LMU to Add Field Hockey and Men's and Women's Wrestling
Lincoln Memorial University announced Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, that it will be adding field hockey and men’s and women’s wrestling to its athletics portfolio beginning in 2021-22. The 23rd, 24th and 25th intercollegiate sports sponsored by the university will become the first athletics programs added since men’s and women’s bowling and men’s volleyball started at LMU in 2016-17.
“We are extremely excited to establish women's field hockey to our programs here at Lincoln Memorial University,” Director of Athletics Jasher Cox said. “Institutionally, we have recognized that this is a very competitive sport within our region of the country and one that will provide more opportunities for female student-athletes to benefit from competing in intercollegiate athletics.”
“The addition of men's and women's wrestling comes at a particularly exciting time for our university,” stated Cox. “This is the perfect opportunity to provide a unique experience for a new wave of student-athletes, while adding to our already robust athletics programs and the pulsating culture within our current student body.”
Field hockey and men’s and women’s wrestling will become the ninth, 10th and 11th sports LMU has added since 2014 with men’s and women’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s track and field beginning in 2014-15 and beach volleyball starting the following year in 2015-16.
“Lincoln Memorial University is proud and excited to offer additional athletic and cocurricular opportunities for students at LMU,” added Vice President and Dean, Enrollment and Student Affairs Dr. Jody Goins. “Adding field hockey and wrestling to our athletics portfolio aligns with our institutional goals and provides prospective students additional avenues to compete at the NCAA Division II level while receiving a high-quality education.”
The Lady Railsplitter field hockey and Railsplitter men’s wrestling programs will both compete in the South Atlantic Conference Carolinas, a joint league made up of South Atlantic Conference and Conference Carolinas member schools. South Atlantic Conference Carolinas field hockey currently features seven teams, including SAC institutions Coker College, Limestone University, Newberry College and Queens University of Charlotte. LMU will become the conference’s eighth member for field hockey.
The co-branded South Atlantic Conference Carolinas currently has nine teams for men’s wrestling with the Railsplitters bringing the league’s total to 10. Fellow SAC members include Coker, Limestone, Newberry and Queens.
The Lady Railsplitter women’s wrestling program will compete as an NCAA emerging sport. An emerging sport is a women’s sport recognized by the NCAA that is intended to help schools provide more athletics opportunities for women and more sport-sponsorship options for the institutions, and also help that sport achieve NCAA championship status. The Women's Collegiate Wrestling Coalition was created to bring the sport of women's wrestling through the NCAA Emerging Sports for Women program. During the Division II Business Session at the NCAA Convention in Anaheim, California, held in January 2020, women's freestyle wrestling was added to the emerging sports for women list. There are currently 42 NCAA women’s wrestling programs, 15 of which are at Division II schools, LMU will be the 43rd.
Field hockey’s championship season takes place during the fall semester, while men’s and women’s wrestling are winter sports competing from November through March.
A national search for LMU’s field hockey head coach and director of wrestling will commence immediately.