Morningside Athletic Director Tim Jager announced the college plans to add men’s and women’s lacrosse as intercollegiate varsity sports and start varsity competition in the spring of 2020.
Morningside will begin a search for a lacrosse head coach later this summer.
The new programs will increase the Mustangs’ total to 28 varsity sports.
“The addition of men’s and women’s lacrosse will provide Morningside student-athletes the opportunity to compete in a sport that is rapidly gaining a presence in the Midwest,” Jager said.
Morningside competes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Jager said there are currently 42 institutions in the NAIA that have lacrosse programs in addition to over 200 NCAA Division III varsity lacrosse programs.
The Mustangs’ lacrosse teams are expected to seek affiliate membership in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC), which currently includes lacrosse teams from Midland University in Nebraska; Ottawa University, the University of Saint Mary and Benedictine College in Kansas; Clarke University and St. Ambrose University in Iowa and Missouri Valley College and Columbia College in Missouri.
A lacrosse field with an artificial turf playing surface similar to the surface in Elwood Olsen Stadium will be built near the existing parking lot west of the stadium. Jager said the lacrosse field would also be used as a soccer practice facility to help alleviate scheduling conflicts in the fall for soccer and football practice time on the stadium’s main playing field.
The location of the new lacrosse field is in an area currently used for outdoor track & field throwing events.
Morningside College will build a new area for track & field throwing events (discus, hammer throw, javelin and shot put) on property it owns along the south side of Peters Avenue across from the stadium. Excavation and construction work on the property will begin this spring.
Completion of the construction work for the lacrosse field and track & field throwing events area is expected by late summer.