Linfield College graduate Sammy Smith has been appointed women’s lacrosse coach, director of athletics Scott Carnahan announced Monday.
Smith, a 2009 Linfield graduate, replaces Tim Hart, her college coach, who stepped down after four seasons for personal and professional reasons.
The second-leading points and goal scorer in Linfield lacrosse history, Smith becomes the first woman to lead the Wildcats and only the fourth coach in the program’s 15-year existence.
Smith also becomes the fourth women’s head coach currently employed at Linfield – the most in school history – joining basketball coach Robin Potera-Haskins, tennis coach Amy Dames Smith and golf coach Brynn Hurdus.
“We’ve been very impressed with Sammy’s enthusiasm and interest in developing our women’s lacrosse program,” said Carnahan. “We anticipate she will be able to elevate the program to the point where it is regionally and nationally competitive.”
“I’m very excited and honored to be given this amazing opportunity,” said Smith. “My primary goals are to help the program build greater cohesion, see the girls have fun, and watch the Linfield lacrosse program grow and improve.”
Smith competed in lacrosse for four seasons at Linfield before graduating in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She currently works with special needs students, ages 3-5, at the Northwest Regional Educational Service District in Beaverton. Most recently, she coached the junior varsity squad at Beaverton’s Westview High School.
As a player, she holds Linfield career records for goals per game (3.19), points per game (3.84), shots per game (5.16) and game-winning goals (3). She ranks second all-time in goals (137) and points (165).
Smith will focus on refining the Wildcats’ passing game, concentrating on the fundamentals of throwing and catching the ball.
“Women’s lacrosse is a game of finesse,” she said. “As a player, you find openings rather than make openings. It demands a greater reliance on teamwork.”
Smith, 25, will be assisted by her father, Joel, who will focus on shoring up the Linfield defense while the younger Smith devotes her primary attention to developing the offense.
Under Hart, Linfield struggled to a 1-7 record last spring and won just eight matches combined over the previous four seasons.