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Union to add women’s soccer team, build athletic field house

JACKSON, Tenn.Feb. 28, 2005 – An expanded soccer program and construction of a new field house are in the short-term plans for Union University’s athletic department.

Union will launch a women’s intercollegiate soccer program at both the varsity and junior varsity levels, with competition beginning in the fall. Brandon Boylan, who as a student helped start the men’s soccer program at Union, has been hired as the women’s soccer coach.

In addition, the men’s soccer program will begin a full junior varsity team, effective immediately. Junior varsity soccer was offered on a limited basis in the fall of 2004.

“We are expanding our soccer program in response to the national growth trend that has been going on in our nation for several years in regards to soccer,” said Union men’s soccer coach Darin White. “Soccer has grown in both participation and in fan and student support.”

To accommodate these expansions, Union will build a lighted competition soccer field with Blue Tag Certified T-10 Bermuda turf that will be finished by the fall. This will give the university two lighted soccer fields, which Union will make available for community use as well.

Also in the works is a new 18,000-square foot field house that will support the soccer teams, the men’s baseball team and the women’s softball team. The facility will include a 9,000-square foot turf room, locker rooms and showers for each home and visiting team, coaches offices and an athletic training room.

“It’s something that we’ve wanted for a long time,” Union baseball coach Andy Rushing said about the field house. “The indoor practice facility gives us an advantage because it will allow us to prepare inside during the cold months. This is a great addition to an already top-notch baseball facility.”

Construction on the field house is scheduled to begin in the spring.

“We are extremely excited about this addition to our softball program,” Union softball coach Brian Dunn said. “The dressing room and indoor practice facility will give us something we’ve never had before. The addition of the field house only helps us as we recruit students to Union University.”

Funding for the soccer program and the field house has been provided by gifts from university friends and the athletic booster club. The lead gift of $500,000 was provided by Benny and Norma Fesmire and the Fesmire Foundation.

Union is seeking additional donations to help fund the athletic projects. For more information, contact Tommy Sadler at (731) 661-5218.

Related Resource(s): Boylan named women's soccer coach; Women's Soccer Site
Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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