Officials at Dalton State have received approval from the University System of Georgia to go ahead with plans to field an intercollegiate soccer program for both men and women.
The inaugural season for both teams will be in the fall of 2015. Athletic Director Derek Waugh explained that college soccer teams compete in the fall. Georgia high school soccer is played in the spring.
“This is very positive news for Dalton State, the athletic department and the community,” said President Dr. John Schwenn.
“Our primary mission is to serve the residents of this area with a broad range of opportunities, educational and beyond,” Schwenn added. “With the strength and popularity of soccer in Northwest Georgia, this announcement will only further that goal.”
The teams will play home matches at the new municipal soccer stadium at Lakeshore Park. Waugh said coaching searches will begin immediately with a completion date projected for this fall.
“This timetable will give the respective coaches a chance to recruit for a year before competing,” said Waugh. “I am thrilled that we will be able to provide more opportunities for student-athletes to compete under the Roadrunner banner.”
“Our community and the surrounding areas have obviously become a hotbed for soccer,” Waugh added. “I also look forward to bringing in kids from all over the world, like our other teams have been able to do.”
“As an athletic department, we want to do our part to provide excellent scholastic opportunities and continue the trend to make Dalton State a destination school,” Waugh noted. “I want to thank everyone involved in making this possible at the state and local level, and obviously, our immense community support was a major factor in securing the approval.”
Like Dalton State’s other sports, soccer will compete in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC), which produced the NAIA National Champion and National Runners-up in 2013.