The USU Eastern track and field is already available for the college to start up a soccer program. With a little work, USU Eastern AD Dave Paur believes the field can be a gem compared to other JUCO fields.
Athletes considering attending USU Eastern will now have one more option to choose from as the school announced in a release Monday that soccer will be added to the list of varsity sports sponsored by the college.
"We're excited to get things going with adding soccer to our sports program," said Dave Paur, USU Eastern athletic director.
USU Eastern will now become the second school within the Scenic West Athletic Conference to sponsor soccer, joining North Idaho College.
While the college has looked at adding other sports over the past two decades, Paur said it was within the last year that soccer became a viable option for the college to consider adding it to the athletic department.
"Really within the past year it became a serious possibility," said Paur. He noted that former USU Eastern SID and coach KC Smurthwaite crunched the numbers on what it would cost the college to start up a soccer program for both men and women.
It quickly became apparent that soccer was a good fit for the school. Paur noted the facilities are in place on the campus with a soccer field, bleachers, locker rooms and rest rooms all right next to each other.
"It's just the perfect situation for this," said Paur. "Everything is already available on the campus for this to work."
With the addition of soccer, the college will have six sponsored varsity sports.
Paur noted that the school will need to put about $5,000 to $8,000 into upgrading the current field now to have it be ready for use by the teams.
Soccer was more cost effective that having football return to the college, Paur explained. Just starting back up the football program "would cost well over a $1 million".
The college will begin looking for a coach sometime within the next few months with the hope of having someone in place by January, according to the release. The new coach and an assistant coach would be responsible for coaching both the men's and women's teams, Paur said.
With things seemingly coming together quickly, Paur said he believes that the program can generate interest for recruiting athletes to come play soccer at the college while also increasing interest with soccer in the local area.
"Having soccer here is something we believe we can recruit and get kids to come Price," he said.