Lindenwood Finds its Varsity Home


The Lindenwood athletic department announced on June 9th what most had been suspecting for awhile: Lindenwood’s men’s lacrosse team will become a member of the Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (WILA), a lacrosse only athletic conference that competes within the NCAA’s Division II.  They will compete in the WILA against Adams State (Colo.), Mesa State (Colo.), Dominican (Calif.), and Notre Dame de Namur (Calif.)  Full news release available here.

Not another league, an NCAA DII lax conference

If you are unfamiliar with the new WILA, it’s OK, they’ve only been around for a few months.  Lacrosse only conferences aren’t new though for the NCAA.  The Great Western Lacrosse League was home to the western Division I lacrosse teams for awhile, before morphing into the current ECAC.  The ECAC stands for Eastern College Athletic Conference, and now features the western Division I lacrosse teams, in addition to an extremely confusing website.  If you can explain to me what the heck the ECAC is outside of lacrosse in the comments, you win a cookie.

ECAC Bound ... and Up?

Lindenwood makes the move to NCAA Division II after just concluding its MCLA farewell tour.  The Lions went 13-4 in MCLA play in 2011, taking the GRLC conference crown with an overtime winner over Illinois on their home field.  This sent them to Denver, where they ended up losing to fellow NCAA varsity-bound Michigan in the first round.

What isn’t reported on their team website on, is their record against their soon to be regular NCAA Division II opponents. Highlights of their non-MCLA tilts?  A 7-4 win over Fontbonne, a bottom-third NCAA DIII team. Also, a 9-8 win over soon to be conference foe Adams State on the road in Alamosa, CO.  You can view the Lindenwood full 2011 schedule and results at their page here.

There wasn't much more for Lindenwood to prove in the GRLC

How can Lindenwood fare in NCAA Divison II?  Well already having a win over a conference team isn’t bad, regardless of what MCLA haters want to say about which starters were or were not playing in that game, or weren’t taking it seriously, or whatever other nonsense is usually spouted when an MCLA team beats an NCAA team.

Taking a look at their in-conference opponents, there isn’t much to write home about at first glance.  All four teams rank 28 or lower out of 42 teams in the Laxpower ratings for NCAA DII teams (NDNU-28, Dominican-33, Mesa State-37, Adams State-40).  If there’s a conference you want to hop into as a new and developing team, the WILA has to be it for DII.

If you take a gander at the Lindenwood roster, you’ll see that the top two scorers for the Lions in terms of PPG are from Saskatchewan and Manitoba (Cameron and McKay).  It’s well known that Troy Hood had the Canadian connection going when he was at the helm in St. Charles, MO.  If the Lions can continue to recruit good Canadian talent they will be able to hold their own and hope that they can make further inroads in the Midwestern lacrosse recruiting game.

Coaching wise, the program reached new heights under the aforementioned Hood, winning five GRLC titles from 2004-2010.  Hood, however, stepped down suddenly in the summer of 2010.  That led to Derek Schaub stepping back into the head coaching role for the Lions, a program he helped start in 2003.  Schaub didn’t skip a beat in 2011 though, and got another GRLC title for the Lions.  No word on if the program is seeking a new head coach, but it would be shocking if they weren’t comfortable with Schaub at the helm.

Fearless Season 1 prediction: 2-2 record in conference, 4 wins overall in NCAA play.

Best of luck to the Lindenwood Lions in the NCAA!


Lindenwood caught a little heat going out the door when it was thought they bailed on a consolation game at the MCLA tournament in May.  Having overheard the conversation where it was agreed upon by BOTH the Colorado coach and the Lindenwood coach that the game didn’t need to be played, I can confirm there is nothing there to complain about.

Want some borderline useless information?  You got it: Derek Schaub is also known as a dominating roller hockey coach where he led Lindenwood to two national titles in 2002 and 2003.  This info is featured prominently in his coaching profile on the Lindenwood team page.

What do I know about roller hockey?  It’s where the Knucklepuck was invented, and is apparently the only version of hockey that black people play:

all photos courtesy


  1. Will:

    Thanks for your kind words. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as Head Coach at LU. Health and family obligations caught up with me. Hopefully, as my health improves, I’ll be able to get back after it and make another contender from scratch. More to come (cross your fingers!). 

    The WILA goes “home and home” for the regular season. LU will be playing Adams State, Colorado Mesa U, NDNU, and Dominican U both at home and on the road in 2012. As part of their membership being accepted, LU must provide a 2nd NCAA DII opponent to the aforementioned schools on their trips to St. Charles. 
    I’ve heard rumblings of top 20 DII schools making the trip to St. Charles. This will be great for lacrosse in the Midwest, for sure. Also of note is that LU will be, nearly, fully funded as a DII right off the bat. They won’t have the maximum 10.2 scholarships to work with, but, it will be close. Add that to the expanding enrollment and the brand new athletic facility being built, and they’ll have all the tools necessary to compete.

    As far as GRLC alignment and the 1AA move: it was right for the time. I’ll stand behind that decision. However, when it was put in place, it had a timetable attached. That timetable is near or at its end. I agree that it’s time for the 1AA teams to step up and be equals. They’ve had plenty of time to get there. Plus, UW has come in and competed without missing a beat at the highest level of the GRLC. It’s a question of how much they want it. 

    Thanks fo covering this. It’s a joy to the Lions enter the NCAA with their heads held high.

    Troy Hood