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Penn College to elevate men’s lacrosse to intercollegiate program

Pennsylvania College of Technology will elevate men’s lacrosse from a club sport to an intercollegiate program, it was announced Tuesday. The team will begin competition during the 2020-21 academic year and expands Penn College’s sports offerings to 16 intercollegiate programs.

“We are very excited to elevate our men’s lacrosse club team to NCAA Division III level,” said John D. Vandevere, the college’s director of athletics. “This is going to make a significant impact on our campus, and our department, and it will create another great event for our community to attend for our growing fan base of Wildcat Athletics.”

Penn College lacrosseThe national and regional popularity of lacrosse will allow Penn College to expand its recruiting footprint. Lacrosse is the fastest-growing sport in the country, according to U.S. Lacrosse, boasting a 24% increase in the number of high schools sponsoring the sport since 2012, while the college ranks have had approximately 140 new programs begin since 2014. Pennsylvania has 205 high schools that sponsor lacrosse and are sanctioned by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, while neighboring states New York and Maryland combine for approximately 500 high schools that sponsor the sport.

“We are excited about the prospect of adding one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S., particularly in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, to our intercollegiate athletics portfolio. For years, the lacrosse community has told us that we could readily recruit and field competitive teams,” said Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour. “Success in this high-intensity sport not only requires endurance, strength and vision, but also demands discipline, strategy and teamwork – characteristics that just so happen to be the hallmarks of a Penn College student.”

“And it’s fun to watch, too,” she added.

Penn College has offered men’s lacrosse as a club program since 2012, which generally fields a team of 22 players. The intercollegiate program will have a roster size of approximately 35-40 players and will play its home contests on the newly constructed UPMC Field.

Penn College will compete as an NCAA Division III program in the North Eastern Athletic Conference, which consists of 12 institutions in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. The Wildcats are already members of the NEAC for 12 of their 15 intercollegiate sports.

A national search for a full-time men’s lacrosse coach will begin immediately.

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