January 30, 2012

Franciscan University Debuts Lacrosse in 2012-13

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio – Opportunities continue to open for students at Franciscan University of Steubenville with the official addition of men’s and women’s lacrosse for the 2012-13 academic year. The national search for the inaugural coaching staff and teams begins now.

“By adding both a women’s and a men’s team, we are responding to the well-documented increase in popularity of lacrosse nationwide,” said Chris Ledyard, director of athletics at Franciscan University.

In an administrative initiative to provide a new—and highly desired—sports program for the current and incoming students, Franciscan is increasing its NCAA Division III program to 16 sports.

Currently, there are two part-time positions open for male and female head coaches. The Department of Athletics encourages all current and incoming students to contact Ledyard for more information on becoming one of the pioneering members of Baron and Lady Baron lacrosse.

“This is another milestone for Franciscan athletics,” he noted. “We believe lacrosse will help provide a broader cultural experience for those seeking to be student-athletes at Franciscan.”

The traditional lacrosse season takes place during the spring, and Franciscan will host its home games on Memorial Field, the upper field currently used by Baron rugby. Practices will also take place there.

Lacrosse is considered one of the nation’s fastest emerging sports within high schools and colleges; this is no exception for Franciscan University. Joel Recznik, Franciscan University’s vice president for enrollment, said he expects the addition to attract many new student-athletes.

“We have heard many students express a desire to study at Franciscan and play lacrosse,” he said. “Lacrosse is the fastest-growing sport around the country both on the high school and college levels. It is also of high interest to our prospective female students as well as our male students.”

“This mix will optimize athletic opportunities for our students,” Ledyard said, noting that Franciscan University has the second highest number of student-athletes of any school in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. “With 262 student-athletes, we are second only to Penn State Behrend, which had 279 last year. Franciscan offers a very robust athletics program.”

Franciscan University became a full member of NCAA Division III athletics at the beginning of the 2011-12 season. In addition to the AMCC, the University is a member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference and USA Rugby.

Please contact Chris Ledyard at cledyard [at] franciscan [dot] edu for inquiries into the coaching positions or becoming a member of the inaugural team.

Official coaching job descriptions can be found here.