December 5, 2011

Richmond's Mantziaras Adds Sister to Coaching Staff for 2012

from press release

RICHMOND, Va. -- The University of Richmond Athletic Department and Head Women's Lacrosse Coach Stephy Samaras Mantziaras announced Monday the hiring of her sister Crista Samaras as temporary assistant coach for the 2012 season. The late hire is a result of Mantziaras' pregnancy. She is due January 16th, 2012 with her first child.

"I am so excited to have my sister join our staff for the upcoming season," said Samaras Mantziaras. "She is one of the greatest minds in the lacrosse world and I am thrilled for our program and our players to be able to add her to our coaching line-up in 2012. We intend to capitalize on her capacity to be creative, think outside of the box and bring her dynamic and famously charismatic presence to the Women's Lacrosse program here at Richmond."

Currently, Crista heads up the company she created called Bounce Entertainment, which powers local lacrosse clubs teams in Atlanta, California, Connecticut and Texas as well as XTEAM, a national club team for girls from non-traditional areas that want to pursue playing lacrosse in college. Samaras grew up in the center of the lacrosse universe in Annapolis, MD, and has dedicated her career to teaching the game to players and coaches across the country. She is known for her ability to mentor, motivate and inspire teenage girls to find their own path in life through lacrosse.

A Politics major at Princeton University, Samaras still holds all of the scoring records she set upon graduation in 1999. After college, she was the Assistant Coach at Yale for both the 2000 and 2001 seasons. She moved to New York City and has been living there since 2001. Samaras was on the USA Team from 1995-2007 and participated in two World Cup Championships, winning the gold in 2001 and the silver in 2005. She has held nearly every position in the lacrosse industry from Women's Editor at Inside Lacrosse Magazine to Director of Women's Lacrosse for Warrior Sports.

"It's an honor to be asked to join this program," said Crista Samaras. "I am impressed by Stephy's impact at Richmond and look forward to working with, learning from and adding to the existing staff."

Samaras' role will be temporary as this situation is unprecedented. "When I found out over the summer I was pregnant, my two main focuses became the health of my baby and the success of our program," explains Mantziaras. "With a pregnancy, the birth and following weeks, things can be uncertain and I wanted to make sure that I could spend the time I needed to with a newborn and make sure that the team was still prepared for the upcoming season. Hiring Crista will allow me to have confidence and assurance that both of my goals for this year are met."

Samaras took a little convincing as she will be taking time away from her company to dedicate to the program. "I love what I do and working with our amazing staff of directors and coaches dedicated to helping girls develop their game as well as their self esteem. The experience I will get coaching at this level will allow me so many more ideas for creating an entirely new wave of curriculum upon my return to Bounce and to XTEAM."

Samaras' job responsibilities will be focused to all on field lacrosse from practice planning, individual and unit preparation and preparing the team to play the high ranked out of conference schedule at the start of the season.

The Spiders open their season at home against ACC foes Duke and UNC, both ranked pre-season in the top 5 in the country. Friday, February 17th they will face Duke at 3pm and Sunday, February 19th they will square off against UNC at 2pm. Prior to the game against UNC the Spiders will host their 3rd annual Spring Refresher clinic for girls ages 8-18. Both games and the clinic will be held in Robins Stadium. Click here for more information on the refresher clinic.

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