Jan. 18 - BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College Director of Athletics and Recreation Tim Weaver announced Monday that Todd Wolffrum has been named as the new coach to start a varsity men’s lacrosse program. Wolffrum is a former player at NCAA Division II Pfeiffer (N.C.) University.
The announcement is the first step in Bethany adding lacrosse as its 21st varsity sport. Under Wolffrum’s direction, the program will compete at the club level during 2010-11 before moving to varsity status for the 2011-12 academic year.
The decision to add men’s lacrosse is part of a master plan which was crafted when current President Dr. Scott D. Miller came to Bethany in Dec., 2007. According to Dr. Miller and Weaver, finding someone with Wolffrum’s energy and background is exactly what the Bison lacrosse program needs to get off to a strong start. Wolffrum will also serve as an enrollment counselor at Bethany.
“Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in America right now, and there are high quality student-athletes looking for opportunities to play at places with great academic credentials like Bethany,” said Weaver. “We think adding lacrosse will further enhance an already dynamic, tradition-rich athletic department.
“Todd has all the qualities the search committee wanted in our first coach,” Weaver added. “He’s a young, energetic coach with experience playing at the collegiate level. He’s coached lacrosse in one of the most competitive areas of the country, and his recruiting connections in the Mid-Atlantic region should help us start our program with some very good young players.”
Wolffrum comes to Bethany from St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C., where he has served as the defensive coach since Sept., 2008. His other responsibilities included helping recruit prospective players to attend the private high school, analyze game video and monitor student-athletes weight training and conditioning programs. He also spent this past summer working game day operations for the Washington Bayhawks of the Major League Lacrosse.
In addition to his coaching experience, Wolffrum has also worked at the U.S. Naval Academy Lacrosse Camp for each of the last seven summers. Wolffrum played for two seasons at Division II Pfeiffer in Misenheimer, N.C., for two years in 2005 and 2006 after transferring from Anne Arundel Community College. He would go on to earn his Bachelor of Science degree from Business Administration from Pfeiffer in 2008. Wolffrum says his experience at Pfeiffer will help him get the Bison program up and running.
“I am really excited for the opportunity to start the new program at Bethany,” said Wolffrum. “It’s a big step in my career and a big step for the Bethany program. Having played at Pfeiffer, I am very familiar with working at a small school and I am looking forward to adding lacrosse to the already tradition-rich athletic program at Bethany.”
Even though there will be a relatively quick turnaround time in going from club level to varsity in one season, Wolffrum says he will most likely be building the program with freshmen instead of transfers. When it comes to recruiting players to Bethany, he will look to the lacrosse-heavy areas, but will also want local student-athletes, as lacrosse’s popularity picks up in the region.
“When we recruit, it will be important to find student athletes from the hotbed regions like Maryland and New York, but I’ll also be looking to tap into West Virginia, Ohio and Western Pennsylvania,” said Wolffrum. “While a lot of players may be looking to go to an established program on the East Coast, we will present them an opportunity to come to a small school of national distinction and be part of a program that can become competitive quickly.”
In addition to recruiting quality players on the field, Wolffrum will also use Bethany’s strong academic reputation in bringing excellent students to campus who want to earn a top-notch education.
“Regardless of where you play in college, there aren’t very many opportunities to play professional lacrosse,” said Wolffrum. “So it’s very important to have athletes who want to get a good education, maintain a high GPA and go on to graduate and be successful when they are done at Bethany.”