Alexis Venechanos Named Ohio State Head Coach

COLUMBUS, Ohio Alexis Venechanos has been selected as the head coach of the Ohio State women's lacrosse program, Gene Smith, associate vice president and director of athletics announced Thursday. Venechanos was the head coach at Massachusetts for the last four years after a three-year stint as assistant coach at Northwestern and a successful playing career at Maryland.

"I would like to thank Athletic Director Gene Smith, Heather Lyke and the rest of the search committee for this incredible opportunity," Venechanos said. "The Ohio State University has a phenomenal reputation both academically and athletically and I am honored to be named its next women's lacrosse coach. I look forward to aiding in the tradition of success for these student-athletes on and off the field and taking this next step in my professional career with the Buckeye family."

A winner on every level, Venechanos (pronounced: ven-eh-CHAN-ohs) has been a part of four NCAA titles (as a player and coach) and a total of eight conference championships. She replaces Sue Stimmel, who resigned from her position in May as the only previous head coach in Buckeye program history.

"We are pleased to welcome Alexis into the Ohio State family as the next head coach of our women's lacrosse program," Smith said. "She has been successful at every level of her career and has demonstrated her ability to help a program reach its full potential, while developing student-athletes as both players and people."

Venechanos inherited a UMass program in August 2006 that had not been to the NCAA tournament in over 20 years and within three seasons, took the Minutewomen back to the postseason for the first time in a quarter century. They went on to make a second-consecutive NCAA trip in 2010, punctuating a career already marked by a pair of Atlantic 10 championship tournament titles (2009, 2010), an Atlantic 10 regular-season title (2009) and three appearances in the A-10 Tournament championship game.

"Alexis did a great job in her four years as the head coach at UMass," John McCutcheon, UMass Athletic Director, said. "She has positioned us for success in the future coming off back-to-back conference championships. We wish her well at Ohio State."

In all, Venechanos registered an overall record of 36-38, including double-digit wins in each of the last two years, an Atlantic 10 regular-season record of 18-10 and an A-10 tournament record of 5-1.

Prior to taking over the program at UMass, Venechanos served as the first assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Northwestern for the 2004-06 seasons, helping the Wildcats to the first two of five-consecutive national championships. They posted a 56-4 record during that span, winning 93 percent of their games, including a 41-1 record in her last two years.

Venechanos primarily mentored the goalies and defense at Northwestern, placing the defensive unit among the nation's best. In her final season in 2006, the Wildcats led the nation in scoring margin and were in the Top 5 in scoring defense, all with a rookie goalie. In the undefeated season of 2005, Venechanos tutored NU goalkeeper Ashley Gersuk as she posted the NCAA-best GAA and earned ALC Goalie of the Year honors, while helping the team become the top scoring defense and hold the largest scoring margin in the nation.

As a player, Venechanos was an All-America goalie at the University of Maryland, the winningest women's lacrosse program of all-time, where she captured two national championships in 2000 and 2001. The Terps went 73-15, an 83 percent win mark, during her four seasons in College Park, including a 23-0 mark in 2001, Venchanos' first as starting goalie.

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2010-07-01



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