December 13, 2012

University of D.C. Tabs Zwick Brown as First Women's Coach

from staff reports

WASHINGTON, D.C. — University of the District of Columbia Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Patricia Thomas announced Thursday hiring of Melynda Zwick Brown as the school's first-ever head women's lacrosse coach.

Zwick Brown boasts three years of collegiate coaching experience at the Division I level as an Assistant Coach at the University of Connecticut. Despite inheriting a 1-15 team from the previous year, Zwick Brown helped the Huskies to consecutive winning seasons for the first time in program history.

The Firebirds will compete in Division II in the East Coast Conference beginning in the 2014 season. The D.C. men's team also will start that season. Former Georgetown assistant coach Scott Urick was named the school's first men's coach on Nov. 9.

"Melynda's experiences as a student-athlete and coach are impressive, and she also has extensive experience with lacrosse clubs, camps and clinics throughout the country," Thomas said. "Her high energy and enthusiasm are exactly what we need to build a successful program at the University of the District of Columbia. She is a great fit, and I am proud to have her join our team."

During her time at UConn, Zwick Brown served as the Offensive Coordinator under former UConn head coach Angela McMahon. In that capacity, she guided the Huskies to the 20th ranked scoring offense and coached the 8th ranked individual player for goals per-game in 2011. She also served as Goalies Coach for one season and the Draw Specialist Coach for two seasons, one of which the team was ranked 5th in the nation for draw controls per-game. Zwick Brown was also responsible for managing the midfield lines during games and organizing day-to-day practice schedules and game plans. Zwick Brown's position at UConn also entailed several administrative duties including recruiting, NCAA eligibility, academic oversight, team travel, and scouting.

Under Zwick Brown, the Huskies had a remarkable turnaround that saw the team go 9-8 in her second year (2009-10) after she inherited a team that went 1-15 in 2007-08. UConn followed that successful 2010 season with a 9-7 mark in 2011.

After three years at UConn, Zwick Brown relocated to Arlington, Va., and spent the last year coaching at Holton Arms High School in Potomac, Md. As Defensive Coordinator and Goalie Coach, she helped rebuild HAHS' girls' lacrosse program after three losing seasons as the team earned a record of 11-4 and won the Independent School League Championship.

"I would like to thank President Sessoms and Athletic Director Thomas for providing me with this tremendous opportunity," Zwick Brown said. "I am honored and humbled to be named the first Head Women's Lacrosse Coach at the University of the District of Columbia. The University, and in particular, Athletic Director Thomas, have worked hard to build the athletic program over the past few years. The start of the men's and women's lacrosse programs are a testament to this effort. The university shares my passion for achieving excellence in both athletics and academics. I look forward to becoming a part of the Firebirds family and embarking on a very special journey with our future student-athletes."

Zwick Brown, a native of Holland, Pa., was a four-year letter-winner in lacrosse at the University of Massachusetts, where she graduated with a B.S. in Natural Science of Geology in 2008. She led the Minutewomen to two Atlantic 10 Tournament appearances, including a runner-up finish her senior season. She posted 100 total points on 60 goals and 40 assists over her playing career. Zwick Brown also had a stellar high school career at Council Rock South in Field Hockey, Basketball, and Lacrosse. She set and still holds the Pennsylvania scoring record for a signal season with 129 goals in her junior season. She was named the school's Best Female Student-Athlete in 2004.

Zwick Brown resides in Arlington, Va., with her husband Chris.

The University of the District of Columbia is an NCAA Division II member institution, competing in the East Coast Conference. Lacrosse will be the seventh women's program sponsored at the university. The University of the District of Columbia currently sponsors 10 intercollegiate programs including: men's and women's basketball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's cross country, men's soccer, women's volleyball, and women's indoor and outdoor track. With the addition of men's and women's lacrosse, as well as women's swimming in the near future, the Firebirds will sponsor a total of 13 athletic programs.

The university announced on Sept. 25 that it would add men's and women's Lacrosse programs for competition in the spring of 2014.

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