It's official; women's lacrosse has become the first new sport added by Lee University since adding baseball in 1997.
Lee's Athletic Director Larry Carpenter said he believes the addition of women's lacrosse is going to make for good times for everyone.
"It is going to be brand new," Carpenter said. "We think the community and our students will really enjoy it."
This decision was supported in multiple ways. The NCAA Title IX committee suggested that Lee look into adding women's lacrosse because it is one of the fastest growing college sports in America.
There was already interest shown for women's lacrosse in 2015 when multiple Lee students attempted the creation of a women's lacrosse club at Lee.
In 2015, Lee's athletic department also sent out a survey to all Lee students to verify the interest of the student body as a whole in the sport. Again, the results confirmed interest in women's lacrosse.
"I'm excited, I really am," Chair of the Feasibility Committee Andrea Hudson said. "There were so many positives as to why this would be a good thing for our campus."
With the addition of Lee, there are now five women's lacrosse teams in the Gulf South Conference (GSC). Only one more is needed for it to become an official conference sponsored conference.
The next step for women's lacrosse at Lee is finding a coach.
Carpenter said finding the coach will be a critical decision. He said they cannot afford to rush the decision and end up with someone lacking the ability necessary to build a new program, or someone who does not fit Lee's Christian mission.
However, with games already scheduled for 2017, the search is pressing.
Players will not be recruited until a coach is hired. However, athletes interested in playing are encouraged to go to the lacrosse page on the Lee athletics website and fill out the form located there.
Because lacrosse is not commonly played in the South, Hudson said she looks forward to the learning experience that this could bring for her and many of the students at Lee.
"Last spring, I made a trip to Young Harris College and watched a team in our conference play them, and I really enjoyed it"' Hudson said. "It's fast and it's fun."