Union College adds men's and women's lacrosse to athletic offerings

Published on
December 01, 2015

Union College adds men's and women's lacrosse to athletic offeringsUnion College Director of Athletics Tim Curry announced Tuesday the addition of men's and women's lacrosse to the catalogue of Bulldog sports programs, bringing the total number of offerings to 26. Union will begin competing in men's lacrosse in the spring of 2017 with women's lacrosse taking the field in 2018.

"We are excited about bringing to lacrosse to Union College," said Curry. "This is a sport we have been looking to add for some time now as it is one of, if not the fastest growing sports in college athletics right now."

With Union competing in men's lacrosse in a little over a year, Curry also announced Ed Craver as the program's first head coach.

"Ed brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, which will undoubtedly be beneficial to us as we build our lacrosse programs," said Curry.

Ed Craver is the new men's lacrosse coach at UnionA search for a women's lacrosse coach will be held in the coming months to begin recruiting for the 2018 season.

Craver has three years of head coaching experience at the collegiate level and over 20 years at the high school level. 

"I would like to thank Union College Director of Athletics Tim Curry for his commitment to bringing lacrosse into southeast Kentucky," said Craver. "As a lifelong player and coach, I am excited about the opportunity to add Lacrosse to the quality athletic program at Union."

In three years as a college coach, Craver owns a 14-28 career record. He spent two years at NCAA Division I College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., compiling a 7-22 record. In 1995, Craver coached Assumption College, a NCAA Division III team in Worcester, to a 7-6 mark.

Craver has coached boys' high school lacrosse at five different schools. He is currently coaching at Barron Collier High School in Naples, Fla., and has 20 years of experience of working summer camps and clinics.

"Lacrosse is a unique, fast moving team activity to play and to watch," said Craver. "It combines many elements from other sports, such as the discipline of football, the fluid movement of hockey and the precision passing of basketball."

Union will compete in the NAIA and in the Appalachian Athletic Conference. Lacrosse is recognized as an Invitational Sport by the NAIA, which means 25 or more institutions have declared intent to participate in postseason competition and the NAIA's National Administrative Council has approved the sport's request for Invitational Sport status. This is the first year lacrosse has been identified as an Invitational Sport in the NAIA. Once the sport has over 40 or more institutions, lacrosse can apply to become a Championship Sport.

The 2015 season is also the first year for lacrosse to be recognized as a Championship Sport in the AAC. Currently, there are seven men's lacrosse programs and nine women's lacrosse teams in the AAC. 

"With the conference now sponsoring lacrosse, this sped up the process for us to add it here at Union," said Curry. "This allows us to compete against schools we are already familiar with."

Competing in men's lacrosse in the AAC are Asbury University, University of the Cumberlands, Montreat College, Point University, Reinhardt University, St. Andrews University and Tennessee Wesleyan College. Those seven institutions also compete in women's lacrosse along with Columbia College and Truett-McConnell College.

The men's and women's lacrosse teams will play their home matches on campus at Williamson Stadium. 

For more information on the lacrosse program, contact Craver at ecraver@unionky.edu