Tisdale introduced as women's lacrosse coach during press conference
Central Michigan University Athletics formally introduced its first-ever women’s lacrosse coach in the university’s history during a press conference on Tuesday morning.
The press conference gave Sara Tisdale, a 2006 CMU graduate and former coach at Augustana College (Division III) a chance to speak with reporters since she was announced as the new coach earlier this month.
Among the list of goals for her time as coach, Tisdale said recruiting and promotion of the sport in Michigan were her top priorities.
“I’ve already been on the road looking for future Chippewas and I can tell you the response has been great,” Tisdale said. “My goal is to improve every year with every class. We want to do it the right way. I want (lacrosse) to a point of pride for this university.”
Tisdale mentioned joining the successful company of other long-time CMU female coaches such as Sue Guevara (women’s basketball) and Margo Jonker (softball) as the most attractive part of the CMU job.
“Being able to learn from coaches who have been so successful, especially on the women’s side of athletics, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Tisdale said.
Executive Associate Director of Athletics Marcy Weston chaired the search committee for CMU’s inaugural women’s lacrosse coach. Weston said Tisdale was the most confident of the three candidates the department was considering.
“Her energy and enthusiasm were just incredible,” Weston said. “She came right in and told us: ‘I am the person you are looking for.’ She had so many ideas about how to promote the sport in the area and all around the state. We are very excited to have her.”
Dave Heeke, CMU’s athletics director, echoed Weston’s sentiment.
“As a graduate, (Tisdale) understands our campus and culture here,” he said. “We also felt it was critical to select a candidate with previous head coaching experience.”
Tisdale was also the first-ever coach at Augustana, where she tallied a career record of 32-7. The Lansing-native said she is well aware of the essential qualities needed to start a successful college lacrosse program.
“You need to be okay with working on very little sleep,” she joked. “I hope people look at us and think that in a couple of years, we will be successful. I want to be successful right away. The first couple of months is really getting our name out there.”
The first Chippewas lacrosse season is slated to begin in spring 2016, which will see the team compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Tisdale said knowing your competition is an advantage to maintaing successful recruiting efforts.
“Telling potential student athletes that they might have to go to Florida once or twice a year is not a bad thing,” she said. “It’s going to be a challenge for us, but it is a growing conference so we have a chance to be successful right away. It will also allow us to attract students from across the nation.”
During Heeke’s 18 years at the University of Oregon as an associate athletic director, lacrosse was one of the new sports Heeke helped bring to Eugene.
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