After a two-year hiatus, men’s soccer is back at Eastern New Mexico, the school announced on Thursday.
Men’s soccer at ENMU was dropped after the 2019 season, but will return for the fall season this year.
“We are incredibly thankful to our Board of Regents for their support in bringing men’s soccer back to Eastern,” Paul Weir, ENMU director of athletics, said in a press release.
“To be the only NCAA men’s soccer program in New Mexico will provide our wonderful institution the opportunity to serve the students of this great state and beyond. Our efforts will commence immediately to recruit the best team members we can to carry this torch forward.”
Elizabeth Acosta, assistant athletic director for student success at ENMU, said she was unsure why men’s soccer was dropped two years ago. After the 2019 season, then-head coach Jon Fridal resigned, but Acosta said that had nothing to do with eliminating the program.
“It was a decision made by the past athletic director,” she said.
The Greyhounds are still without a head coach, Acosta said, but will be hiring ‘as soon as possible” in order to begin recruiting immediately.
The ENMU men’s soccer program will be fully funded, Acosta said. Still, the team is accepting donations online at bit.ly/supporthoundsoccer.
A message reads: “Your donation will provide critical resources as we prepare for competition in the Fall.”
Acosta believes men’s soccer is a great opportunity for high school boys in New Mexico wanting to play on the next level.
“Soccer is very popular in our area,” Acosta said. “This gives kids in our state an opportunity to play soccer and stay in New Mexico. It’s an opportunity to get an education and play soccer. I’m glad we are bringing it back. A lot of people were disappointed when it was let go. I don’t know what happened. I’m all for bringing it back.”
There is no men’s soccer at the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State. Men’s soccer at UNM was dropped due to budgetary reasons after the 2018 season.