Hampton University in Hampton, VA recently became the 70th NCAA Division I program with a men’s lacrosse team. However, they’re the first HBCU (Historically Black College or University) to have a Division I lacrosse team.
Over 30 years ago, Morgan State University accomplished a similar feat though they competed at the Division II level. Coincidentally, one of the collegiate stars of the Morgan State team, Lloyd Carter, who played in 1981 is now the head coach for Hampton.
The 57-year-old, who is a retired Baltimore fire chief and officer with the Maryland Army National Guard, previously coached Hampton’s lacrosse club.
While the team, who are referred to as the Pirates, may have loss their first game to Roberts Wesleyan College, they still have nine games left within their season. Carter is optimistic about his team’s potential.
“We want to get to the point where we are competitive, become affiliated with a conference, win the conference championship and compete for a [national] championship. It takes time, but we’re glad to be one of the 70 elite lacrosse programs in the country.”
Freshman Julian Edwards was recruited by several other colleges to play lacrosse but he proudly chose Hampton.
“I could have gone somewhere else to play, but 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.”