Loyola-New Orleans launches new athletic programs

Loyola-New Orleans launches new athletic programs

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Loyola University New Orleans is adding numerous athletic programs, including a men's and women's swim team.

Director of Athletics and Wellness Brett Simpson announced that the university will be adding men's and women's swimming as well as competitive cheer and dance as intercollegiate sports starting in 2016-17.

"The addition of swimming and competitive cheer and dance is part of our strategic plan to enhance intercollegiate athletics. The University Sports Complex gives us a competitive advantage when adding these sports. Our facility offers the space for our competitive cheer and dance teams to practice and compete. Our swimming pool will allow us to start an intercollegiate swimming program. We hope to grow the number of student athletes from the current level of 150 to 300 by 2020," Simpson said.

Competitive cheer and dance is recognized as an invitational sport in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics with 63 institutions currently sponsoring the sport.

Head coaches for the new sports are expected to be hired in the spring and will spend the 2015-16 year recruiting students to fill squads the following year. The addition of three new intercollegiate teams will bring the total number of teams to 17 in 2016-17.

Copyright 2015 WVUE. All rights reserved.