Division III notes: New
Polish team taps Wesley coach
Wesley men’s lacrosse coach Christian Zwickert, who has played and coached the sport internationally for the German National Team, will guide a new national team in Poland as it prepares to compete at the 2010 World Games in England.
Zwickert, who has coached at Wesley for five seasons, recently was named head coach of the fledgling Polish team, which will select its roster from three club teams in western Poland and also can include Americans of Polish heritage. Tryouts are planned for fall 2009.
He will be assisted by Chris Burdick, men’s lacrosse coach at Providence.
Zwickert, who grew up in Delaware, played for Germany in the 1998 World Games in Baltimore and also played in the 1999 and 2000 European Championships. He took over as the team’s coach in 2001 and led the squad to its first gold medal in the European competition.
He is a former assistant coach for Division I programs at Dartmouth, Providence and Drexel, and also assisted at Franklin & Marshall. His Wesley teams have built a 42-34 record during his tenure at the school.
Southwestern brings varsity lacrosse to Texas
There are numerous men’s lacrosse club teams affiliated with Texas universities and colleges, but Southwestern (Texas) will become the first school in the state to sponsor a varsity team in the sport when it elevates its 25-year-old club program during 2009-10.
The school, which also is adding a women’s softball program next spring, will increase sports sponsorship to 16 teams with the new programs.
“Lacrosse is one of the fastest-growing sports right now at the high school and collegiate levels,” said Glada Munt, director of athletics at the school. “This is a natural transition for us and reflects the university’s response to a strong demonstrated student interest in the sport.”
Southwestern will be the fifth Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference member to sponsor men’s lacrosse, joining Colorado College, Hendrix, Sewanee (University of the South) and Birmingham Southern.
“We have been looking to grow our athletics program,” Munt said. “The average number of varsity teams for schools in our conference is 20.”
Munt said the school also hopes to elevate a women’s club team to varsity status in three to five years.
The men’s team will play home matches on the varsity soccer field, pending modifications that will equip the facility to accommodate both sports.
School officials hope to increase the team’s roster to 30 to 35 players within two or three years, by attracting out-of-state students as well as appealing to student-athletes within Texas who otherwise would seek a varsity program elsewhere.
© 2010 The National Collegiate Athletic Association