August 29, 2013

CSU-Pueblo to add six new sports in 2014-15

PUEBLO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - Aug. 29, 2013) - Colorado State University-Pueblo will increase its athletics offerings to 22 starting in the 2014-15 school year, adding men's indoor and outdoor track and field, men's cross country, men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse and women's swimming and diving.

Announced as part of the University's "On the Move" Foundation campaign, which was unveiled Thursday, the athletics expansion and enhancements includes not only the addition of six competitive sports, but a new soccer and lacrosse stadium, complete with a synthetic turf field, 600-seat grandstand, public restrooms, a concession area, press box, lobby, locker rooms, and offices. 

"The stadium will look a lot like the ThunderBowl and be located right next door to it," Dan DeRose, Chair of the CSU-Pueblo Foundation, said. "The soccer and lacrosse facility will be the nicest collegiate soccer facility in the state of Colorado." 

Also, a $2.5 million boost to the CSU-Pueblo Athletics scholarship fund is part of the campaign.

"Not only are student-athletes the best students, evidenced by their higher GPA and retention rates, but they also represent the University in the community," DeRose said.

The first step to adding new sports is hiring coaches, and the men's track and field and cross country coach had already been hired in July.  Matt Morris, formerly the track and cross country coach at Carroll College (Mont.), will helm the University's men's and women's track and field and cross country offerings.  Coaching searches for the men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse, and women's swimming positions will begin soon.

Of the six sports being added next year, three - men's indoor and outdoor track and field and men's cross country - were each previously offered by the University.  Before the programs' elimination in 1993, the three programs had a stellar reputation, producing 34 track and field and three cross country All-Americans, including four individual national champions.

"This is another exciting day in the University's history," CSU-Pueblo Director of Athletics Joe Folda said.  "The addition of these programs is a final step in this University becoming 'The Jewel of the South' in higher education in the State of Colorado."

Approximately $5 million from the $25 million "On the Move" campaign will be used for athletics expansion, just one piece of a campaign that includes a major renovation to the Occhiato University Center, while another $15 million will be used to boost the University's scholarship offerings for the general student population.

"Our goal of this campaign is to give more young men and women the opportunity to have the transformational experience of receiving a degree from a higher education institution," CSU-Pueblo President Lesley Di Mare said.  

For more information on the CSU-Pueblo athletics expansion or its new sport offerings, visit GoThunderWolves.com or call (719) 549-2711.