The University of Michigan is elevating the men’s and women’s lacrosse clubs to varsity status. Dave Brandon is the Athletic Director at U of M. He says the announcement Wednesday is “the worst kept secret in America.”
Brandon says lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the nation. Michigan high school programs have grown from 50 to 180 in the past ten years.
Adding the two varsity teams will cost roughly 3 million dollars. Brandon says, “time will tell” if lacrosse creates revenue for the university. While creating revenue was not a main driver to elevate the programs, Brandon says “there is a lot of potential there.”
The men’s team will begin in 2012 and the women’s team will start in 2013, but coaching and staffing decisions have not been made. Brandon says he has a good idea who the men’s varsity coach will be as he pointed out John Paul, of the men’s lacrosse club.
Adding both lacrosse programs brings the total number of varsity teams to 29 at the University of Michigan. The most recent varsity team to be added was women’s water polo in 2000.