he The generosity of a longtime supporter of Michigan Technological University is bringing varsity women’s soccer to Michigan Tech. The woman, who prefers to remain anonymous, gave the University a gift to cover 100 percent of the costs of starting up the new athletic program, including initial equipment, locker room renovation and first-year coaching salaries.
"I like helping the students at Michigan Tech, especially the women," she said. "They’re already getting a great education; they should have some fun too."
The donor is the widow of a Tech alumnus. The couple supported numerous Tech initiatives all across campus, including the Summer Reading program, EcoCAR, the rowing team, the Peace Corps Masters International program, the Outdoor Adventures program and an endowed scholarship.
"Michigan Tech did a lot for us, and whenever we can, we like to give back," the donor said.
Women’s soccer at Michigan Tech will begin intercollegiate competition as a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference next fall.
"The addition of women’s soccer is a strategic decision for the University," said President Glenn D. Mroz. "It will bolster the number of women on campus and increase the number of student-athletes, who have proven themselves to be great leaders and students here."
With the addition of women’s soccer, there now are 14 varsity sports at Michigan Tech—seven women’s and seven men’s. Women’s soccer is the first sport to be added to the Michigan Tech varsity lineup since Nordic skiing was bumped up from club status in 1989-90.
"This is a great step for the University and athletic department," said Tech athletic director Suzanne Sanregret. "It has been one of my goals since becoming athletic director to add women’s soccer. It’s an up-and-coming sport and a natural fit in the GLIAC."
Michigan Tech’s home soccer facility will be Sherman Field, which was set up for soccer when the synthetic turf was installed summer 2008.
Michigan Tech will post the head coaching vacancy in early Nov. with hopes of bringing an individual on board Jan. 1. A part-time assistant may also be hired. Scholarships will be available for women’s soccer student-athletes, and a tryout will be held for current Tech students to fill out the roster for the first season.
Tech’s 2010 schedule is still being finalized, but there will be at least 14 GLIAC soccer games, with seven of those to be played at Sherman Field.