January 29, 2011

Q&A with St. Mary's New Coach Lisa Valentine

from a Capital Athletic Conference press release

Lisa Valentine is the newest coach in the Capital Athletic Conference. She joined the St. Mary's College (Md.) staff in mid-December – just a month before her new team's first practice for the 2011 season – after serving as an assistant coach at Washington (Md.) College and a strong playing career at the University of Maryland. The CAC welcomes Coach Valentine – this week's INTRODUCING ... featured conference member.

What is your background in the sport you coach?
Growing up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, I was forced to make my own path in the lacrosse world. Despite living just minutes from Annapolis, a city rich in lacrosse tradition, I helped pioneer women's lacrosse on Kent Island. I joined the new youth league where I learned the game I grew to love, from coaches that were learning the game as well. My lacrosse career continued at Kent Island High School, a new public school that fielded only one team during my freshman year. At the time, making that roster was the biggest accomplishment of my life. Who would have known what great things were ahead of me in my lacrosse career? I am very grateful for my experience as a member of the women's lacrosse team at the University of Maryland. In addition to playing for a highly decorated coaching staff, I played alongside and against the best lacrosse players in the world. It was my time at Maryland that inspired me to pursue a career in coaching. My collegiate coaching career began at Washington (Md.) College, where I served as the Senior Assistant and Recruiting Coordinator for two and half years. It is with great pride that I take over as the Head Coach at St. Mary's College of Maryland, a program rich in lacrosse tradition.

What is your favorite spot on campus?
Although the majority of my time at St. Mary's College has been spent in the office or on the lacrosse field preparing for the upcoming season, I am greatly looking forward to spending time down at the waterfront this spring. Growing up on the Eastern Shore, the water has always been close to my heart. I am excited to experience life on the St. Mary's River!

What is the most important societal issue facing college students?
The most important societal issue facing college students is the current job market. It is important now more than ever for college students to begin building a network. They must start this process early by making connections during internships and summer jobs.

If you could change any one item in the world (in your personal life, school, community, amateur or professional sports, national/international issue, etc.), what would it be, why, and how would you do it?
If I could change any one item in the world I would ask for a cure for cancer. Although it is a quite a task to ask for, I believe it is something that is close to the hearts of so many people including myself. To do my part, I participate in several fundraisers for cancer research each year. This season the St. Mary's College women's lacrosse team will be raising money specifically for breast cancer research during our annual Pink Game.

What was your major in college, and what is the most important thing you learned in that discipline?
I majored in Economics at the University of Maryland. I would have to say that the most important thing I learned in that discipline is that the economy goes in cycles. When times are tough, you must hold on long enough for it to turn around!

Other than your family members, who was the most influential person in your life?
The most influential person in my life was Mrs. Friedman, my high school math teacher. Not only was she a brilliant math teacher, she taught me the importance of being confident. Mrs. Friedman encouraged me to see myself as an accomplished student and a talented athlete. By finally believing in myself, I was able to pursue my dreams and achieve success.

If you could give one piece of advice to elementary school children, what would that advice be?
Be Yourself – it is much easier than pretending to be someone you are not.

What is your favorite form of entertainment?
My favorite form of entertainment is attending sporting events. I love going to football, basketball, baseball and hockey games. I enjoy cooking out before the games and hanging out with great friends.

Outside of the Capital Athletic Conference, who or what is your favorite sports person or team?
I am an avid football fan, and although my heart lies with the Baltimore Ravens, Brett Favre will always be one of my favorite professional athletes. I believe that he is a true athlete that continues to love the sport of football and lives for the competition. Favre demonstrated each week his mental and physical toughness, both traits to be admired in an athlete.

Name three (3) people, real or fictional, living or dead, that you'd like to have dinner with?
Lately, I have been wishing for the chance to have dinner with my graduating class of lacrosse players from Maryland - Delia Cox, Brooke Magnesun and Molly McCourt, who is coaching lacrosse in Germany. The four of us have not all been together since graduation!

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