Story Courtesy of Kenyon Sports Information Department
Peter Smith, Kenyon College's Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation, announced Friday the hiring of Jess Fugate as head coach of the Ladies lacrosse program. Fugate comes to Kenyon via NCAA Division I Colgate University. She takes over for Meredith Buzzi, who resigned in May after ten seasons and a combined record of 100-54.
Fugate served for one season as an assistant coach at Colgate, where the Raiders posted a 6-9 overall record and a 3-6 mark within Patriot League play. She worked primarily as the assistant offensive coordinator and devoted most of her time to individual skill development, recruiting and scouting.
"Jess brings an enthusiastic attitude coupled with valuable work experience at universities with similar academic profiles to Kenyon," Smith said. "Her communication abilities and organizational skills were apparent throughout the interviewing process, leaving the committee confident that she'll excel with her student-athletes on the lacrosse field and in the classroom."
Prior to her work at Colgate, Fugate jumped into the coaching profession in 2014 and spent two years as a graduate assistant at NCAA Division II Edinboro University. Following that, she moved on to NCAA Division I University of Vermont. She spent one season there, working as an assistant with her focus on the attack, midfield and draw specialists.
"[My coaching experiences] have made me passionate about skill development and building relationships." Fugate said. "It's so rewarding to see an athlete's hard work pay off in a caused turnover, a completed play or when all seven attackers work seamlessly on the offensive end. I hope to motivate and inspire the Ladies in the coming months while preparing them for [North Coast Athletic Conference] play."
Fugate grew up in nearby Wooster, Ohio. She played lacrosse at Wooster High School before moving on to Gannon University, where the Golden Knights went a combined 46-26-1 and made the playoffs in each of her four seasons of play. She started 71 games at Gannon and racked up career numbers that included 182 goals, 103 assists and 285 points. She was a three-time Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) all-region honoree and was named a 2012 IWLCA All-American.
She graduated from Gannon in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree in sport management and marketing. While working at Edinboro, she earned a master's degree in communication studies.
Fugate takes the reins of a Kenyon team that went 7-9 last season and finished tied for sixth place in the NCAC. Five of those nine losses came by two goals or less and the losing season was the first for the Ladies since the 2012 campaign.
"I believe the Ladies program is in a great position to be very competitive in the NCAC," Fugate added. "The girls seem fired up and I can't wait to begin working with them. They are a talented group and I think they have a strong foundation. I am grateful to join the team and excited to get to work."