Venechanos named head coach for Ohio State

By Herb Scribner

Massachusetts Daily Collegian, U. Massachusetts-Amherst via UWIRE

The U. Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team will have a new head coach next season, as previous coach Alexis Venechanos has accepted a position at Ohio State.

Venechanos’ decision to depart from UMass was announced Thursday by the Buckeyes’ Gene Smith, who heads the athletic department at OSU.

The four year coach for the Maroon and White will go out on a high note, as her squad successfully retained the Atlantic 10 championship back in late April.

When Venechanos first joined the Minutewomen program in 2006, she inherited a program that had not been keen on victory. Before her arrival, UMass had not been apart of the NCAA tournament for nearly a quarter century. Her leadership changed this, as she brought the Minutewomen to two consecutive NCAA tournament berths.

During her tenure as head coach, Venechanos led UMass to a pair of A-10 championships (2009, 2010), in three final appearances, and an A-10 regular season title (2009). Her total record for the Minutewomen stands at 36-38, with an 18-10 A-10 regular season record, and a 5-1 record in the A-10 tournament.

Venechanos started her collegiate lacrosse work at Maryland, where she competed as a goalkeeper for the Terps. Not only did she earn All-American honors and national accolades, but Venechanos earned two consecutive national championships with a team that went 83-15 during her tenure in the net.

The Yorktown native went on to be the first assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Northwestern. From 2004-06, Venechanos helped lead the Wildcats to two of their five consecutive national championships.

While at NU, Venechanos focused primarily on assisting the defenders and goalkeepers hone their skills. Her help proved its worth in 2005, when Wildcat goalkeeper Ashley Gersuk earned national awards including American Lacrosse Conference Goalie of the Year.

Venechanos will be the second head coach in program history for the Buckeyes, replacing Sue Stimmel who resigned from her position in May.

Venechanos will enter into a program that went 9-7 during the 2010 spring season and faltered in the ALC tournament in a first round loss to Penn. State.

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