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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Moving on up: Augustana

After leafing through this month's issue of Lacrosse Magazine, I noticed a blurb about Augustana hiring a new lacrosse coach - then I noticed that his hiring came about because the program is moving the NCAA in Division 3! Mens lacrosse is now listed as a varsity sport, whereas before it was a club sport through the MCLA. The team begins NCAA play next fall (2011).
From the Vikings' website:

Kyle Hart has been tabbed to direct the first ever men's
lacrosse team at Augustana, it was announced today by Mike Zapolski, director of
athletics. Hart, who has spent the last three seasons as the assistant coach at
Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, will assume the head coaching
duties immediately.

With the move, this puts an NCAA lacrosse program squarely on Iowa's border. Augustana is located in Rock Island, IL, just across the Mississippi River and part of the Quad Cities. Its location is ideal for Iowa based talent looking for an NCAA program in our vicinity and may be the first step towards an Iowan playing Major League Lacrosse in the near future. Although Division 3 programs do not offer scholarships, the team will face quality and storied programs from across the nation.

The potential for further lacrosse development in the Quad Cities and Eastern Iowa just took a major step forward. This is a great thing for our sport and state. We would all do well to support this program. Hopefully more will follow.
Augustana also added womens lacrosse as a varsity sport.

As you may know, Valley assistant and CILA co-organizer Tyler Nielsen is an alumnus of the Augustana MCLA team. A graduate of Mason City, Nielsen first played lax as a Viking. I hope to have the opportunity to speak to him soon about his opinions on this move.

Tribe 7