Kim to be the First Women’s Lacrosse coach in QU history

By: Will Conerly

Kathelene Kim is first head women’s lacrosse coach in Quincy University history.

Kim comes to Quincy University after spending the last two seasons at Queens University of Charlotte, in North Carolina.  In 2018, Queens won its fifth straight SAC Conference Tournament Championship.

While at Queens, Kim helped lead the team to the NCAA Elite Eight in 2017 and finished the season ranked eighth in the country.

Kim previously spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Lenoir-Rhyne University, including spending time as the acting head coach.

“I figured my next step would obviously be as a head coach, I figured why not have my own reason to not go back to the Midwest,” Kim said.

Kim played collegiately at Penn State-Abington where she served as team captain. Kim has been coaching lacrosse since 2013 and coaching collegiately for five years.

“My vision is to not only build a team from nothing but to build a successful program. The GLVC looks to be very competitive, I would love to, in a few years, be conference champions, and make it to the NCAA’s,” Kim said.

The Great Lakes Valley Conference is starting Lacrosse next year, and Quincy will compete against McKendree, Lindenwood, Maryville, Rockhurst,  Indianapolis and Lewis for the seven-team GLVC league.

A major factor for Kim this year is building an entire roster. Something that is much different than what Kim has experienced before.

“Growing up in the Northeast you are born playing lacrosse. I started when I was 11. I’ve noticed in the Midwest because it is a newer sport kids don’t pick up their sticks until their 15 or 16 years old. Which also delays their entire college search. On the east coast,  I would recruit girls their junior year they would be committed by fall. Here, I’m finding it is more their senior year,” Kim said.

Kim has been recruiting all across the nation and the process is going well thus far.

“I have been recruiting all over. The great thing about women’s lacrosse is that there are so many tournaments everywhere,” said Kim.

Kim, who went to Chicago in July found teams from New York, Georgia, and Maryland in the national tournament.

“There’s so much money involved and everybody wants to get a scholarship they will travel across the country for these 2-day events,” said Kim.

18 Freshman and transfers by the end of the year is the goal for Kim.

Right now, she has three committed. Offers have been sent out, and Kim has not heard a “no” from any prospective athletes so far.  A major factor will be next month’s signing day.

Eric Ruppel the men’s lacrosse coach, and Kim plan to start youth programs to introduce the new sport of lacrosse to kids.

“The ultimate goal is to start up a youth league and build up a program that way,” Kim said.

Ruppel has some plans to introduce this sport that people may not be familiar with lacrosse.

“Bring your professor to class day which is very common in lacrosse something both of us will do to try to introduce the game to more people,” Ruppel said.

Locker rooms, offices, the field, and uniforms are the logistical factors Kim has a year to figure out, but the main focus has to be recruiting.

Kim will be allowed to hire an assistant coach. At Lenoir-Rhyne University where Kim was a graduate assistant, the head coach left a week after she was hired.

This forced Kim to be thrown into an acting head coach position.

“I am very happy this happened, I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone because I don’t think it was ideal but it has prepared me for this position,” Kim said.

Kim will remember this when hiring an assistant with the experience she had.

 

“The part of coaching that I love is seeing improvements in kids and seeing their faces light up in the same way when I first picked up a stick,” Kim said.

Quincy already seems like the perfect fit for Kim.

“There is so much more here than I would have ever imagine. Coming from a big city, I’m from Philadelphia and I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. Both of them are a little different from here. My main selling point on QU is the people. Everyone I met here is so genuinely nice. Everyone has been bending over backwards to make me feels comfortable. It’s rare to find a school where I fit in so well and so quickly and that is what I have found here,” Kim said.

 

News Reporter

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