St. Ambrose University (IA) announced that it would be adding lacrosse as a varsity sport earlier this fall, joining the Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference at the Divison 2 level of the MCLA beginning in 2014. Lacrosse is actually the first varsity sport that St. Ambrose has added since starting men’s and women’s bowling in 2009-10 (GTG!).
We recently sat down with recently hired new head coach Brad Keel to find out a little more about his Fighting Bees.
MCLA Fan: Where does most of your roster hail from?
BK: Most of the interest has been from Illinois.
Can you tell us a little about your team’s goals leading up to next season?
We are starting competition in the GRLC in the spring of 2014. Our goal is to recruit talent from all over the country and to become a contender in our conference right away. We want to win the GRLC title and advance to the National tournament within four years.
Who will be the toughest teams to play in the GRLC for you? Why?
Once we join the GRLC, I think that Missouri Baptist U., Missouri State U., and Washington U. will be the toughest competition. Between them they have won the conference the last four years and they make the conference tournament almost every year.
What is the one thing you’re most excited about?
I’m most excited about building a program from scratch. It will prove challenging at times, but that will make our future success that much sweeter. I feel that since we will be a varsity sport with access to our school’s facilities and the ability to offer athletic financial aid, we have all the tools to be a successful program.
What three words describe this experience so far?
Recruiting, exciting, and special.
Are there any other MCLA programs that you would compare yours to?
We will create our own identity. That is the best way to be successful in a time where a lot of teams are doing the same thing.
Any prediction for the 2013 MCLA D2 Final Four?
St. Thomas, Grand Valley State, St. Johns, & Dayton.
Thanks Coach and good luck this season in building up your program! Keep up to date with St. Ambrose at their SAU Lacrosse Homepage.