Dear Willamette Community,
It’s been an exciting fall semester for Bearcat Athletics so far, and I’ve enjoyed cheering on our student-athletes with you throughout the season. As we transition between fall and winter sports, I wanted to provide you with a progress update on athletics to follow up on my summer message.
We continue to make progress in our efforts to expand gender equity in athletics, as well as creating a long-term strategy to support the interests of our student-athletes.
After careful review of our peer institutions in the Northwest Conference, levels of interest in high school sports and student interest surveys completed on campus last spring, we’ve identified women’s lacrosse as an additional women’s sport at Willamette. Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Valerie Cleary announced this decision to the University Council this month.
We plan to begin the search process for a head coach early in the spring semester and make a hire by summer. Also, we hope to offer women’s lacrosse as a club sport for the next (2017-18) academic year as the new head coach recruits the varsity team. The team would begin practice in fall 2018 and compete in spring 2019.
This is an ambitious timeline — but one we plan to achieve with the help of all members of the Willamette community. Thank you in advance for your continued support of our students and for their success at Willamette.
Ed Whipple ‘74
Vice President for Campus Life