July 8th, 2013

Bellarmine LAX joins Atlantic Sun Conference

John Spugnardi

Bellarmine University S.I.D.

Bellarmine LAX joins Atlantic Sun Conference
The BU Knights LAX program will join Atlantic Sun Conference in 2014-2015

Bellarmine University is the newest affiliate member of the Atlantic Sun Conference and will begin play in men's lacrosse in the 2014-15 season, the conference has announced.

The Knights become the seventh men's lacrosse program for the A-Sun, as the Knights will compete with Furman, High Point, Jacksonville, Mercer, Richmond and Virginia Military Institute for the 2014-15 A-Sun championship.

A-Sun men's lacrosse will begin its inaugural season in 2013-14, one of three sports the conference has added since 2012. In 2012 the A-Sun became the first Division I conference to conduct a sand volleyball championship, and 2013 was also the conference's inaugural season in women's lacrosse.

"As the A-Sun and the sport of lacrosse both continue to grow, we are very proud to announce the addition of Bellarmine University as an affiliate in men's lacrosse A-Sun commissioner Ted Gumbart said. "Bellarmine shares our commitment to supporting both the student and the athlete at the highest level, and will be a strong addition for A-Sun men's lacrosse. We look forward to working with the Knights' student-athletes and the Bellarmine University community as partners in our A-Sun commitment to Building Winners for Life."

"Bellarmine is delighted to have our university and NCAA Division I men's lacrosse team affiliate with the Atlantic Sun Conference," Bellarmine University President Joseph J. McGowan said. "I am very much impressed with the highly competitive academic and athletic quality of the colleges and universities in the A-Sun, and with the distinguished presidential leadership of the conference institutions. Bellarmine University and I look forward to competing in such a first-rate conference with such first rate-schools and teams."

The Knights posted a 7-7 overall mark and a 3-4 record in the Eastern College Athletic Conference in 2012-13 and will compete as members of the ECAC next season.

Bellarmine's lacrosse program was founded in 2004, with its first season of competition coming in the spring of 2005, when the Knights compiled a record 13-2 record as an NCAA Division I provisional member.

The following season, Bellarmine competed as a Division I independent before joining the Great Western Lacrosse League for the 2007, 2008 and 2009 seasons.  The GWLL moved all its remaining members into the ECAC Lacrosse League for the 2010 season, and Bellarmine has competed in the conference since that time.

Bellarmine's lacrosse team is 60-67 in its nine seasons, with three men serving as head coach during that span. Jack McGetrick, a former national coach of the year at Hartford, led the Knights the first six seasons before Bart Sullivan assumed head coaching duties for the 2011 season. Kevin Burns took the head coaching job in the summer of 2011 and has led the Knights to an 11-15 record in the past two seasons.

"We are very excited to begin a new chapter for Bellarmine lacrosse," said Burns. "After exploring many options it was clear that the Atlantic Sun Conference was the right conference both academically and athletically for our program. The A-Sun and its member schools are committed to creating one of the premier lacrosse conferences in Division I, and we're looking forward to building a great tradition."

The Atlantic Sun Conference is an NCAA Division I league with 10 member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement with a true balance between student and athlete. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts seven of the top media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: East Tennessee State, Florida Gulf Coast, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Lipscomb, Mercer, North Florida, Northern Kentucky, South Carolina Upstate and Stetson.


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