FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University has announced the addition of Men’s Lacrosse to their athletic department, marking the university’s 32nd varsity program which continues their commitment to invest in the student experience.
Men’s lacrosse will begin recruiting for the 2019-2020 school year and compete as an affiliate member with the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) within the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), along with the Midland Women’s Lacrosse team.
Midland University has experienced record growth over the last ten years and is recognized as Nebraska’s fastest-growing college. Students are drawn to the institution’s dynamic course offerings, scholarship opportunities, and inclusive community. Home to the largest athletic department in Nebraska, Midland boasts more than 850 student-athletes participating in now 32 varsity sports.
“Midland University strives to be a leader in creating opportunities for students to pursue their passions and engage in learning experiences that go beyond the classroom. Men’s lacrosse is a growing sport, and we are excited to offer this opportunity to our students while earning their degree,” stated Jody Horner, Midland University President.
Further bolstering the exciting new athletic program addition, Midland is pleased to announce T.J. Westfall as the Men’s Lacrosse team’s first head coach. Westfall comes to Midland University from Lincoln, Nebraska where he has been an integral part of the Lincoln Rampage lacrosse program since 2008, as a player during his prep days, later as an assistant coach. Westfall served as head coach from 2015-2017.
“It is such a unique opportunity to be able to build a program from the ground up, and one that I am so excited for,” said Westfall. “Team culture is huge for me. To be able to create the environment that I want, and bring in student-athletes who I believe exemplify what I’m looking for is what excites me the most. This first group of incoming student-athletes will have such a huge impact not only on the future of the Men’s Lacrosse program here at Midland, but our program has the responsibility of being ambassadors to the game for the state of Nebraska. Our student-athletes will have a fantastic opportunity to showcase all of the great things that this game has to offer.”
In 2017, T.J. Westfall was named to the Hudl 100, a list of leaders and innovators in athletics, for his work with the Rampage and the Nebraska U-17 team. Last season, Westfall served as an assistant coach for men’s lacrosse at Cornell College, an NCAA Division III program in Mount Vernon, Iowa.
A 2016 graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University, Westfall earned his Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management. “Being involved in lacrosse in the state of Nebraska for more than ten years, I am very ingrained in the community, so when I learned of this opportunity at Midland, it was a no-brainer,” said Westfall. “Everything lined up perfectly.”
“We are excited to welcome T.J. to the Midland Athletics family,” said Dave Gillespie, Athletic Director at Midland. “With his knowledge of the game and the region, he is the perfect person to lead and build this program.”
Founded in 1883, Midland University is a liberal arts college providing relevant opportunities in more than 30 academic areas, four graduate programs, and a variety of professional studies programs to students at both their Fremont and Omaha locations. Midland’s bold approach of working from the marketplace back provides students with the skills needed to learn and lead in the world with purpose. Learn more about Midland University at www.MidlandU.edu