ROYAL OAK, Mich. - The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association announced today (Tuesday, Sept. 6) that it will add men’s lacrosse and women’s lacrosse as varsity conference sports, effective with the 2012-13 season, the 125th anniversary season for America’s oldest collegiate athletic conference.
Competition in men’s and women’s lacrosse will begin with the fall non-traditional season in 2012 and conclude with conference regular season and tournament play in the spring of 2013, Commissioner David Neilson said.
"With MIAA starting the sponsorship of women's lacrosse it will give this region of the country the opportunity to see lacrosse at a very high level," said women's lacrosse head coach Rachel Cibulas. "The MIAA lacrosse teams will be able to vie for a spot in the NCAA Tournament immediately and also have our athletes receive team and individual honors. With these two factors, it will not only accelerate the growth of Adrian and the MIAA Conference, but lacrosse in the Midwest. I am looking forward to see what the future holds.”
The addition of these sports brings to 20 the number of varsity sports the MIAA will sponsor in 2012-13, and marks the first new sports to be added to the conference’s lineup since it added women’s golf in 1991.
Seven MIAA member schools will sponsor men’s and women’s lacrosse in the 2012-13 season – Adrian, Albion, Alma, Calvin, Hope, Olivet and Trine, Neilson said.
"The addition of men's lacrosse by the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association is extremely exciting and Adrian College is proud to help add to the rich history and tradition of the conference," said men's lacrosse head coach Don LaSala. "It just makes sense based on the rapid growth of the sport. The Midwest has increased its production of quality players providing them more realistic opportunities to play at the next level and closer to home. The Bulldogs are looking forward to beginning conference play in the MIAA in 2012-2013."
With the minimum of seven participating conference schools, the MIAA will receive an automatic qualification to NCAA Division III postseason competition immediately.
"Adrian College would like to thank the Midwest Lacrosse Conference and Midwest Women's Lacrosse Conference for their sponsorship of our lacrosse teams," said athletic director Mike Duffy. "We will continue in these conferences for the 2011-12 academic year and hope to defend our league championships from the 2010-11 school year. The fit into the MIAA was a no-brainer for us. We have a strong rooted place in the MIAA and this new partnership just adds to the legacy of quality intercollegiate athletics."
Founded in 1888, the MIAA is the nation’s oldest collegiate athletic conference. Member institutions are Adrian College, Albion College, Alma College, Calvin College, Hope College, Kalamazoo College, Olivet College, Saint Mary’s College and Trine University.