Asbury University (KY) Names First-Ever Head Lacrosse Coach

WILMORE, Ky. - Asbury University has named Rich Manieri, a former women's assistant coach at the Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tenn., its first head women's lacrosse coach. Asbury recently announced it will be adding men's and women's lacrosse to its list of 15 intercollegiate sports in the 2014-2015 academic year.

"Rich has a successful track record of working with both experienced and new players," said Mark Perdue, Asbury's athletics director. "More important, if you look at Rich's resume, he's an accomplished communicator and a proven leader."

Manieri spent the past two seasons at the Baylor School helping lead the women's lacrosse team to Tennessee's sweet 16 and the program's first elite eight appearance. Prior to joining Baylor, he coached a successful high school program in South Central Pennsylvania.

Coaching is only a small part of Manieri's history. After injuries cut his lacrosse career short, he spent nearly 15 years as a television news reporter, mostly at Fox 29 in Philadelphia. He then served as a Justice Department spokesman, also in Philadelphia. He's worked as a speechwriter, college professor and ghost writer. His writing has appeared in publications throughout the country and he has won Emmy and Associated Press awards for journalism.

"In some ways, I feel like my whole career, varied as it is, has been leading to this," Manieri said. "We are making history at Asbury and the young women who will make up our first roster will be pioneers and ambassadors of both the lacrosse program and the University. It's rare in life that you get a chance to do something like this. We're going to have a great story to tell."

Manieri, a Philadelphia native, holds a B.A. in Communications Arts from Villanova University and an M.F.A. from Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass. His first task at Asbury will be to find 25 student-athletes to serve as the foundation for the lacrosse program.

"I'm looking for very special people - serious students, lacrosse players and leaders - who want to be part of a family," Manieri said. "We're all going to be in this together. It's going to be a challenge and a lot of fun."


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