By Tom Flynn, www.fieldhousejournal.net
Photo provided by the College of Idaho athletics
The College of Idaho announced earlier this year that in 2018 it would transition its men’s lacrosse program from a club sport to the varsity level.
In doing so, it will become the first varsity men’s lacrosse team in the state of Idaho. The move will take the sport from a fee-based club program to a scholarship-eligible sport.
The College of Idaho men’s lacrosse program began as a club sport in 2004 and in recent years has become one of the most competitive members of the MCLA’s Pacific Northwest Collegiate Lacrosse League (“PNCLL”)’s Division II.
Heading the squad is Matt Gier, who was a member of the Yotes’ inaugural squad.
“When I took over as head coach in 2010, having a varsity program has always been the dream,” said Gier. “This is a culmination of hard work and dedication from lacrosse players past and present, along with an administration that believes in our program.”
Gier has taken the Yotes to the postseason in four of his eight years at the helm, including the last three seasons. The College of Idaho was selected as the PNCLL’s 2018 preseason favorite after finishing the year at 12-1 in 2017. They advanced to the PNCLL tournament title game this past spring before falling to Montana, 12-9.
As is typical of western NAIA men’s lacrosse programs, the team will continue to play an MCLA schedule, with an eye toward eventually incorporating an NAIA lineup of games. The University of Providence (Mont.), and Johnson & Wales (Colo.), and Sierra Nevada College are all following similar blueprints successfully.
“We will remain an MCLA member for the time being – ensuring a solid schedule against regional opponents and rivals,” Gier said.
The College of Idaho is also considering adding a women’s lacrosse program.