It was almost a year ago when Chris Hill and the Utah Athletic Department announced the addition of men’s lacrosse to the lineup of sports for Utah athletics. Today the program officially goes live for the 2018-19 season, and is the latest varsity NCAA sanctioned sport by the Utes, the 20th for the school.
It's official! @UtahLacrosse joins the athletics department as a NCAA-sponsored sport today. Retweet to help us welcome Head Coach Brian Holman and the team to the family! #goutes pic.twitter.com/0q5A2JZIpv— Utah Athletics (@utahathletics) July 1, 2018
Utah will host Vermont to open its inaugural season in February, 2019. The full schedule will be released this fall. The Utes will play their first season on the infield of the McCarthy Family Track and Field Complex as a soccer/lacrosse complex is built on campus.
The Utes join Air Force and Denver as the only NCAA sanctioned programs west of the Mississippi. The sport is big on the east coast, especially in the ACC with the likes of Duke, Virginia, and North Carolina. It is a growing sport in the state of Utah, and continues to rise in popularity. The donation of $15.6 million by a donor really kicked started the program for the Utes, and they’re hoping to build something out west in Lacrosse. Hopefully with the Utes jump starting this program as one of the few in the west, one the only Power-5 program to have it, that will position them to build a strong tradition and foothold before the rest of the schools come on board, if they come on board.