By Mitch Holt, Opinion Editor
The university will even the number of men and women’s athletic teams at seven by beginning a women’s soccer program in fall 2007.
Dr. Royce Money, president of the university, announced Thursday that a women’s soccer team on campus is no longer a rumor but will become a reality in a year and a half.
The university’s budget committee finally approved the long-awaited concept after Jared Mosley, director of athletics told them the interest level was high enough for a new soccer program to be successful, according to a university news release.
The committee saw the appeal in building this program from scratch, Mosley said. It wanted to take a conservative approach to funding a new program.
The department considered adding several other sports, but soccer seemed like the best choice. Mosley said soccer was chosen for several reasons: the interest level of students is seemingly higher for soccer; more competition exists; and it is a continuously growing, world- popular sport.
Mosley named the current assistant softball coach Casey Wilson as the women’s head soccer coach. He said he’s sure Wilson will make a good coach.
“Wilson has a background in soccer and an understanding of how things work at ACU,” Mosley said. “He’s done a great job coaching softball, and he’ll be able to rely on his coaching and playing experience to help build a successful women’s soccer program.”
A university press release said Wilson was an exceptional club soccer player in high school and in 1989 played for the Western Regional Championship club team that finished with a 50-8 record. From high school, he moved on to become a football placekicker at Santa Ana College and, eventually, Central Michigan University, where he set the school record for extra point kicks in a single season. After CMU, he played baseball at ACU for two seasons.
Wilson said that he is in the early stages of building a plan to put a women’s soccer team together, but he is fortunate to have 18 months to construct a team.
“We’ve got to get caught up pretty quickly with the teams and the talent level in the Lone Star Conference,” Wilson said. “I think there is a lot of untapped talent in the Big Country, and I’m looking forward to taking a look at a lot of those players.”