APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Lawrence University has begun a national search for full-time head coaches after adding two new athletics programs.

Lawrence University announced on Thursday that the private college will be adding men’s and women’s lacrosse to its list of athletics, with its first season of competitive play scheduled for 2025.

One of the oldest organized sports in North America, lacrosse is a team sport played with a stick and ball, where teams try and score goals, similar to soccer and hockey.

The addition of lacrosse follows the university’s strategic plan to align Lawrence’s athletics program with additional opportunities for student-athletes, according to Jason Imperati, Lawrence’s Director of Athletics.

“The ever-growing popularity of lacrosse across the nation, particularly in the Midwest, extends opportunities for student-athletes who are looking to continue their playing careers while pursuing a quality degree at a leading liberal arts university,” Imperati said. “While we have tremendous work ahead, we are excited for the future of both programs and what they will mean for the Lawrence experience and our greater community.”

Lawrence joins a growing list of NCAA Division III institutions to offer lacrosse as an intercollegiate sport. More than 200 Division III schools around the nation sponsor intercollegiate lacrosse, including eight schools in Wisconsin.

Men’s lacrosse has 245 programs at the Division III level, and there are 288 women’s teams competing in Division III.

“Bringing lacrosse to our university and region speaks to our commitment to our current and future student-athletes, and we look forward to welcoming our coaches and these students to our campus,” said Lawrence University President Laurie A. Carter. “I am proud of the hard work leading to the addition of these programs to our NCAA lineup of sports.”

The university already has a playing facility for both programs, with Ron Roberts Field at the Banta Bowl. Renovations to the Banta Bowl footprint in 2015 made it possible to play lacrosse in the stadium.

The iconic and picturesque Banta Bowl has been home to Lawrence football since 1965 and Lawrence men’s and women’s soccer since 2015.