TOUGALOO, Miss. (WJTV) – Tougaloo College announced that men’s and women’s soccer will come back this fall, both holding historical significance. Coaches and staff spoke about the announcement.

Soccer season is about to get kicked off at Tougaloo College. For the first time since the 1980s, the men’s program is returning.

“We have a few international students that we’re really excited about. Some from Jackson, Hattiesburg, Tennessee and all over,” said Head Coach Ahmad Smith.

Coach Smith knows first hand what it’s like to play college soccer and wants to give players, especially those from Jackson, the option he didn’t have.

“The outer area and inner city schools like Southwest and Byram, we want this to be their stomping grounds so they have an incentive to keep playing,” said Smith.

“It gives kids another opportunity to see someone who came from where they came from and let’s them know that they can do anything if they put their minds to it,” said Assistant Coach Fredrick Davis.

For the first time in the college’s history, women are joining the program. Tougalooo President Dr. Carmen J. Walters said she’s excited about having both teams.

“This is a great way to have the sport back and also to have diversity on the campus. We’re historically Black, not exclusively Black,” said Walters.

Tougaloo will compete against Division 1 and Division 2 schools this season. Athletic Director Keith Barnes said he’s ready to watch history in action.

“We’re going to ask all our bulldogs to come out and support the Lady Bulldogs as they in to the battle,” said Barnes.

The Tougaloo women’s soccer season will kick off first on August 14.