June 23, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Stetson University Athletics Director Jeff Altier today named current Ohio State University assistant Christy Leach as new women’s lacrosse head coach. Leach will assume her duties on July 1.
“Christy Leach understands what it takes to be successful in the classroom and on the playing field,” Altier said. “She has played for, and coached with, the top programs in the country and will bring this experience to Stetson. I look forward to watching her lead the Stetson Lacrosse program into the future.”
Leach is a 2008 graduate of Northwestern where she helped lead the Wildcats to four consecutive national championships as a player. She has spent the last four seasons as the first assistant with the Buckeyes, helping guide OSU to a combined 42-30 record and a spot in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
“I’m really excited and want to get going as soon as possible. I’m excited for the opportunity to try and build the program and put Stetson lacrosse on the map. It’s exciting that we already have great student-athletes in place. I want to take the program to the next level. I want to make sure that people outside of Florida know about Stetson lacrosse. This is a great opportunity at a unique university.”
In her role as first assistant at Ohio State, Leach administered and organized all aspects of recruiting, while supervising the rest of the coaching staff, in addition to developing tactics and in-game strategies. Over the last four seasons, Ohio State was consistently ranked in the Top 20, including a No. 10-ranking during the 2014 season. The Buckeyes were 13-7 last season, finishing as runner-up in the American Lacrosse Conference and advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 11 years under head coach Alexis Venechanos.
“I am beyond thrilled for Christy in this next step in her career,” Venechanos said. “She was a very integral part of the team’s success over the last four seasons and we are going to miss her dedication, passion and devotion to Buckeye Lacrosse. She served as a strong and confident role model for our student-athletes both on and off the field. Christy will do a fantastic job at Stetson in leading the team into a very bright future.”
Prior to her time at OSU, Leach spent one season (2009) as an assistant at the University of Cincinnati, serving as defensive coordinator for the Bearcats.
A decorated student-athlete, Leach (nee Finch) helped lead the Wildcats to four straight national championships from 2005 to 2008. Finch was named as the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) National Defensive Player of the Year in 2007 and 2008, earning first-team All-America honors in each season. Northwestern posted an 83-3 overall record and was a perfect 43-0 at home during her career.
As a senior Leach was a finalist for the Tewaaraton Trophy, given annually to the top male and female collegiate lacrosse players in the country. She received both the Big Ten Medal of Honor and the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award in 2008.
The fact that Stetson’s lacrosse program is still in its infancy, having begun play in 2013, attracted Leach to the Hatters. It also didn’t hurt that Stetson seemed pretty familiar.
“As I did more about research about Stetson, I found that it reminded me of Northwestern in that it’s a smaller, private school in a great location. Florida lacrosse is growing, and I’m excited to have an opportunity to be a part that growth.”
The Hatters posted a 2-16 record in 2014. Stetson advanced to the post-season for the second straight year, reaching the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament semifinals.