RICHMOND, Virginia – The University of Richmond men’s lacrosse program will have a new home in 2023 as the Atlantic 10 Conference has announced that it will now sponsor men’s lacrosse. The move solidifies the future of Richmond men’s lacrosse, as the A10 will immediately have automatic qualification for the NCAA Tournament. Richmond will now have 15 of its 17 sports programs competing in the A10.
“The Southern Conference has been a great home for the Spiders since 2015, but we’re excited about the addition of men’s lacrosse to the Atlantic 10,” the vice president and athletic director said. John P. Hardt mentioned. “It’s the natural evolution of our men’s lacrosse program. Since its inception in 2014, our men’s lacrosse program has been the benchmark for new programs, moving to its fourth NCAA tournament in eight years this season. This new conference will continue our growth in the sport and we look forward to the ascension of our program nationally.”
Richmond will be joined in the Atlantic 10 by full members Saint Joseph’s, Massachusetts and St. Bonaventure. Two affiliate members, High Point and Hobart, will also participate in the A-10. The conference will begin play in the 2023 season.
Richmond launched its men’s lacrosse program in 2014 and has since built one of the best programs in the country. The Spiders have played in eight consecutive conference championship games since their inception, the only program in the nation to have accomplished this feat. Richmond was with the Atlantic Sun for one season (2014) before moving to the Southern Conference (2015-22) for every year since as an affiliate.
“It’s a great day for Spider men’s lacrosse”, head coach Dan Chemotti mentioned. “The new Atlantic 10 Conference men’s lacrosse league is fantastic for our program. Joining current A-10 members while adding affiliate members in High Point and Hobart, immediately makes the Atlantic 10 a This year alone, five of the six programs were ranked or received votes, and four of the programs played in their conference championship games The Atlantic 10 Conference footprint is great for our program as we historically recruit the areas it covers and will allow great lacrosse rivalries to develop..”
The Spiders made their fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in eight seasons this year when Richmond faced No. 3 Penn in overtime in the NCAA First Round in Philadelphia. The Spiders also qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2014, 2018 and 2019.
Richmond is one of 16 programs nationwide to have appeared in at least four NCAA tournaments since 2014. The Spiders are the only team of the six new A-10 programs to have appeared in more than two, while five of the six programs made a tournament appearance during this time. Richmond’s four NCAA Tournaments since 2014 join Maryland (8), Syracuse (7), Duke (7), Notre Dame (7), Virginia (6), Loyola (6), Denver (6), Johns Hopkins (6) , Yale (6), North Carolina (5), Cornell (4), Georgetown (4), UAlbany (4), Towson (4) and Bryant (4).
“The addition of men’s lacrosse to the Atlantic 10 sponsored sports portfolio provides a home for our four full-time members, who have been requesting it for several years. Welcoming High Point and Hobart College as affiliate members completes a strong collection of teams that have been nationally competitive, playing multiple times in the NCAA playoffs, with multiple national championship appearances,” said Atlantic 10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade .
UMass has sponsored men’s lacrosse since 1954 and has qualified for the NCAA Tournament 19 times, including 2006 when the Minutemen were the national runners-up. St. Bonaventure’s program is relatively new, having been established as a varsity sport in 2019. St. Joseph’s program began in 1993 and has played in seven conference championship finals and qualified for the tournament NCAA in 2022.
High Point University is a Division I institution located in High Point, North Carolina. The Panthers have sponsored men’s lacrosse since 2013 and have played in the NCAA Tournament twice, including in 2021. Hobart College is a Division III institution that competes in Division I for men’s lacrosse. . Based in Geneva, NY, the Statesmen program began in 1898 and won 16 national championships at the Division II, Division III and USILA levels before moving up to Division I in 1995. Hobart played in the NCAA Division I tournament five times.