Colorado plans to hire the first women's lacrosse head coach in school history in time to introduce that person to fans and alumni April 14 at the spring football game at Folsom Field, athletic director Mike Bohn said.
Bohn informed the Board of Regents on Feb. 1 the athletic department would add women's lacrosse as its 17th intercollegiate sport.
The program will begin play in the spring of 2014 and will compete in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, along with four other Pac-12 schools, the University of Denver and others. The Pac-12 doesn't sponsor the sport.
Bohn said the job description has been finalized and posted and a search committee has been formed to find a coach who can build a winner from the ground up.
"We will go out and recruit and pursue a lacrosse coach that fits the institution's mission of being competitive in our new sport," Bohn said.
Generally, Bohn has preferred to hire head coaches with previous head coaching experience during his time as athletic director in Boulder.
Building a program from scratch might have him leaning that direction again with this position, but he said his mission is to find the person he believes is the best fit.
There is no one in the CU athletic department with any experience or significant background in women's lacrosse.
Bohn said that just means he and his staff will have to talk to as many people in the lacrosse community as they possibly can to find the right person for the job.
Bohn said that process already has started and some of the people and organizations at the top of the list include officials from the two professional lacrosse franchises in Denver, Hall of Fame lacrosse player and former Colorado Mammoth coach Gary Gait, officials and coaches at DU and former members of CU's club team who remain active in the sport at some level.
Bohn said once the head coach is hired, that person will make many of the major decisions for the program's future, such as hiring two assistant coaches, assembling the first recruiting class and deciding whether recruited players will participate for one year with CU's club team or simply practice without competing in what would amount to a redshirt year.
Bohn said numerous coaches already have applied for the head coaching job or contacted him to express interest and gather more information on the school's plans for the program.
"The excitement within the lacrosse community along the Front Range is robust," Bohn said. "It's actually inspiring us to move faster and identify all the options associated with locker rooms, practice fields, game fields and distinctive uniforms that Nike is helping us with. All those things are coming together very nicely."
The NCAA recruiting calendar in women's lacrosse features a signing period in mid-November.
Bohn said he and senior women's administrator Ceal Barry are certified to recruit for the program until coaches are in place.
When the Buffs do begin competing in lacrosse in 2014, home games will be played in the spring at Folsom Field in a regular season that begins in mid-February and runs through the third week of April. MPSF teams average seven homes games per season.
The MPSF tournament is the final week of April and the NCAA tournament runs during May, with a national champion crowned in the final week of the month.
Stanford has won seven consecutive MPSF titles and Northwestern has won six of eight national titles in women's lacrosse since the sport became officially sanctioned by the NCAA.