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August 15, 2014
LA GRANDE, Ore. – Eastern Oregon University is adding men’s soccer as an athletic program beginning fall 2015.
“I am excited to announce the addition of men’s soccer as an EOU sport,” said Anji Weissenfluh, Eastern’s athletic director. “By adding soccer we will help increase enrollment, be able to recruit regional soccer stand-outs, and offer an even better student experience.”
Men’s soccer will start competition during the 2015-16 academic year and compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC).
“The addition of EOU men’s soccer certainly enhances the sport at our conference level,” said Rob Cashell, CCC commissioner. “With the decision we anticipate having 10 teams beginning in 2015, when just a short time ago we were faced with only having seven schools sponsoring men’s soccer.”
The team will be the first in the history of EOU’s athletic department. “Men’s soccer is part of what will make EOU successful and sustainable for the future,” said Jay Kenton, interim EOU president. “I came here to position the university for success and I believe soccer is part of that.”
The search for a head coach and recruitment of student-athletes will begin immediately.
“We are focused on finding a high-quality coach and to find non-conference games for the upcoming season,” Weissenfluh added.
In Union County alone, more than 600 youths are involved in soccer. This number in a rural county indicates student involvement across Oregon and the tri-state area is booming with potential recruits. By adding soccer, these students will have a place to continue their education, as well as their sport.
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