Giannerini Chosen to Start Embry-Riddle’s Women’s Lacrosse Program

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Via press release   DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Embry-Riddle Director of Athletics John Phillips has announced former Rollins standout Marissa Giannerini as the first-ever head coach for ERAU women’s lacrosse following a nationwide search with over 100 applicants. Giannerini will be charged with building a Blue and Gold women’s lacrosse program from the ground up in preparation for the Eagles’ first season of NCAA II and Sunshine State Conference competition in the spring of 2018. “We are excited to officially begin our women’s lacrosse program with the hiring of Marissa Giannerini as our head coach,” Phillips said. “Marissa was an immediate hit during the interview process with both our coaches and our administrative staff.” “I am overjoyed and humbled by the opportunity to begin the women’s lacrosse program at Embry-Riddle,” Giannerini said. “The ERAU philosophy of Student-Person-Player aligns with my passion and vision as a coach, and I am inspired by the dedication to the development of the student-athlete through their entire collegiate experience.” Giannerini has spent the last two seasons at Oglethorpe, an NCAA III program in Atlanta, Ga. Giannerini inherited a Stormy Petrel team that had been established just two years before her arrival and which had gone 0-16 in 2014. Giannerini inspired a cultural shift in the Stormy Petrel program that resulted in the first postseason accolades in program history, as well as matching the program-high win total this past spring. While at Oglethorpe, Giannerini coached five Southern Athletic Association All-Conference players, the first such honorees in program history, as well as 12 Academic All-Conference performers. Giannerini’s 2015 squad also posted the highest combined GPA of any Oglethorpe team.   Marissa Giannerini Embry Riddle Giannerini came to Oglethorpe following a season as an assistant coach at Stevenson in her home state of Maryland. Giannerini helped the Mustangs to their first-ever MAC Commonwealth Conference title and the program’s first-ever NCAA postseason appearance. Giannerini worked under US Lacrosse Hall of Famer Kathy Railey, serving as an offensive coordinator, goalkeeper coach and led the draw specialist team. In her one season at Stevenson, Giannerini coached five All-Conference team selections, two All-Region players, and the Mustangs ended the year ranked 19th in the IWLCA Coaches’ Poll. “The energy and enthusiasm Marissa brings every day is contagious,” Phillips said. “It should translate extremely well to recruiting.” Prior to her time at Stevenson, Giannerini was an integral part of the Rollins women’s lacrosse program, first as a student-athlete and then as a graduate assistant coach with the Tars. Giannerini played for Rollins from 2009-11, becoming one of the most decorated women’s lacrosse players in school history. In three seasons, Giannerini scored 154 goals and tallied 27 assists, totaling 181 points for the Tars; her 3.35 goals per game average ranks first all-time at Rollins, while her point and goal totals rank second all-time. Giannerini was a three-time IWLCA All-American at Rollins, the first All-American in program history, while also earning IWLCA All-Academic honors all three years, as well as being a three-time first team All-South Region selection. Giannerini was a two-time captain under Head Coach Dennis Short, leading the Tars to a 34-12 record over her three seasons. “I’m very excited to return to the state of Florida and compete in NCAA II and against the highly competitive Sunshine State Conference,” Giannerini said. Following her playing career, Giannerini spent the 2012 season as Rollins’ graduate assistant coach, helping the Tars to their first NCAA postseason appearance as the top-seeded team in the South Region. Five Tars were named IWLCA All-Americans during the 2012 season, and the team was recognized as an IWLCA Academic Squad. “Having both played and coached in the Sunshine State Conference, Marissa knows what it takes to compete at this level,” Phillips said. “I am grateful for my experience as a player and a coach at Rollins, as well as the opportunities I have had at Stevenson and Oglethorpe,” Giannerini said. “The time I spent at each institution has helped prepare me to build a successful program here at Embry-Riddle.” Giannerini has also served the sport of women’s lacrosse in several other capacities, including a club coach for X-Team, owner and director of Hard Target Lacrosse, LLC, and a color analyst for ESPN3’s women’s lacrosse coverage. Giannerini graduated in 2010 from Rollins with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, earning her Master’s degree in Human Resources in 2011. “We’re excited to add Marissa to the Embry-Riddle family,” Phillips said. “We’re equally as eager for her to begin recruiting our first class of student-athletes as we begin preparing for our first season of competition in 2017-18.” A native of Baltimore, Md., Giannerini is a graduate of Notre Dame Preparatory School where she helped lead the Blazers to a the IAAM Championship in 2001. “I would like to thank John PhillipsJohn Mark Adkison, and the entire athletic department staff in giving me this opportunity,” Giannerini said. “The commitment, talent and integrity of the Embry-Riddle athletic department is apparent, and I appreciate their enthusiasm and support in welcoming the women’s lacrosse program into the ERAU Athletics’ family.” Embry-Riddle will sponsor women’s lacrosse as an NCAA II and Sunshine State Conference sport beginning in 2017-18, with play beginning in the spring of 2018.  What They’re Saying About Marissa Giannerini Dennis Short – Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach, Rollins College “I have had the great pleasure of watching Marissa’s development over the past eight years, first as a player and now as a coaching colleague. She is one of the most passionate and driven individuals I have ever worked with, and she brings tremendous energy and enthusiasm to the sport. Marissa played a pivotal role in the development of the Rollins women’s lacrosse program, both as a player and a coach. I am extremely excited for both her and the Embry-Riddle Athletic Department, as I know Marissa will build a powerhouse program in the Sunshine State Conference.” Crista Samaras – Director, Trilogy Lacrosse; Princeton University Women’s Lacrosse (1995-99) – all-time leading scorer “Marissa is pure passion, conviction and commitment. Her persistence over time – her ‘grit’ – is how she gets her kids to fight for her, for the team and most importantly, for themselves. She has coached or played at every level of the game and has worked in so many parts of the lacrosse industry, shaping her into a unique role model for the women who will join her team and the perfect leader to establish a competitive program at Embry-Riddle. I’m looking forward to seeing what she creates!”