Pitt to Add Women’s Lacrosse

AD Heather Lyke talks new program, facilities, colors and more

Josh Rowntree
November 01, 2018 - 12:19 pm
Pitt AD Heather Lyke with women's lacrosse goalie helmet in 2018

Josh Rowntree - 93.7 The Fan

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University of Pittsburgh athletic director Heather Lyke announced Thursday the school’s intention to add a women’s lacrosse program. 

The sport will debut in the Spring of the 2021-2022 season. A national search will begin for a head coach when the current season comes to a close in May. 

“This is really about a strategic decision based on the growth of the sport,” Lyke said. “It is the fastest growing team sport in the country. Obviously, the state of Pennsylvania is an incredible hotbed, from a recruiting standpoint, from a development standpoint. There’s an awful lot of lacrosse played here and we feel that it’s going to be great recruiting ground for our coach.”

Pitt’s women’s lacrosse program will be the ninth in the Atlantic Coast Conference.  

“It’s an unbelievable opportunity to provide females with the opportunities to compete at the highest level,” Lyke added. “The ACC is the premier conference in the country for women’s lacrosse. And it’s really an opportunity to put the brand and our team, eventually, on the ACC Network.”

The ACC Network will be launched for the 2019-2020 seasons and will look similar to the SEC Network in providing a national television platform for the conference. 

Current facilities will be used for lacrosse until the completion of the Victory Heights project, which will have an individual lacrosse stadium at its center. The development will provide new facilities for Pitt’s track and field, wrestling, gymnastics and wrestling. Those programs currently operate in the Fitzgerald Fieldhouse. The soccer, softball and baseball teams will receive new training facilities, as well. 

Lyke pulled out a yellow-gold and royal blue goalie’s helmet, again fueling expectations that a permanent switch will be made to the throwback colors of the school. 

“I think it’s an attractive look,” Lyke joked.

Hear Lyke’s entire media availability, including her comments on men’s basketball season ticket sales, and much more, below.