “I think you could honestly say that Duke, Stanford and Princeton are on the high end academically . . . I think CU would be just as good a fit for them.”

A nationwide search for a coach will be conducted, said Bohn, adding CU already has had “significant interest from coaches across the country, which is certainly encouraging.”

Also, with a sport being added, there will be a trickledown effect in several areas of the CU athletic department. “We’re obviously evaluating the ability to enhance our strength and conditioning staff, our sports medicine staff, our sports information staff to accommodate this sport,” Bohn said. “(Lacrosse) will be a wonderful addition because many of those areas are stressed to the point where having additional help will be very beneficial.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for the university and for the lacrosse community to be able to work with us and be able to build something very special in the spring time that we’re very, very excited about.”


Q: When will competition begin?
A: Spring, 2014.

Q: Where will competition be held?
A: On campus, possibly at Kittredge Field, but the site is to be determined. Folsom Field’s current dimensions for football do not meet lacrosse specifications.

Q: Where will the lacrosse facilities, specifically locker rooms, be located?
A: Initially, the team is scheduled to use locker rooms/facilities at the Coors Events Center.

Q: How many scholarships are slotted for lacrosse?
A: 12.

Q: How large a roster will the lacrosse team have?
A: Typically, the roster numbers 25-28.

Q: How many coaches comprise a lacrosse staff?
A: Usually, a head coach and two assistants.

Q: What other in-state schools compete in women’s lacrosse?
A: The University of Denver on the Division I level, Regis and the Air Force Academy in Division II.

Q: Does the Pac-12 Conference include women’s lacrosse?
A: Yes. But only four schools – Stanford, California, Oregon and Southern California – have programs in place. USC announced in 2010 it would start a women’s program and begin competition in 2012-13.

Q: Does the Pac-12 crown a lacrosse champion?
A: No. The three Pac-12 schools that have women’s programs up and running for this spring compete in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with five other schools – DU, the University of California-Davis, Saint Mary’s, San Diego State and Fresno State. NCAA rules stipulate that a conference must have six participating teams to have an automatic tournament qualifier.

Q: How big is women’s lacrosse in Colorado?
A: Very – and it’s growing. CU Athletic Director Mike Bohn cites that trend, as well as the interest generated by organizations such as Team 180 Sports, the state’s premier club program, as making CU’s move toward lacrosse a natural. In last November’s early national signing period for the Class of 2012, 19 members of Team 180 accepted scholarship offers from schools that rank among the heavyweights of college lacrosse. When everything is in place, CU believes it can look in its backyard for many of its top prospects, competing only with DU in Division I for talent that wants to stay in-state.

Q: Is it common for Pac-12 schools to compete in different conferences in such instances?
A: Yes; there are many examples of this.  The Pac-12 doesn’t sponsor an indoor track championships, and those with programs compete in the MPSF.  The ski team competes in the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA).  So it is quite common.

Q: Will CU immediately compete on the Division I level?
A: Yes; the inaugural game is a little over two years away as the NCAA lacrosse season begins in mid-February and runs through mid-May, with teams allowed 17 days of competition; most schedule 15 or 16 regular season games plus one or two exhibitions. 

Contact: BG.Brooks@Colorado.EDU

NCAA Lacrosse: University Of Colorado Women’s Lacrosse Could Be Elevated To Varsity Status According To Reports From Athletic Department

Women’s lacrosse is the most likely sport to be added to the Colorado athletic department later this spring based on startup costs, annual costs of funding the program, a growing local recruiting base and the ability to compete regionally and with other Pac-12 Conference opponents.

Athletic director Mike Bohn told the Camera over the weekend the school plans to announce the addition of a women’s sport this spring, but he would not say which sport it will be.

Bohn acknowledged Monday that girls lacrosse is the fastest growing sport at the high school level in Colorado and much of the rest of the nation and that it would make sense for many reasons for CU to add women’s lacrosse.

“Anytime we have the opportunity to bolster our commitment to women’s sports opportunities, it helps our reputation across the country,” Bohn said. “With lacrosse’s popularity growing nationally and in Colorado, it’s an extremely viable option for us to consider.”

Starting a women’s lacrosse program would involve minimal costs because the program could practice on the football practice fields or the practice bubble which already are in place. There would be no need for new facilities investment, as would be the case for softball, because home games could be played in Folsom Field.

The primary startup costs would be hiring a coaching staff, purchasing uniforms and equipment and funding recruiting and scholarships for recruits. Women’s lacrosse teams typically feature approximately 25 players, though not all of those players receive scholarship money.

For more:  http://www.dailycamera.com/cu-college-sports/ci_19708073

Western College Lacrosse: Dedication Of The “Caven Lacrosse Field” At The University Of Texas Has Supporters Anticipating Texas Men’s And Women’s Lacrosse Being Elevated To Varsity Status

Caven Lacrosse Field at the University of Texas

Texas Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse will practice and play their home games at the new Caven Lacrosse and Sports Center at Clark Field following a mutimillion-dollar project. It is an NCAA-caliber field that may serve as a prelude to the University of Texas elevating lacrosse to Varsity Division I status in the near future. The $4 million renovation was made possible through $3 million in private donations and $1 million from the university’s recreational sports department.



NCAA Div I Lacrosse Programs: Michigan Men’s Lacrosse Is “Almost Certain” To Be Elevated To “Varsity” Status Next Month As “Necessary Financial Resources” Are In Place

The decision to add men’s soccer and women’s water polo as the 24th and 25th sports came in 1999, and Michigan — like a lot of schools — hasn’t promoted any to the varsity level since, as Martin instead focused on improving the facilities and the bottom line.

More than a decade later, the aging facilities have gotten a serious facelift and the department — Brandon officially took over the AD post a year ago next week — is running an annual surplus, projected at nearly $5 million for the 2011 fiscal year.

In the interim, Paul and others were busy building a foundation themselves, raising money — Paul landed his first six-figure donor for the lacrosse club program about five years ago — and raising standards. Especially in terms of recruiting, where Paul manages to land some Division I-caliber talent.

A long-awaited decision to elevate lacrosse to varsity status at the university — once a pipe dream — now seems certain, with the full support of athletic director David Brandon.

And although Brandon and Paul insist it’s too early to celebrate, with necessary financial commitments yet to be secured, an announcement could come next month.

Varsity lacrosse beginning in the spring of 2013?

“It’s exciting and I’m hopeful, but it’s not a done deal yet,” Brandon said. “We have to finish the task, and that is to get the resources we need to make it happen.”

Now the team plays in — and dominates — the 25-team Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association, winning 10 of the last 12 titles. And Michigan, with a cash budget of close to $600,000 these days, thanks in large part to Paul’s tireless fundraising push, has become the gold standard in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association, a collection of more than 200 “virtual varsity” teams in 10 conferences nationwide. Michigan, which boasts a 65-1 record since 2008, is the three-time defending MCLA champion.

Throw in the sponsor support of adidas — part of Michigan’s eight-year, $60 million apparel deal — as well as Warrior and Riddell (yes, winged helmets), and Paul’s team doesn’t just act like a Division I-caliber program, it looks the part, too.

Minus the scholarships, that is. Players pay $3,500 in annual dues to play for Michigan, rather than getting a discount on tuition, room and board, as they would with a partial scholarship as a varsity athlete.

“Varsity-level resources, because we’ve been able to fund those resources ourselves, is what has transformed our program,” Paul said. “We always said we were kind of like a varsity program. Now we really are one, with what we require of the guys and what they expect from us, too.”

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110325/OPINION03/103250339/Michigan-lacrosse-is-set-to-net-big-reward#ixzz1HcVXJok8

Southern California High School Girls Lacrosse: Agoura High School Annouces Varsity Girls Lacrosse Program To Compete In CIF Sanctioned Schedule

Like the boys’ lacrosse team before them, the girls’ team was approved as a pilot program for the next three years. Parents will be responsible for the financial support of the team. They estimate the cost will run between $28,000 and $30,000 per year.

The girls at Agoura High School just want what the boys have—at least when it comes to fielding a lacrosse team.

The boys’ lacrosse team, approved as a varsity sport at Agoura High by the Las Virgenes Unified School District Board of Education last spring, apparently

Agoura High School will have a female lacrosse team ready to compete in the spring. A boys’ varsity lacrosse team was approved by the school board last spring. Now the girls will be able to compete “like any other varsity team at the school,” according to Rob Fiance, who spearheaded formation of the boys

served as a model—and motivation—for the girls. The female lacrosse team won approval from the school board on Oct. 12.

Board approval means that Agoura High School now has an official California Interscholastic Federation girls’ lacrosse team ready to compete in the spring.

“I’m very excited that (my) last year in high school I’ll be able to represent my school and community in lacrosse,” said Agoura High senior and lacrosse team captain Beth Maiman.

“As far as (girls’ lacrosse) being approved, it’s important for boys and girls to have the opportunity to play because it’s the fastest growing sport in the country right now.”

She said she was grateful to all the people who supported the team, including the school board, Agoura High officials and parents.

Rob Fiance, the man behind the formation of Agoura High’s boys’ lacrosse team, said that the girls will now be able to compete like any other varsity team at the school.

Fiance has been pushing for local high school lacrosse teams since 2001, when he formed a club league with other like-minded parents, including Mike Spagnoli, Jim Felber and Geoff Sebold. He said that they all grew up back east where the sport was wildly popular.

 “The goal was always to start with a youth league, then a club sport and then varsity,” Fiance said.

Like the boys’ lacrosse team before them, the girls’ team was approved as a pilot program for the next three years. Parents will be responsible for the financial support of the team. They estimate the cost will run between $28,000 and $30,000 per year.

More important than the cost, which will be supported by frequent fundraisers, is the chance for the girls to compete on a regional scale with other high school teams. Fiance said most high schools, including Thousand Oaks, Westlake, Oak Park and schools in Simi Valley, have successful lacrosse teams for boys and girls.

Fiance described lacrosse as “fast-moving, with a lot of scoring.” He said the game is exciting and “action packed” because the ball is thrown and caught with a stick. Because lacrosse demands a lot of passing and teamwork, the sport encourages heartfelt camaraderie, he said.

Rob Fiance’s wife, Beth, said that the sport requires a lot of finesse and speed. “Kids love it,” she said. “They use their whole body.” But girls’ lacrosse differs in terms of physical contact with teammates, which means less protective gear is needed during play.

So far, there are 22 girls on Agoura High’s first girls’ lacrosse team, she said.

Rob Fiance said that organizing the girls’ team has taken a lot of time, but they have received tremendous support from administrators.

Agoura High School Principal Larry Misel said that if a need arises for a new program at the school, he will do his best to fulfill the need.

“It’s about the kids,” Misel said. “We want to be supportive. I’m proud that the girls want to be competitive.”

For more:   http://www.theacorn.com/news/2010-11-11/Schools/Agoura_will_have_girls_lacrosse.html

Western NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Programs: USC Athletic Director Pat Haden States That USC Will ADD Women’s Lacrosse As A Varsity Sport

The USC Athletic Director Pat Haden stated on the USC Athletics Twitter page: 

“We are going to add some sports. I believe we are going to add women’s sand volleyball and we’re talking about a lacrosse program.”

At about 12:30 p.m. Pacific, USC athletics broke the news on its Twitter page with a quote from athletic director Pat Haden. “We are going to add some sports,” Haden said. “I believe we are going to add women’s sand volleyball, and we’re talking about a lacrosse program.”

Sports information director Tim Tessalone confirmed the tweet.

“USC is moving strongly in that direction of adding a women’s lacrosse program,” Tessalone told Lacrosse Magazine Online’s Clare Lochary. “Nothing has been officially announced. We hope to have more info in the near future.”

USC currently competes as a member of the US Lacrosse Women’s Division Intercollegiate Associates (WDIA) club system. The Trojans went 7-10 in 2010.

For more:   http://www.laxmagazine.com/college_women/DI/2010-11/news/101410_usc_women_richmond_men_may_go_varsity_in_lacrosse