MACON, Ga. -- The Atlantic Sun Conference on Monday announced that Bellarmine University is the newest affiliate member will begin play in men's lacrosse in the 2014-15 season.

Bellarmine becomes the seventh men's lacrosse program for the A-Sun, as the Knights will compete with Furman, High Point, Jacksonville, Mercer, Richmond and VMI for the 2014-15 championship.

A-Sun men's lacrosse will begin its inaugural season in 2013-14, one of three sports the conference has added since 2012. In 2012, the A-Sun became the first Division I conference to conduct a sand volleyball championship, and 2013 also was the conference's inaugural season in women's lacrosse.

“As the A-Sun and the sport of lacrosse both continue to grow, we are very proud to announce the addition of Bellarmine University as an affiliate in men’s lacrosse,” A-Sun commissioner Ted Gumbart said. “Bellarmine shares our commitment to supporting both the student and the athlete at the highest level, and will be a strong addition for A-Sun men’s lacrosse. We look forward to working with the Knights' student-athletes and the Bellarmine University community as partners in our A-Sun commitment to building winners for life.”

“Bellarmine is delighted to have our university and NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse team affiliate with the Atlantic Sun Conference," Bellarmine president Joseph J. McGowan said. "I am very much impressed with the highly competitive academic and athletic quality of the colleges and universities in the A-Sun, and with the distinguished presidential leadership of the conference institutions. Bellarmine University and I look forward to competing in such a first-rate conference with such first-rate schools and teams.”

The Knights posted a 7-7 overall mark and a 3-4 record in the Eastern College Athletic Conference in 2012-13.

Bellarmine’s lacrosse program was founded in 2004 with its first season of competition coming in the spring of 2005 when the Knights compiled a record 13-2 record as an NCAA Division I provisional member.

The following season, Bellarmine competed as a Division I independent before joining the Great Western Lacrosse League for the 2007-09 seasons. The GWLL moved all of its remaining members into the Eastern College Athletic Conference Lacrosse League for the 2010 season, and Bellarmine has competed in the conference since that time.

Bellarmine’s lacrosse team is 60-67 in its nine seasons with three men serving as head coach during that span. Jack McGetrick, a former national coach of the year at Hartford, led the Knights the first six seasons before Bart Sullivan assumed head coaching duties for the 2011 season. Kevin Burns took the head coaching job in the summer of 2011 and has led the Knights to an 11-15 record in the past two seasons.

"We are very excited to begin a new chapter for Bellarmine lacrosse," Burns said. "After exploring many options it was clear that the Atlantic Sun Conference was the right conference both academically and athletically for our program. The A-Sun and its member schools are committed to creating one of the premier lacrosse conferences in Division I, and we're looking forward to building a great tradition.”