Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Dr. Robert McKinney
PORTALES – Eastern New Mexico University will add women's soccer to its list of intercollegiate sports, starting with the 2003 season, ENMU President Steven Gamble has announced. Eastern will compete in the Lone Star Conference and NCAA Division II when the team begins its first season next fall.
"Soccer is probably the fastest-growing women's sport," Dr. Gamble said. "I've had numerous people ask me when we're going to establish a women's soccer team."
ENMU will immediately conduct a search for its first head coach of women's soccer at the varsity level. Eastern has fielded a club team the past three years.
"We plan to have a coach hired by January of 2003 who will recruit a team for fall of 2003," Dr. Gamble explained.
The Zias will probably play a full round robin Lone Star Conference schedule in their first season, along with non-conference games against area and regional opponents. The first team is expected to include at least 24 players, and will play its home games at an on-campus field, which will be located near Eastern's other athletic facilities.
ENMU will offer athletic scholarships for its women's soccer team. Interested high school or junior college players should contact 505.562.2153 for more information.
"We're extremely excited about adding women's soccer," ENMU Athletic Director Mike Maguire said. "Women's soccer in New Mexico is really on the rise ... and with the level of play in our area, I think it's a good fit for ENMU."
According to Dr. Gamble, the addition of women's soccer will have a positive impact on enrollment at ENMU. He said he anticipates approximately 30 women will try out for the initial team. Although many will be new students, several current students are likely to participate.
"We have a number of good soccer players already on campus, playing for our soccer club team," Dr. Gamble noted. "I anticipate that the revenue generated through formula funding for these student-athletes (entire women's soccer team) will more than cover the cost of the sport," Dr. Gamble said.
Individuals applying for the head coaching position should send a resume, cover letter and a list of three references to Personnel Services, Attention: Mike Maguire, Eastern New Mexico University, Station #21, Portales, NM 88130. Questions regarding the coaching search should be directed to Maguire at 505.562.2153.