Hilbert College Adding Men's, Women's Lacrosse for 2011

HAMBURG, N.Y. -- Hilbert College will add men's and women's lacrosse to its intercollegiate athletics program starting in the 2010-2011 academic year, announced Hilbert President Cynthia Zane, Ed.D. and Director of Athletics Richard Walsh. It's the first sport added at Hilbert since the college began men's volleyball in 2002.

"Establishing collegiate-level lacrosse at Hilbert will add breadth to our athletics program," said Zane. "It's one of the fastest growing team sports in the U.S. and has rapidly increased in popularity in Western New York and across the country. We're excited about creating more opportunities for student-athletes and anticipate that lacrosse will have a positive impact on our recruitment efforts."

The college's lacrosse teams will begin their first season in Spring 2011 in NCAA Division III, bringing the total number of sports offered at Hilbert to 13. Since 2003, Hilbert lacrosse has competed at the club level and experienced a steady growth. Advancing the sport to the varsity-level was a "natural fit," said Walsh.

"Lacrosse is a growth sport, particularly over the past 10 years among local youth," he said. "Adding the sport at Hilbert fits in with this strong interest among student-athletes and with the college's overall enrollment strategy. We'll be building a program with great potential that will expand our student-athlete recruitment options for high school and junior college players."

According to U.S. Lacrosse, the sport's governing body, lacrosse is the fastest growing high school sport for girls over the past 10 years and the second fastest growing sport among boys. At the collegiate level, men's lacrosse is the fast growing sport while women's is the second fastest. Erie County and the surrounding area have more than 50 high schools that sponsor lacrosse.

Peter Burns, Hilbert dean of students and vice president for enrollment management, noted that "drawing outstanding student-athletes from the many successful high lacrosse teams that have developed will help make Hilbert's lacrosse program highly competitive. The first team members will have the chance to be 'pioneers' in the program and to make their mark quickly on the field. Without question, bringing lacrosse to Hilbert will augment the vibrancy of the campus and enhance the college's overall student life atmosphere, especially for resident-students."

A search is underway for head men's and women's lacrosse coaches. Information on the coaching positions is available at www.hilbert.edu, and the openings are posted on the LaxPower Vacancy Listings page.

2009-10-19



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