William Peace University Adds NCAA Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse

August 26, 2016
William Peace University Adds NCAA Men's and Women's Lacrosse

William Peace University is proud to announce the addition of Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse to its athletics roster. With the additions, WPU becomes the only higher education institution in the Raleigh area to offer NCAA men’s lacrosse. The University will immediately conduct a national search for a head coach and staff, explore development strategies, and begin recruiting student-athletes for competition with an anticipated start date of spring 2018.

“We are thrilled to be adding the exciting and growing sport of lacrosse to Pacer Athletics,” said Brian C. Ralph, Ph.D., President of William Peace University. “Our student-athletes are difference makers in competition, in the classroom and in the community. I am confident our new lacrosse teams will be substantive contributors to campus life and our academic programs.  We all look forward to welcoming these new Pacers and cheering them on.”

Men’s and women’s lacrosse will become the 13th and 14th intercollegiate programs at the university, respectively. Since transitioning to a coeducational university in 2012-13, WPU has added eight intercollegiate programs.

Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports nationally. At least 17 NCAA schools will begin men’s lacrosse programs over the next two academic years, including 12 at the Division III level. On the women’s side, 23 schools have announced the creation of lacrosse programs, including nine in Division III.

“With the addition of men’s and women’s lacrosse, William Peace University provides the USA South with a robust women’s lacrosse conference lineup while the men will now begin to sponsor a USA South men’s lacrosse championship,” said Dr. Tom Hart, USA South Athletic Conference Commissioner.

“I would like to thank the University Board of Trustees, President Ralph, and Frank Rizzo for approving the addition of men’s and women’s lacrosse here at William Peace,” said Phil Rowe, Director of Athletics. “The lacrosse community continues to expand on the national landscape and in the state of North Carolina and we’re excited to be part of the sport’s growth.”

WPU Announces Men's & Women's LacrosseWhy add Lacrosse? 
Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports nationally. At least 17 NCAA schools will begin men’s lacrosse programs over the next two academic years, including 12 at the Division III level. On the women’s side, 23 schools have announced the creation of lacrosse programs, including nine in Division III.

Adding men’s and women’s lacrosse will continue to increase enrollment and expand the geographic diversity of its student population. Both programs are expected to generate enthusiasm campus wide and enhance the overall student experience at WPU.

Who is going to coach the team? 
A national search to find the first head coach in the history of the program will begin immediately. For more information about the position, visit: www.peace.edu/about_wpu/careers-at-wpu.

Where will the team play? 
University administration is in collaboration with current and future partners in the Triangle area to secure a quality home site for both practices and games.

Who will the team compete against? 
Eight USA South institutions currently compete in women’s lacrosse, which is sponsored by the league. Five conference schools currently offer men’s lacrosse.  Averett University is set to add men’s and women’s lacrosse for the 2017-18 season, while North Carolina Wesleyan College will reinstate their women’s lacrosse program in 2017-18. In addition, future USA South members Brevard and Pfeifer will bring men’s and women’s lacrosse when they join in 2017-18, pushing the total number of women’s teams in the conference to 13 along with nine men’s teams by the spring of 2018.

When will the team start competition?
Both teams are expected to take the field for their inaugural season in the spring of 2018.

For the latest news and updates from William Peace University Athletics, please visit: gopeacepacers.com.