AKRON With women’s lacrosse set to make its debut at the University of Akron in 2020, the university’s athletic department announced earlier this month that Christy Mitchell, who has 25 years of lacrosse experience, has been named the program’s first head coach, pending approval by the University's Board of Trustees.
Mitchell was introduced publicly at the men’s basketball game against Marshall on Dec. 15 and UA athletic director Larry Williams believes Williams’ existing presence in lacrosse in the state will give her a head start in getting the program rolling.
“We are excited to welcome Christy Mitchell to the University of Akron,” Williams said. “Christy has already proven ability in initiating lacrosse programs at several institutions. Her connections across Ohio and her knowledge of high school lacrosse will help her as she sets up our program, leads the Zips through their inaugural season, and builds a solid foundation for success.”
Mitchell, who joins UA after six seasons at Walsh University where she likewise pioneered the university's program, guiding Walsh to over 35 wins with players from seven different states, oversaw the Cavaliers first season in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) in 2018, where the team showed true potential to be league championship contenders by setting a program record for wins with an 11-7 season (8-4 in G-MAC play) and advancing to the conference semifinals, the second postseason appearance in program history.
“I would like to thank … Larry Williams and the rest of the athletic department for this position that has been presented to me,” Mitchell said. “I am incredibly thrilled about this opportunity that has been given both to me and this wonderful community. I have a deep love for the sport of lacrosse, the city of Akron, and the University as a whole. To be put in a leadership position that allows me to lead and mentor players while combining those two loves is a dream come true. I am forever grateful for all of the paths that got me here. This will be an unbelievable adventure. I’m ready.”
In Mitchell’s final season at Walsh, nine Cavaliers earned All-G-MAC honors and throughout her collegiate coaching career, Mitchell has guided 12 All-Conference selections and 42 Academic All-Conference honorees.
Prior to arriving at Walsh, she began her coaching career launching the program at Sylvania High School and while in Toledo, she helped start the lacrosse team at Ursuline High School as well.
She was later named the first head coach at Kent Roosevelt High School in 2001 and served there until taking the job at Walsh. In total, she has been responsible for initiating six Ohio high school teams and also taught at Walls Elementary School (2002-05) in the Kent City Schools system.
She has also coached the Team Ohio Lacrosse Club (2005-06) and the Ohio Premier Lacrosse Club (2006-08) and was a member of the Ohio All-American Selection Committee (2004-07) and helped select players for the Midwest National Lacrosse Team (2006-2010) and is currently a member of the IWLCA.
As a high school coach, Mitchell had over 20 of her players move on to all college division levels and has coached three All-Americans, one of whom went on to play for the U.S. Women's Lacrosse developmental team. She holds a bachelor of science in education from Bowling Green State University in 2000. Additionally, she has obtained over 40 additional college credits.
Given the strong and growing presence of lacrosse in the area, with top programs such as Jackson and Hudson and growing ones including Green and Lake, the new UA program has a solid base of local talent Mitchell and her coaching staff can target in the recruiting process as they look to lay the foundation for the Zips. Mitchell and her husband Joshua reside in Stow with their three children: Lucas, Nathan and Taylor Ruth.
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