Monmouth University will be adding another sport to its campus in 2014.
Men's lacrosse will become the West Long Branch university's 21st NCAA Division 1 sport, the school announced today. The university currently has a women's lacrosse team.
The growing popularity of the sport was one of the reasons why the university chose to add it, according to Director of Athletics Dr. Marilyn McNeil.
“We are very excited about the opportunity of adding men’s lacrosse to our varsity sport offerings,” said McNeil. “Men’s Lacrosse has seen a 28.5% growth spurt in the NCAA, with high school growth pegged at 175% over the past 10 years."
"The Northeast Conference sponsors men’s lacrosse and I know it is a ‘hot sport’ for the Shore," McNeil continued. "We look forward to meeting the needs of our students, as they have shown their interest with a very competitive club program. We think the lacrosse athletes, their fans, the community and the student body will really enjoy and support this sport.”
The Northeast Conference (NEC) currently has six men's lacrosse teams: inaugural champion Mount St. Mary’s, along with Bryant, Quinnipiac, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart and Wagner. The NEC began sponsoring lacrosse in 2011.
The university says it start a national search to find its first men's lacrosse coach. The coach would be expected to be at the university nearly a full year before the inaugural season.