Brenau University athletic director Mike Lochstampfor announced Friday the school has finalized the addition of a lacrosse program, with games starting in 2018.
“It’s such a popular sport right now with the momentum it’s gained at the youth level and in high schools,” Lochstampfor said in a press release. “Even internally, we’ve had some requests from some of our current students.”
Lochstampfor plans to hire a head coach this summer and begin recruiting and marketing the program in the fall. Plans to add the program, with 18-20 players, have been in the works for a couple years now, according to Lochstampfor.
Lacrosse will be Brenau’s 11th National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics-recognized competitive sport.
Lochstampfor said the university will initially seek games against nearby colleges and universities that already play women’s lacrosse, such as Reinhardt University.
Finding a field for practice and play will be “part of the big puzzle,” Lochstampfor said.
The lacrosse program could eventually have a home at the new $4.4 million athletics facility being built at the New Holland textile mill village, in East Hall. But, so far, only the softball portion of the park is under construction.
The Golden Tigers’ home for soccer, lacrosse and other field sports is part of Phase II of the development, which will not progress until the university puts necessary financing in place, according to the release.
Although soccer and lacrosse could share a field because they do not overlap seasons, they produce different wear patters. Lochstampfor said he’s been in touch with local high schools and other entities about using their fields.
The addition of lacrosse and indoor track will bump the current number of athletes competing in varsity sports at Brenau University from 180 to 220, which will comprise about 25 percent of the Brenau enrollment on the Gainesville campus.