CMU Athletics hires first-ever women's lacrosse coach

Lacrosse Coach Sarah Tisdale Central Michigan University Photo by Steve Jessmore

The inaugural Central Michigan University women's lacrosse team now has a leader attached to it.

Sara Tisdale, a 2006 CMU graduate and former coach at Augustana College (Division III) was named the program's first-ever coach Wednesday. She was the founding coach at AC when she was hired in 2010. During her two years in Rock Island, Ill., Tisdale tallied a record of 32-7.

"Professionally, I think it is a great move for her, but personally we are very sad to lose her," said Dave Wrath, associate director of athletics at Augustana College. "She was my kind of coach. She can really get the players she coaches to buy into her philosophy. They were always better off for it, here."

The first Chippewas lacrosse season is slated for spring 2016, leaving plenty of time for Tisdale to assemble the best collection of talent available.

"Women's lacrosse is a rapidly-growing sport in Michigan," said Dave Heeke, CMU athletic director. "It is a part of a larger process across the Midwest. We want to be a part of that growth and we want to make sure we are competitive while doing so."

In Mount Pleasant, Wrath said Tisdale is well equipped to succeed at the university's newest varsity sport.

"The recruiting base (in Michigan) is probably a lot better," he said. "She does not mind challenging herself or her players, even if that might be difficult at times. I don't think she looks at it so much as pressure (as a first-ever coach) as much as she looks at it as an opportunity. She's got the right mindset."

Heeke echoed Wrath's sentiment. After all, he knows women's lacrosse well: During his 18 years at the University of Oregon as an associate athletic director, lacrosse was one of the new sports Heeke helped bring to Eugene.

"She's got the right skill set, personal drive and head coaching experience," he said. "You've got to have a process for laying a foundation,  high-level recruiting is a big part of that."

CMU is hosting a "Welcome to Campus" event for Coach Tisdale on Tuesday, July 29, at 11 a.m. in the Rose Events Center Media Room.