Softball and Men's Tennis Coming to Southeastern
January 11, 2012
Both Sports Will Begin Competing in the Fall of 2012
LAKELAND—Southeastern University Athletics Director Duane Aagaard proudly announced the addition of two new varsity sports on Wednesday. The Fire will add women’s softball and men’s tennis to their fold immediately, as both programs will begin official competition in the fall of 2012.
Aagaard announced the news in a press release which was posted on the Fire’s athletic website. The new sports are the first new additions to the SEU Athletics Department since women’s tennis was started back in 2007. The Fire now expands from nine to 11 varsity programs.
“Lakeland could easily be considered the epicenter of softball for the state of Florida, and what better place to launch an intercollegiate program,” said Aagaard. “Southeastern’s Christ-centered mission, Florida’s ideal climate, and Polk County’s notoriety as a softball powerhouse should allow the Fire an opportunity to compete nationally within a short window.”
Women’s softball is widely considered one of the fastest growing female sports in America, and Polk County has reaped the majority of its benefits through the years. In 2006, three Polk County high schools won state titles while Bartow High School was named the 2003 National Champions by USA Today.
Similar to softball, tennis is another sport that thrives in the Sunshine State. Florida is home to the IMG’s Bollettieri Tennis Academy and the Evert Academy, while hosting junior circuits for players pursuing state and national rankings.
“The addition of men’s tennis will push Southeastern Athletics to 11 varsity sports,” Aagaard added. “The state of Florida is also a premier location for training tennis stars from all around the world.”
In terms of conference membership, the addition of both sports will now give the Sun Conference seven participating members for each sport.
The university is expected to name full-time head coaches for both positions by the end of the month.