The Converse College Valkyries athletic program announced today the hiring of Julie Redman as head coach of its new lacrosse team, which will begin competition in the spring of 2009.
Redman comes to Converse from the University of New England (Biddeford, Maine) where she guided the Nor’easters to 26 wins (including a school-record 11 victories in 2005), four Commonwealth Coast Conference tournament showings, and two semi-final appearances including the upset of the number one-seeded team in 2006.
“We are excited to have Julie join our talented coaching staff. She has excelled both as a coach and a player, and has a tremendous reputation for getting the best performance possible from her student-athletes. Her experience, love for women’s athletics and commitment to the game of lacrosse make her a logical choice to build our program,” said Converse Athletics Director Joy Couch.
A native of Canada, Coach Redman was responsible for transitioning the University of New England women’s field hockey program from club to varsity status in 2003, an effort which was rewarded by the Commonwealth Coast Conference in the form of the Team Sportsmanship Award. During her tenure at UNE, she coached eight All-Conference players in Field Hockey (2003 – 2006), thirteen All-Conference players in Lacrosse (2002-2006) and three All-Conference Rookies of the Year (2003 FH, 2005 WLAX, 2006 FH). Redman is a firm believer in the importance of academics, which has resulted in fifteen of her student-athletes becoming members of UNEs Chi Alpha Sigma, a National Athlete Honor Society. In addition, two of her former lacrosse players have pursued coaching careers in England.
Coach Redman currently chairs the Eastern College Athletic Conferences Lacrosse Tournament Selection Committee and is a member of the NCAA Regional Advisory Board.
Prior to her arrival at UNE, Redman coached one season at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia and three seasons at Marshwood High School (South Berwick, Maine).
Coach Redman graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology, and hopes to complete her Masters in Sport Leadership from Northeastern University this summer. On the field, she was a sophomore low defender and goalie for the Wildcats.
A member of Conference Carolinas, the Converse Valkyries already compete in NCAA Division II athletics–the highest level of any women’s college. With new lacrosse programs, Converse and Erskine College will bring the total number of conference women lacrosse teams to eight.
The addition of lacrosse to the Valkyries roster of sports was made possible by a joint gift of $275,000 from three Charlotte, N.C.-based Converse alumnae, who are also members of the Board of Trustees, and their husbands: Lisa Bell Weisiger (class of 1984) and Ed Weisiger, Jane Spratt McColl (class of 1960) and Hugh McColl, and Jane Boatwright Schwab (class of 1977) and Nelson Schwab. The gift will cover startup costs of the lacrosse program including the hiring of a coach, field enhancements and equipment.
“We were inspired by the idea of jumpstarting a program in which Converse has extraordinary potential to take a leadership role both in the conference and the region,” explained Jane Schwab. “Women’s lacrosse is an increasingly popular sport at the high school level, and Converse will be on the cutting edge of developing the sport at the collegiate level in the Southeast. We were compelled to support th