Linfield alumna undertakes head coach position for women’s lacrosse program
Linfield welcomed a new women’s lacrosse head coach and assistant coach this season.
Alum Samantha Smith, who graduated in 2009, will lead the way with her father, Joe Smith.
Because Samantha Smith used to play on Linfield’s women’s lacrosse, last year when coach Tim Hart stepped down from his position, he emailed her and recommended she apply for the opening. Hart was Samantha’s coach her senior year at Linfield.
“She fits in really well with our team,” sophomore Chas Tittle said. “Both of our new coaches are really great, and they make a good coaching pair.”
Samantha Smith was one of five applicants for the position, and as soon as she was hired, asked if she could choose her father as her own assistant coach.
“When I got this job, it was natural to say okay, he should be my defensive coach,” Samantha Smith said. “We’ve always had that lacrosse connection.”
At the time she was hired, Samantha Smith was coaching for the lacrosse team at Westview High School in Beaverton, Ore., and was upset when she had to quit to be able to coach at Linfield.
“It all worked out though,” Samantha Smith said.
Samantha Smith has been playing lacrosse since she was 12 years old. She started off playing on men’s lacrosse teams because there were no youth women’s lacrosse teams for her to join. Continuing on in high school, Samantha Smith played at Century High School on its JV team. When she transferred to Liberty High School, she started a lacrosse team there and convinced her father to become the head coach.
“He had never played a sport or coached a sport before lacrosse,” Samantha Smith said. “[But] he’s probably one of the best coaches I’ve ever had.”
During practices, Samantha Smith makes sure the players always have their sticks in hand, even during conditioning.
“The only thing I’ve ever really disliked about lacrosse is conditioning,” Samantha Smith said. “We don’t ever put the sticks down [or] run for the sake of running. Our conditioning is part of our scrimmaging.”
Outside of lacrosse, Samantha Smith is working at a special education preschool in Beaverton, Ore., as an assistant teacher. She also recently played on an indoor lacrosse co-ed team, and is planning on joining Portland’s OHANA lacrosse team once Linfield’s season is over.
“I thought I was going to miss playing, but I get out there as much as I can with the girls,” she said.
Samantha is also involved in other hobbies, such as bowling and relaxing with friends, but lacrosse is always a priority.
“Lacrosse kind of consumes my life in the best way possible,” she said. “Lacrosse is my job, hobby and passion.”
Samantha Sigler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Samantha Smith, head lacrosse coach, makes the players keep their lacrosse sticks in their hands when working out.
Tyson Takeuchi/Senior photographer