Hampton University is making history, as they are set to become the first historically black college or university to field a Division I lacrosse team.
The Pirates have the perfect man at the helm to lead the squad into the new found territory, as head coach Llyod Carter, a retired fire chief and Maryland National Guard officer, played at the last HBCU to play the sport at a high level. Carter played at Morgan University, who dropped the sport in 1981 but were among the most talented teams in the country when Carter played. Within a five-day span the Bears had beaten Notre Dame, Villanova, Michigan State and Georgetown.
“When I got older, I had a better appreciation of history,” Carter says, “And that’s what I am selling these guys now. This is special because we are part of history again.”
Many of the 20 players on the roster didn’t even pick up a lacrosse stick until they got on campus, and Carter is operating under very modest conditions, using an empty dorm as an office and with just one assistant on his staff.
Carter had built programs before, first at Northwestern and later the club teams at Morgan and Hampton. As a recruiting weapon, he plans on getting the sport’s greatest and best-known African-American players, Kyle Harrison and Chazz Woodson to lend a hand.
Freshman Julian Edwards summed up the opportunity perfectly, “I keep telling the coach that I’m blessed. There is an opportunity to make history here, a chance for us to show that African-Americans can play this game.”
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports