KALAMAZOO, Mich. (June 20, 2012) – Kalamazoo College officials announced today that Emilia Ward has been appointed head coach of the first women's varsity lacrosse team in the College's history. Women's lacrosse will continue to compete as a club sport in 2012-13 before taking the field as a varsity sport in the spring of the 2013-14 academic year.
Women's lacrosse will be the first new varsity sport at Kalamazoo College since 1991 when women's golf was added. A men's varsity lacrosse program is scheduled to take the field in spring 2015. Both teams will play on K's newly renovated athletics fields due to open this fall.
"We are delighted to welcome Coach Ward to the Hornet athletic program," said Kalamazoo College President Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran. "She brings experience and enthusiasm as a player, coach, and someone who has helped to build lacrosse programs at other institutions."
Wilson-Oyelaran said Ward's arrival coincides with the dawn of a new era in Hornet athletics.
"Our renovated outdoor athletics facility—with a new field house, artificial turf fields, and stadium lights—will help us compete with peer institutions across the country in recruiting students who want to attend a top college and play intercollegiate athletics."
Women's and men's lacrosse—with about 25 to 35 players each—will also help propel K toward its enrollment goal of 1,500 students, she added.
Ward helped start a women's lacrosse program at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. She also served as assistant coach at Adrian (Mich.) College from 2008 to 2011, helping the Bulldogs to a 40-12 record over three seasons and Midwest Lacrosse Conference regular season and tournament championships in 2011. Ward assisted the high school and middle school programs at Brighton (Mich.) High School this past season while continuing in her role as coach of the Midwestern Force/Southern Storm Lacrosse club team.
A native of Farmington Hills, Mich., Ward is a 2008 graduate of Manhattan College in Bronx, New York. She earned four varsity letters for the Jaspers and earned Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Academic honors three times.
Women's lacrosse will be an official sport in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) during the 2012-13 spring season. Every MIAA member college except K and Saint Mary's in South Bend plans to field a varsity team.
Founded in Kalamazoo, Mich., in 1833, Kalamazoo College (www.kzoo.edu) is a nationally recognized liberal arts college and the creator of the K-Plan that emphasizes rigorous scholarship, learning by practice, and both international and intercultural engagement. Its nearly 1,400 students hail from 30 states and 24 countries. K does more in four years, so students can do more in a lifetime.