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Misericordia University's Athletic Director David Martin
Misericordia University in Dallas, Pa., announced on Monday that it will add football as a varsity sport beginning with the 2012 season.
The decision supports Misericordia’s recently approved strategic plan that calls for “thoughtful growth.”
Athletics Director David Martin said the decision represents “one of the most impactful changes in the history of our institution.”
Football will become the 14th sport Misericordia has added since of joining Division III in 1992. The school offers a total of 23 varsity sports.
“In an ongoing effort to meet the demands of our student-athletes, our athletics program has grown in proportion to the university over the last two decades,” said Martin. “The addition of football will have a significant impact on our entire operation.”
Martin said the university hopes to have a head coach in place by February to begin the recruiting process for 2012. He said while the addition of football has been rumored for several years, the possibility became more realistic with the school’s transition to the Middle Atlantic Conferences (in the Freedom Conference) in 2008. The Cougars will become the 10th MAC school to offer football.
“Being in a conference that sponsors football certainly added fuel to the football fire on campus,” said Martin. “The change in conference affiliation was one of many factors in our decision.”
Mangelsdorf Field, the current home for Misericordia’s field hockey and soccer teams, will also undergo a facelift. In addition to the 10-year-old turf being replaced, the complex will see increased seating capacity and a field house/press box. Anderson Field, the previous varsity soccer field, will be converted to artificial grass, and the baseball field will also be upgraded.