June 11, 2008
Washington, D.C. - Georgetown University will join six other institutions as founding members of the BIG EAST Men's Lacrosse League, which will begin competition in the spring of 2010. The announcement about the Conference adding its 24th sport was made on Wednesday by Commissioner Michael Tranghese following a unanimous vote by the league's 16 Directors of Athletics during their recent annual spring meeting.
In addition to Georgetown, the seven conference schools that will participate in the newly-formed league are Notre Dame, Providence, Rutgers, St. John's, Syracuse and Villanova. The teams will play a six-game single round-robin regular season schedule. The BIG EAST will apply for an automatic bid to the 16-team NCAA Championship field.
Georgetown, along with Rutgers and St. John's, are currently members of the ECAC Lacrosse League, Providence plays in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Villanova in the Colonial Athletic Association, Notre Dame in the Great Western Lacrosse League and Syracuse, the 2008 NCAA Champion, is a Division I Independent.
"We are looking forward to the excitement that men's lacrosse will bring to the BIG EAST Conference," Commissioner Tranghese said. "We have schools with established and successful programs which want to come together and compete under the BIG EAST brand."
"The chance to play under the BIG EAST umbrella will be a great avenue for all of the teams that sponsor the sport," Georgetown Director of Athletics Bernard Muir said. "It creates even more camaraderie among our league members and from a competitive standpoint, the BIG EAST Men's Lacrosse League, arguably, will be one of the best in the country from the start."
Georgetown was one of the founding members of the BIG EAST Conference in 1979-80 and currently competes in 21 sports in the league. The Hoya women's softball team will begin play in the BIG EAST during the 2008-09 academic year, pushing that number to 22. When men's lacrosse begins play during the 2009-10 academic year, GU will compete in 23 of 24 sports offered by the BIG EAST.
"We are very excited to join the BIG EAST in men's lacrosse," Georgetown Head Coach Dave Urick said. "The sport has grown tremendously over the last decade and to have the association of the BIG EAST Conference will be another boost. The current league members who will join to make up the BIG EAST are established programs that will provide instant national excitement."
The Hoyas have been one of the top programs in the country in men's lacrosse over the last 10 years and have had a long run of success under Head Coach Dave Urick, who recently completed his 19th season at the helm of the program.
Urick has a career record of 315-104, including a 193-74 record in 19 seasons at Georgetown. He is the all-time leader among all active Division I head coaches in victories (315) and win percentage (.752). Since taking over the Hoya program in 1990, the Blue and Gray have finished the season ranked among the top-20 teams in the country 17 times.
Georgetown had a streak of 11-straight NCAA Tournament appearances (the second-longest in the country at the time) snapped in 2008, but has won at least 10 games in 10 of the last 11 seasons. The Hoyas advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1999 when the team posted a school-best 13-3 record and have reached the Quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament nine times (1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007).