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Posted on Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 11:44 a.m.

Big Ten adds Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse, league play to begin in 2015

By Kyle Austin


The Michigan men's lacrosse team will be competing with a nine-time national championship program starting in 2015.

Daniel Brenner | file

The second-year Michigan men’s lacrosse program will have one of the sport’s most historic programs as a conference foe when Big Ten play kicks off two seasons from now.

Johns Hopkins will join the conference as a lacrosse-only member starting in the 2015, the league announced Monday. The Bluejays will join five other Big Ten schools that already offer varsity men’s lacrosse: Michigan, Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers.

With six schools, men’s lacrosse will become a Big Ten sport starting in 2015.

Women’s lacrosse will also become a conference sport in 2015, with Michigan, Maryland, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers. Michigan women’s lacrosse will become a varsity program in 2014.

"Men’s and women's lacrosse are great additions to the official lineup of Big Ten sponsored sports," Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said in a statement. "Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in the country and we are happy that the conference will contribute to its growth. It's an exciting, fast paced competition that is fan-friendly and will be great inventory for television networks. Competing in a Big Ten league will be a big boost for our newest varsity teams."

Johns Hopkins has won nine NCAA Division 1 national titles, second only to Syracuse’s 10. The school missed the 2013 NCAA tournament, something that had not happened since 1971.

The Michigan men’s lacrosse program will move from the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference to the Big Ten following next season. The Wolverines just completed their second year at the varsity level with a 1-13 record.

Kyle Austin covers sports for He can be reached at or 734-623-2535. Follow him on Twitter @KAustin_AA.


Rod Anderson

Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 12:48 p.m.

This has been talked about for some time and frankly I don't see it. Hopkins is just not a typical Big 10 school, being small, private, and elite. Trouble is, there is little competition among its peer schools, except in the Ivies, who aren't going to add anyone to the league. Key unstated factor is whether the Big 10 will get an automatic qualifier to the tournament. Right now 8 of the 16 tournament spots are automatically awarded to conference champions. Hopkins was competing for a shrinking number of slots, so joining a conference makes some sense, but has to be one with an AQ. BTW, Hopkins has won 44 (not 9) National Championships in men's lacrosse since 1876. The NCAA only started administering the award in 1971. In the Big 10, only Penn State has won more championships (45). But of course that's in 29 sports.....


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 1:59 p.m.

As one of the most successful lacrosse teams in the country Michigan should gain experience by playing them. Also, Harvard becomes a measuring stick for Michigan's level of achievement, presuming that Harvard's team returns to elite status in 2015. The exposure to East Coast publicity could benefit Michigan in its recruiting and fan base. And, as I have already mentioned, the visit will be an opportunity for local alumnae to actually personally attend a Michigan varsity sporting event.

Kyle Austin

Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 1:57 p.m.

Agreed that it's not a natural fit from a geography and school profile. But it sounds like Hopkins was very ready to find a conference, particularly after this year, and the Big Ten needed another member that would raise its competition level, so it was a match. And as far as the national championships go, I limited it to NCAA Division 1 national titles for our purposes.


Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 10:52 p.m.

Sports-starved Michigan alumnae living in the Baltimore area will soon have a chance to see a Michigan varsity team live. I hope that by 2015 Michigan can be more competitive and earn some respect out East. But it takes time to build a program that can challenge the best.