COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
Colorado State University is located in Fort Collins, Colorado, 55 miles north of Denver in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Skiing, fishing, mountain biking and camping are all nearby. CSU includes eight colleges, broken down into 56 departments of more than 100 different academic programs. The campus is located in the heart of “Fort Fun.” Fort Collins is a college town. It is also a vibrant and growing Colorado community. Visit www.colosate.edu for more information on the University.
The Rams’ roster in the 1999 season had 30 out of 35 members from the state of Colorado. Most players were from the greater Denver metropolitan area. The percentage of out-of-state players has increased dramatically since then. We have had players from Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, California, Washington, Illinois, Utah, Maryland and Tennessee to go along with the always-strong Colorado nucleus. In 2012, we expect that about one-third of our roster will be from out of state – a testament to the growth of the game and the program as time has passed.
At CSU, our hallmark is “FAMILY.” The word Family means a lot to us, whether it pertains to how we play and interact on the field or to our connection with ther Alumni and Parent groups off the field. We put a high importance on our group working as a family towards whatever our goal may be. For most of the team, friendships are forged that will last a lifetime and the team’s true value is seen in the relationships made. Winning is not secondary to this goal, but a natural extrapolation of playing and acting as a Family at all times.
Colorado State University men’s lacrosse is a member of the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA – formerly USLIA and USL-MDIA) and has taken home national titles in 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2006. Within this national organization there are now two divisions, nine conferences and almost 200 teams. The Rams compete in Division I of the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference. CSU has won RMLC championships in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006. With three-time MCLA champion Brigham Young, the up-and-coming University of Utah and in-state rival Colorado perennially in the top 20, the RMLC is one of the most competitive conferences in the country.
With teams like Michigan, Florida, Texas and others in the mix, the MCLA has become a very competitive and fun division to compete in. CSU’s four national titles is a record in the MCLA. The MCLA national tournament will be held in Denver, CO for the second consecutive year in the spring of 2010.
The players for the most part pay ONLY for their own costs for travel and equipment. Costs for a year can range, but a player can expect to pay approximately $3,000 throughout the course of a school year, including fall, spring and equipment. There are “packages” and pre-payment discounts offered and the team will never turn someone away simply because of finances.
The team does get some sponsorship from lacrosse companies, mainly Rock-it Pocket. Warrior Lacrosse is the team’s equipment provider. The players and coaches put on lacrosse clinics and teach lacrosse “classes” in the local junior high schools, which help raise capital for the organization. Activities like these can go to credit the player’s “account.” Working the Ram Camp can earn players credit as well. We hope that parents and players do not see dues as anything more than an extension of the university experience and part of the cost of a CSU education.
THE UNIVERSITY’S COMMITMENT
As a “virtual varsity” program, the lacrosse team needs a solid foundation inside the university. Sport Clubs recognizes lacrosse as a major sport now, and supplies the team with whatever is possible. Questions and comments can be directed to CSU’s Sport Clubs department at (970) 491-2116.
DONATIONS AND FUND RAISING
The CSU Men’s Lacrosse Ram Camp, held annually in July at Colorado State, has become a large and important fundraiser for CSU lacrosse in the last eight years. The camp is staffed largely by CSU players and Alumni.
The CSU Alumni Association is beginning to build a CSU Lacrosse endowment fund. The alums also have created the “Rocky Mountain Showdown”, the annual game between MCLA powers CU and CSU. This exciting and important game has been held both at neutral sites such as INVESCO Field at Mile High Stadium as well as Folsom Field in Boulder, CO. In 2008, the Showdown was held at INVESCO Field at Mile High Stadium for the fourth season and was attended by nearly 5,000 fans, making it the highest attended game in MCLA history. Building a partnership with the MLL’s Denver Outlaws has been a great way for the program to raise visibility and funds.
Parking cars at athletic events, an annual CSU lacrosse schedule/poster and selling team apparel are just some of the other fundraising endeavors that the team takes on to generate cash flow for the program, as well as to help individual players fulfill their financial responsibilities. While the team has some support from the school, outside donations are crucial to keep the program running. High travel costs make fundraising a must for the team as the annual overall team expenses have grown to over $120K, or about 20 times more than the university allocates for men’s lacrosse. Tax-free donations are accepted and encouraged.
Founded in 1969, the Colorado State University men’s lacrosse team has grown up considerably in the past 15 years. Since 1999, CSU has won four national titles, the most in MCLA history. With five RMLC titles, the Rams have been traditionally one of the strongest teams in the entire country and have fielded some of the best players to take the field in the MCLA. In 2008, the Rams inducted four members to its inaugural Hall of Fame class. Frank Smith, JD Doyle, Pat Shanley, Mark Plonkey and Mike Roth were all enshrined and will be joined in the coming years by more deserving players.