Eastern Arizona College to add Men’s and Women’s Soccer

From left, Eastern Arizona College Dean of Student Services Kenny Smith, President Todd Haynie and Athletic Director Jim Bagnall pose for a photo after announcing the college will over intercollegiate men's and women's soccer starting in the 2023-24 school year. - David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central

THATCHER — Eastern Arizona College President Todd Haynie announced Tuesday afternoon that the school would add Men’s and Women’s soccer to their athletics lineup starting in Fall 2023.

The teams will join the Arizona Community College Athletic Association and compete with the 12 other Women’s teams and 11 other Men’s teams that are already in the league.

“Athletics is an important part of Eastern Arizona College,” said President Haynie. “Not just for those athletes that compete but to the students that are already on campus, it adds to the overall college experience.”

During a press conference Tuesday, Eastern Arizona College President Todd Haynie signs the letter to the National Junior College Athletic Association committing EAC to men’s and women’s soccer programs in two years. – David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central

Athletic Director Jim Bagnall told the audience that Eastern Arizona Soccer will compete in the Fall season and each team will have up to 24 athletes. The college hopes to have the soccer staff in place after the 2022 season.

The 2021 NJCAA Soccer rankings were announced Monday afternoon and the ACCAC is well represented.

On the Women’s side Phoenix College is the defending National Champions and pre-season #1. Pima and Arizona Western are receiving votes. In Men’s soccer Pima College is #3, Yavapai #12 and Arizona Western is #18.

“We know what environment we are jumping in to,” said Dean Kenny Smith. “We are comfortable with our timeline and that we will be ready to compete in 2023.”