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Florida State to add women’s lacrosse as scholarship sport

Beginning in the 2025-26 academic year, the Seminoles will field a women’s lacrosse team

Florida State is bringing a new scholarship-sponsored sport to campus.

Beginning in the 2025-26 academic year, the Seminoles will field a women’s lacrosse team.

“We are excited to add women’s lacrosse as a varsity scholarship program at Florida State,” Florida State athletic director Michael Alford said. “Lacrosse is the fastest growing college sport nationally and it is evident that our culture and community will enthusiastically embrace it. Lacrosse provides another opportunity to compete at a championship level.”

The school says its “fully committed to taking appropriate steps to onboard the new women’s varsity lacrosse team with equipment, facilities, resources, scholarships, staffing, and support” and will begin a search for a head coach in “the coming weeks.”

FSU is anticipating non-conference play in the 2025 fall ball season.

The full release via Florida State:

Tallahassee, Fla. – Florida State University will add women’s lacrosse as a varsity scholarship program, Vice President and Director of Athletics Michael Alford announced on Tuesday, October 3. FSU women’s lacrosse will begin competition during the 2025-26 academic year.

“We are excited to add women’s lacrosse as a varsity scholarship program at Florida State,” said Alford. “Lacrosse is the fastest growing college sport nationally and it is evident that our culture and community will enthusiastically embrace it. Lacrosse provides another opportunity to compete at a championship level.”

With this decision, FSU becomes one of 118 Division 1 NCAA women’s lacrosse programs spanning 16 conferences. The Seminoles also embark on competition in one of the nation’s premiere women’s lacrosse conferences in the ACC, which has produced 17 NCAA women’s lacrosse national champions and has placed a team in the national title game in 13 of the last 14 seasons.

“As a club team at FSU, women’s lacrosse has a proven culture of excellence and achievement,” said Alford. “In hearing from both current and former players, their passion and input throughout this process was constructive and helpful in our decision making. I am thankful for their participation in the process and looking forward to an exciting future.”

The addition of women’s lacrosse to FSU scholarship athletics offerings continues a tradition of commitment by the University to compete at an elite level in women’s athletics, which resulted in four Top-6 finishes and NCAA championship appearances by every FSU women’s team during the 2022-23 academic year. That commitment to excellence is also embodied in FSU’s commitment to conduct a gender equity review of its intercollegiate athletics program to develop and adopt a new Gender Equity Plan to strengthen FSU’s support for its championship women’s sports programs. The Plan will be completed no later than July 31, 2024, and will be designed so that all aspects of FSU’s intercollegiate athletics program comply with Title IX’s athletics provisions.  The Plan will be implemented as quickly as possible, with all aspects of FSU’s intercollegiate athletics program in compliance with Title IX by the 2025-26 academic year and in future years. As the world of intercollegiate athletics continues to evolve, FSU will maintain flexibility with how to achieve gender equity and Title IX compliance.

“Creating opportunities for women to achieve excellence has always been a bedrock of our values at Florida State,” said Alford. “This is merely another chapter in a long history. We have been, and continue to be, unwavering in our commitment to that. It’s integral to our university and athletics culture. That’s been reflected in our elevated financial support for facilities and staff for women’s teams in recent years.”

In arriving at today’s announcement, FSU engaged with the women’s club lacrosse team and their legal representatives in a collegial and cooperative dialogue.

“This is the right thing to do, and we are doing it for the right reasons,” said Alford. “It’s a significant step in our gender equity plan. We are pleased to demonstrate our commitment toward providing the very best opportunities and resources for both our female and male athletes.”

FSU is fully committed to taking appropriate steps to onboard the new women’s varsity lacrosse team with equipment, facilities, resources, scholarships, staffing, and support to successfully begin competition no later than the 2025-26 academic year. That process is anticipated to include non-conference competition (“Fall Ball”) during the Fall 2025 semester. The University will begin a search for a women’s varsity lacrosse head coach in the coming weeks.

An additional email from Michael Alford sent out regarding the news:

Dear xxxx,

I am pleased to reach out to you today to let you know that we will announce the addition of women’s lacrosse as a scholarship sport to the Seminole Athletics family. We plan to begin competition in the spring of 2026.

We are excited about the potential that women’s lacrosse provides Florida State University with yet another vehicle for excellence competitively, academically, and culturally. With this decision, FSU Athletics becomes part of America’s fastest-growing college sport.

The primary objective was to add a sport that would best fit our culture while providing the ability to compete at a championship level. Women’s lacrosse is positioned to make this transition. In addition to its rapidly growing popularity nationally, it is also evident that our culture and community will enthusiastically embrace it.

In addition to providing yet another opportunity for FSU Athletics to compete for championships, the addition of women’s lacrosse also addresses the ongoing considerations of our Title IX mandates.

So now the exciting work begins in creating and developing a women’s lacrosse program that will reflect our values and our competitive mindset for national excellence. To that end, we are already working to develop a plan for facilities, staffing, and support to provide a foundation for excellence in women’s lacrosse.

On behalf of our entire Athletics Department, I want to thank you for your support as we embrace this new program.

Thank you for your continued support of Seminole Athletics.

Go Noles!