That time has finally arrived.
Life recently announced that it would add scholarship opportunities for women in cross country and volleyball, and for men in wrestling, to its intercollegiate sports program, beginning with the 2012-13 season. That will bring the total number of sports offered at the school to five.
Life currently fields a varsity team in men's basketball and a club team in rugby.
"We tried to target sports that are emerging sports within the NAIA or NCAA," said John Barrett, the university's athletic director and men's basketball coach. "Since our sports program is a re-emerging sports program, that's why we chose those two women's sports and the wrestling program we're going to start.
"The cross country program has a tradition at Life University. We were always very successful in basketball and we had a great history in men's and women's cross country and track. So, my desire, with wrestling, rugby and men's basketball, was to get two women's sports that would draw women to the school and interest to the school."
Volleyball and wrestling will both be firsts for Life's athletic program.
"There's great wrestling here in Cobb County, so it's a natural for us," Barrett said. "Not that many schools are participating in varsity wrestling, and there's nobody else in metropolitan Atlanta, so we think it's a good move just because of where we are and how great a sport wrestling is in Cobb County.
"We're excited to get the emphasis on the women's programs because that's something we've been talking about for a couple of years. In small-college athletics, most of the excitement is in women's sports, and a lot of the activity you see in the NAIA and NCAA literature is the emergence of those women's sports. We're excited about getting those women's programs started."
Life has already received interest from prospective coaches for the new sports, and it expects to have the positions finalized in the upcoming months. The coaches will begin recruiting as soon as they're hired and start practices over the summer.
"We've gotten more than a dozen applications for the wrestling program and at least five or six each for women's cross country and volleyball. I'm sure interest will increase as we do even more to promote the positions. The triggers been pulled, and it's going to take shape."
Barrett noted that Life's interest in adding new programs varies by academic quarters. With two winter sports - basketball and rugby - firmly established, the goal was to slowly add more sports in a couple of years.
"We're definitely targeting our different quarters: fall, winter and spring," he said. "Volleyball and cross country are fall-quarter sports, while wrestling is a winter-quarter sport. Our next wave, hopefully within the next 18 months, would be some spring sports to round out the year, as well as the program."
According to Barrett, sports under consideration by Life's administration include men's and women's track and field, men's and women's golf and men's and women's tennis.
"We've had a golf program before, but we've never had a tennis program," Barrett said, "so we're seeking to have a more well-rounded program than we've had before."