MACON, Ga. – The Atlantic Sun Conference announced Coastal Carolina University as its newest affiliate member for women's lacrosse, expanding the league to 11 programs beginning in the 2017 season. The Chanticleers' program started in 2013 and have participated in the Big South Conference for three seasons.
The Atlantic Sun has grown steadily since beginning play with five members for the 2012-13 academic year. Over the past three seasons, A-Sun Women's Lacrosse has added seven affiliates with the latest announcement of Coastal Carolina.
Furman, Mercer and Old Dominion completed their inaugural season in 2015, while Central Michigan will begin play in the upcoming season and Elon participated for one season in 2014. Delaware State joins Coastal as affiliate members starting for the 2017 season, while Wofford begins its A-Sun and program inaugural season in 2018.
"We are thrilled to welcome Coastal Carolina University to the Atlantic Sun as an affiliate member," stated A-Sun Commissioner Ted Gumbart. "Coastal has showcased a steady increase of success since their first season which coincides with the progress of A-Sun Women's Lacrosse."
The Atlantic Sun is coming off its most impressive season in league history. The league finished with its highest league RPI ranking of 12 in 2015, while teams combined for a new single-season record of 36 non-conference wins. The Chanticleers will add to the conference's depth in 2017 as Coastal Carolina finished with an 11-6 record in 2015 and reached the Big South Championship Semifinals.
"We are excited about our women's lacrosse program joining the Atlantic Sun. During the advent of our new program over the last couple of seasons, we have enjoyed great competition with A-Sun schools and I know our student-athletes are looking forward to these contests on a regular basis," stated Coastal Carolina Director of Athletics Matt Hogue. "We are grateful to Commissioner Ted Gumbart and the A-Sun membership for providing us this affiliate opportunity."
Coastal Carolina Head Coach Kristen Selvage enters her first season with the program after spending 15 seasons as the head coach at Lock Haven where she led the program to three NCAA Division II Championship appearances since 2009.
"Joining the Atlantic Sun is a tremendous opportunity for the Coastal Carolina Women's Lacrosse program," stated Coach Selvage. "The teams are highly competitive and they will help us to improve our development as we seek an opportunity to break into tournament play. We would like to thank the Atlantic Sun and the other lacrosse programs for welcoming our program. This is a very exciting time for Coastal Carolina Women's Lacrosse."
In early October, the Atlantic Sun and Coastal Carolina agreed to an affiliate membership for beach volleyball as the Chanticleers will participate at the 2016 A-Sun Beach Volleyball Championship on Apr. 22-23.
"Similar to Beach Volleyball, the A-Sun has demonstrated leadership in women's lacrosse and continued growth in the sport with our latest addition," Gumbart added. "We look forward to providing the Chants and the rest of our A-Sun teams a continually enhanced experience for all the student-athletes."