HARROGATE, Tenn. (WATE)- In a time where some universities were forced to make the difficult decision to cut athletic programs due to the ongoing impact COVID-19 has on the sports landscape, Lincoln Memorial University is doing the opposite.
The university announced Thursday the addition of three new sports: Women’s Field Hockey and Men’s and Women’s Wrestling.
“There hasn’t been a whole lot to celebrate comparatively and that’s dating all the way back to March,” says LMU Athletic Director Jasher Cox. “This right here gives us a little excitement adding to our program so we’re excited about that.”
Women’s field hockey will officially start in the fall of 2021, and women’s and men’s wrestling will begin in the winter of 2021 according to Cox.
Right now they are looking for coaching candidates, hoping to have the positions filled by January of next year.
Women’s wrestling is currently considered an emerging sport under the NCAA and even though the sport has not been officially sanctioned by the NCAA to compete for a title, Cox said, “that’s not going to stop us from adding it.”
The South Atlantic Conference shares a co-membership with the Conference Carolinas, so for field hockey the SAC will run the administrative portion while the Conference Carolinas will handle the administrative portion of wrestling.
The addition of the sports programs will give LMU a boost financially, bringing in revenue while providing opportunities for new respective students.
“When people think of athletics the first thing people typically think of is football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball… but there are so many other Olympic sports that attract and lures in so many individuals,” said Cox. “This gives us another unique platform and a different type of student to add to our co-curriculum so we’re thrilled about it and I think it will be a tremendous asset to our institution.”