By Jett Johnson
Two new women’s sports teams will be added to Trevecca athletics.
A stunt team and a women’s lacrosse team were both recently approved, and planning is underway to launch both teams. Mark Elliot, the athletic director for Trevecca Nazarene University, said the thought process behind choosing a new program to add to the athletic department is a “multi-level decision.”
“First, what team we bring on is an enrollment driver and helps with admissions. Second, the conference encourages us to have new programs to compete for more conference championships,” said Elliot.
Kelley Quigley was recently named the stunt team coach, a decision Elliot said he is excited about.
“She has worked with our cheer team, she fits our university’s mission, and she’s an awesome person,” said Elliot.
The recruiting process will be different than most because qualified members of the cheerleading team will be able to join the stunt team.
“There will be some cheerleaders that will make it over, but stunt is a spring sport. Our cheer team typically just [cheers for] basketball, so there will be some that will come over to stunt. However, our desire is that we’ll recruit a number of brand new stunt participants and also bring over a few of our cheerleaders,” said Elliot.
Elliot believes that a stunt team will add value to the proportion of men and women’s sports teams on campus.
“It really helps in relation to Title IX. I would prefer to start a female sport due to proportionality. Title IX prefers the proportion of females and males on this campus to be relatively the same. If you’re relatively the same with the number of teams and the number of roster spots, you then align with Title IX. We have always done that,” said Elliot.
The university is currently searching for a lacrosse coach.
“The requirements for us would be no different than a professor or a coach of another sport. The question is, ‘Do they understand the Christian, scholar, athlete model that we stand by?’” said Elliot.
Elliot sees potential in adding this program.
“[Lacrosse is] a growing sport in Tennessee and a growing sport nationally. We would also lean towards starting more female sports because of the proportionality with our student population. The population is about 60- 40, with females being the majority,” he said.
There is also value in women’s lacrosse being a spring sport, according to Elliot, as it puts less stress on the university’s limited field space.
Lacrosse’s first season will not be expected to have a G-MAC schedule, as it will be looked at as an exhibition year due to the lack of recruits acquired so far.
“We’re going to recruit as many people as we can, and we’ll have people that are already interested in the team here on campus. We’re going to have an exhibition season next year. We will have games, and we will have a real team. However, we won’t have a G-MAC schedule for the exhibition year,” said Elliot.
Women’s Lacrosse will start recruiting in the 2023-2024 season when a head coach is hired.