Riffel Takes over at Abington; Andress on Medical Leave

ABINGTON, PA -- Penn State Abington Athletics Director Karen Weaver announced today that head women's lacrosse coach Deb Andress will continue her medical leave through the 2009 lacrosse season. Mary Fran Riffel, former four-time Atlantic 10 Conference Champion from Temple University, has accepted the head coaching position.

"Deb, as many in the lacrosse community know, has been battling a brain tumor since August. She and her family are very optimistic about her progress to date," said Weaver. "She needs a little more time to adjust to the new routine. I know that she wants the program to get off to a great start. She will be welcomed back to the program in an appropriate capacity when she feels ready."

Andress agreed, saying "I am extremely disappointed that I won't be able to coach the Penn State Abington Lady Lion lacrosse team in its inaugural season. The effects of my on going treatments make it difficult for me to put in the type of effort I feel is necessary to do the job well. I am sure that under Karen Weaver's leadership, the program will get off to a great start. I will continue to look forward to the day that I can return to help the program be successful."

Riffel, who most recently was the assistant head coach at Great Valley High School, has been a board member of the Philadelphia chapter of US Lacrosse. She coordinates a number of youth lacrosse events in the Montgomery and Chester County areas. Riffel said "I am incredibly excited to be a part of this inaugural lacrosse season at Penn State Abington. I look forward to teaching these young women my knowledge of the sport as well as how to be a well rounded student athlete."

Pam Brobst will continue with the program as assistant coach. Penn State Abington begins its inaugural season on March 7, 2009 at the Savannah (GA.) College of Art and Design.


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