September 17, 2010

Behme Leaves Fresno for D-III Rochester

from staff reports

Sue Behme's decision to leave Fresno State for Division III Rochester makes the Bulldogs the 13th Division I program to experience a coaching change this offseason.

© Kevin P. Tucker

FRESNO, Calif. -- A tumultuous offseason in the NCAA Division I women's lacrosse coaching ranks continued Thursday, as Fresno State head coach Sue Behme announced her resignation to return to the East Coast and Division III as the new head coach at the University of Rochester.

Assistant coaches Carlee Buck and Lindsay Gotham will serve as the co-interim head coaches for the remainder of the academic year.

“We want to thank Coach Behme for her service at Fresno State in starting our women’s lacrosse program,” Fresno State Associate Athletics Director Martina Buckley said. “She worked hard in not only building the program but teaching the community about the sport of lacrosse. We wish her the best of luck in her new endeavor at the University of Rochester. “

In Behme’s two years as head coach she built a program that was solid in the classroom and in the community. For two straight years her team won the Athletics Director Community Service Award and the team had 18 student-athletes that were named to the Mountain Pacific All-Academic team and this past year the team had their first all-conference honor as Krisdina Gehring earned second-team Mountain Pacific honors.

“I want to thank President Welty, Thomas Boeh, Betsy Mosher and Martina Buckley for the opportunity to start the first ever women’s lacrosse program here at Fresno State,” Behme said. “I understand the timing of my decision is not ideal but this is what is best for me, my future and my family. I wish only the best for my student-athletes and I will miss them. I wish the best for all the student-athletes here at Fresno State.”

Behme came to Fresno with a wealth of women's lacrosse experience after spending nine seasons as the head coach of Division III Nazareth College women's lacrosse program. She has 15 years of head coaching experience and boasts an impressive 136-75 record. She coached at SUNY Geneseo in New York for four years before being named the head coach at Nazareth where she coached for nine years and compiled an impressive 115-39 record. During the nine years she guided the Golden Flyers of Nazareth to six NCAA Division III tournament appearances, while coaching seven national All-Americans, one Division III Goal Keeper of the Year and 27 regional All-Americans.

The success Behme had at Nazareth resulted in many accolades for the second-year Fresno State coach. She was named Empire 8 Conference Coach of the Year in 2008, marking the fifth time she has received honor. Behme also garnered the award in 2000, 2002, 2005 and 2006.

During Behme's nine years at Nazareth, she had her teams regularly ranked among the small-college elite teams. In 2000, she guided Nazareth to a school record 16 victories, the Empire 8 conference title and the programs first-ever NCAA berth. Nazareth also gained NCAA automatic berths in 2002, 2005, 2006 and in 2004 and 2007 they earned at-large selections.

Under Behme's direction, the Golden Flyers enjoyed one of their finest seasons ever in 2006 as they finished the regular season as one of only three unbeaten teams in the country at 14-0. Nazareth received a first-round bye to the NCAA Tournament, then lost a tough 10-7 decision to Franklin & Marshall in the quarterfinals. Behme was also recognized that year as NYSWCAA Coach of the Year and I.W.L.C.A. Empire Region Coach of the Year.

In addition to lacrosse, she coached soccer at SUNY Geneseo and posted a record of 38-32-1. She started the lacrosse program at SUNY Geneseo in 1996 and guided the team to a 9-4 finish in 1999 and a spot in the SUNYAC championship game vs. powerhouse and alma mater Cortland State. The same season she was named SUNYAC Coach of the Year.

Behme also has had coaching stints in lacrosse and soccer at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va., and at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn.

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