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Ave Maria: Shelby Sanderson Named AMU Lacrosse Coach

Written by Lee Roggenburg on . Posted in , , , .

via Ave Maria press release

AVE MARIA, Fla. – The Ave Maria University athletic department is pleased to announce the hiring of Shelby Sanderson as the next head coach of the AMU lacrosse program. Sanderson comes to Ave Maria with prior head coaching experience at the NAIA level, which includes her guidance of a top 15 team in the nation during her final season at Point University.
“We are thrilled that Coach Sanderson is joining the Ave Maria family,” said Joe Patterson, Ave Maria’s Director of Athletics. “It was a long search process, and the search committee was unanimous in its endorsement of Coach Sanderson.  Coach Sanderson brings great energy and a track record of success.”
“I am extremely honored and appreciative for the opportunity to lead the women’s lacrosse team at Ave Maria University,” Sanderson added. “I want to thank Athletic Director Joe Patterson for having the confidence in me to continue building the success of this program; I am thrilled to join the Ave Maria University family.”
Sanderson was previously the head coach at Point University in Georgia, guiding the Skyhawks during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Over her two seasons at the helm, the Skyhawks’ total record was above .500, including a .600 mark in Appalachian Athletic Conference play. In 2019, the Skyhawks rose to national recognition, earning votes in the NAIA Coaches’ Poll.
During her second season at Point, the Skyhawks’ 13-6 record was the best in school history, a record that stands to date. In the 2019 season, Sanderson coached the AAC Defensive Player of the Year, as well as three First-Team All-Conference selections. Her team’s accolades also includes two NAIA National Players of the Week.
Before joining the coaching ranks, Sanderson was an accomplished player in her own right. She played college lacrosse at Shorter University in Georgia, where she was a Second-Team All-Conference in the NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference. She was a three-time captain for the Hawks, and was selected as the Freshman of the Year following her first season on campus.
Sanderson’s athletic background extends past the lacrosse field. She graduated from Shorter University with a degree in Sports Management, and earned a Master’s degree from Shorter in Business Administration with a focus in Sports Management. While at Shorter, she served as an assistant for the sports information department, and interned with the nearby Rome Braves, a minor league affiliate of the Atlanta Braves.
“Coach Sanderson has an attractive diversity of experience,” said Patterson.  “She will be a valuable member of the Athletic Department.”
The Ave Maria University lacrosse season is currently scheduled to begin on Saturday, February 12, when the Gyrenes travel to Saint Augustine for a meeting with NCAA Division II Flagler College. The first home game is scheduled for the following Tuesday which will see AMU host Oberlin College from Ohio. AMU is slated to return two All-Conference players from last season in First-Team All Mid-South attacker Emma Davis and honorable mention defender Alexandra Chunchukov.