SOU Launches New Sports Programs

ASHLAND, Ore. — On the heels of a successful fall sports season that saw Southern Oregon University finish No. 1 in the NAIA Directors’ Cup standings, win an NAIA championship in football, win a Cascade Collegiate Conference championship and finish second in the nation in men’s cross country and share the CCC volleyball title, SOU has announced the formation of two new intercollegiate athletic programs.
Beginning in fall 2015, SOU will feature a men’s soccer team that will compete in the CCC and a women’s wrestling team to go along with the perennial power of a men’s squad.
“Bolstering our already outstanding athletics program with these two sports makes sense in our region and within our department,” SOU Director of Athletics Matt Sayre said. “This will not only provide an opportunity to recruit even more student-athletes to SOU, but will further enhance the college experience of all our students and contribute to our campus community.”
SOU will join 198 other schools in the NAIA that already have men’s soccer. The eight-team CCC men’s soccer circuit hasn’t added a new member since Oregon Tech formed its program prior to the 2008 season, but will welcome the Raiders and Eastern Oregon’s start-up program in 2015.
SOU also competes in the CCC in women’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s track and field, and softball. The Raider football team is a member of the Frontier Conference.
Women’s wrestling is not yet an NAIA-sponsored activity but is one of the fastest growing sports in intercollegiate athletics. SOU will join nearby small institutions like Warner Pacific College, Pacific University and Menlo College (Calif.) that have both men’s and women’s wrestling.
“The women’s wrestling team will compete in the same tournaments as the men against women competitors from other colleges,” Sayre said. “Women’s wrestling is a growing sport with more than 1,000 high school participants on the West Coast alone. This will be a great benefit to our University.”
Coaching searches for the programs will get underway immediately.
“We want to continue to build on our recent successes, and in order to do that, we first need to get quality coaches involved,” Sayre said.
SOU last added to its athletic department with women’s soccer and softball prior to the 2000-01 school year.
About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power, and it is the first university in the nation to balance 100% of its water consumption. Visit