The Augustana Athletic department finished its search for a new head women’s lacrosse coach after hiring Caroline Durham, who coached previously at Hanover College.
Durham replaced Meredith Newman as the head coach after Newman left to coach women’s lacrosse at her alma mater, New Briar College.
Durham was one of the many candidates who applied through the position through the applications the athletic department posted on various websites. Durham said she found the application on Lacrosse.com after she was looking for a new position.
“I was looking for the next step, which is part of the reason I left Hanover,” Durham said.
At Hanover College, Durham coached for three years and helped establish the Division III Ohio River Lacrosse Conference.
During the application process, Athletic Director Mike Zapolski said she impressed many of the people she met during the interview and noted she had a very pleasant personality.
When looking for a new coach, Zapolski said Augustana was looking for a coach who could have a longer stay at Augustana, since she is the third women’s lacrosse coach in six years. They were also looking at experience coaching a Division III team.
Durham fit the role with her experience coaching at Hanover College, a Division III college, but Zapolski also noted her experience in being a successful a NCAA Division I player at Maryland-Baltimore County.
There was one more reason they chose Durham was because her potential ability to recruit.
“Our goal in finding a coach is to build the roster size and have full field practices and scrimmage possibilities,” Zapolski said. “I like to think that her being a DI athlete will have gravitas with recruits.”
Zapolski also said they felt she’d be able to reach recruits in areas from both the east and the west coast to diversify the team.
Durham said she was very excited for this next step and feels she could grow the program into a high ranking team.
“The goal is to help develop the program into a top 20 program and I feel like I can do that here,” Durham said. “I talked with some of the girls during a conference call and they seemed great and very ambitious.”
Durham will start her position immediately as she has already formulated plans to scout for Augustana in Richmond, Virginia and other tournaments in the summer.