President Sister Peg Albert, OP, PhD, announced that Siena Heights University is exploring the possibility of adding football as an intercollegiate sport. To help make that decision, a task force led by Athletic Director Fred Smith has been established. SHU has also hired longtime college football coaches Jim Lyall and Jeff Hancock as consultants to help with the process.
“I want to emphasize this is about what’s best for Siena Heights. That is my primary concern,” President Albert said. “This task force will investigate and weigh all the factors involved. I am confident that under Fred’s leadership the right questions will be asked – and answered – so we can make an informed decision.”
Siena Heights currently sponsors eight men’s and seven women’s intercollegiate sports that compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Earlier in 2010 SHU announced it is adding men’s and women’s bowling in the fall.
“I look forward to the exploration process,” Smith said. “There are many exciting possibilities, but also some potential challenges, to beginning football at Siena Heights. Our task force will look at all of the factors, both pro and con. We know other smaller institutions like Siena have successfully added football, and we will discover if football makes sense for Siena Heights.”
After the task force completes its findings, a final decision is expected later this year.
“I want to emphasize we are not starting football,” President Albert said. “Right now we are just exploring the possibility. When I arrived as president of Siena Heights more than three years ago, I promised to be bold in the way I led the university. This would certainly be a bold move. We may ultimately decide that now is not the right time to bring football to Siena Heights. But as we move through our 90th anniversary year, I believe the time is right to at least ask the question.”
For more information, contact the SHU Athletic Department at 517-264-7870 or visit www.shusaints.com.