The University of Hartford Athletics Department announced Thursday they would be discontinuing the men’s and women’s tennis programs, as well as adding a women’s lacrosse program.
This move comes as a result of further budgetary examination, according to Athletic Director Anton Goff, in a press release sent out Thursday afternoon.
The University of Hartford is the ninth school across the nation to announce their intent to add women’s lacrosse programs between 2016 and 2018. They will be the eighth school in the America East Conference to house a women’s lacrosse program.
“Women’s lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in the nation,” Goff said. “Our goal in adding women’s lacrosse is to move to full compliance with Title IX.”
The first class of women’s lacrosse student-athletes will be recruited for the fall of 2017, with the first season of competition planned for the 2018 spring season. A head coach is expected to be hired this summer.
The men’s and women’s tennis programs, which contains 21 student-athletes, will be officially discontinued at the end of competition in the spring of 2016.
“This was a very difficult decision to make,” Goff said. “We value all of our student-athletes and coaches and what they contribute to Hartford Hawks athletics. However, with the challenges that weather presents in the Northeast and our current facilities, the financial commitment needed to be competitive on a national level is not feasible for us. We will do everything in our power as a department to help minimize the impact on the student-athletes affected by this decision.”
Any student-athletes with remaining eligibility at the end of the 2015-16 season will be granted full releases if they choose to transfer to another school. Those with financial aid coming directly from the athletics department will have their scholarships honored through matriculation if they choose to remain at the University of Hartford.
The future women’s lacrosse team will play its home contests on Al-Marzook Field at Alumni Stadium, the home of the Hartford men’s lacrosse, men’s soccer, and women’s soccer programs.