United Women’s Lacrosse League Announces New General Manager, Board of Commissioners; Additional Draft Details
BOSTON — The United Women’s Lacrosse League has announced its new Board of Commissioners, General Manager and key franchise staff positions, along with additional details of the league’s upcoming Supplemental Draft.
Kristan Ash, a longtime coach from the Mid-Atlantic region, has been named the new General Manager of the four-team United Women’s Lacrosse League, also known as UWLX.
“It goes without saying that I’m honored and thrilled to be a part of something that’s having such a big impact on women’s and girls lacrosse,” said Ash, who played lacrosse at Gettysburg College and is currently the Senior Manager of 3d Lacrosse’s Annapolis-based 3d Mid-Atlantic division.
“There’s been a lot of work that has gone on behind the scenes and with the strong partnerships of STX and Nike the UWLX’s future is bright. I’m grateful for the opportunity to support the UWLX and most importantly help the players, coaches and general managers build a sustainable fan-based experience.”
The varsity coach at Riverside High School in Virginia and the state’s reigning 4A Coach of the Year, Ash will aim to lead the league into its third season with the new-look UWLX Board of Commissioners, which is made up of the following individuals:
Gary Gait – Arguably the greatest lacrosse player of all time, Gait is the women’s Head Coach at Syracuse University and considered one of the leading minds in the game. He spent multiple years coaching at Maryland before taking over the women’s staff at Syracuse, where he and his twin brother, Paul, were college stars before going on to illustrious professional careers. Gait has years of experience coaching men’s and women’s lacrosse, on the field and in the box.
Digit Murphy – Murphy co-founded the United Women’s Lacrosse League in 2016. A legendary college women’s hockey coach, she holds the NCAA record for all time wins. Murphy is currently the General Manager and Chief Coach of the Kunlun Red Star professional women’s ice hockey team in China. Additionally, Murphy is the Head Coach of the Chinese women’s national ice hockey team.
Carol Rainson-Rose – Rainson-Rose is the Chief Executive Officer of Long Island Elite and the founder and head coach of the Long Island Yellow Jackets lacrosse program. Rainson-Rose is the varsity girls coach at Northport High School on Long Island. Additionally, she is the General Manager of the UWLX’s Long Island Sound.
Regy Thorpe – Thorpe is the Associate Women’s Head Coach at Syracuse University and considered one of the top coaches in the men’s and women’s game. Thorpe has coached men’s and women’s lacrosse at all levels, most recently leading the Long Island Sound to the UWLX championship in the league’s second season. Thorpe, who has extensive experience coaching box and field lacrosse, was recently named 3d Lacrosse’s Chief Lacrosse Officer. In January of 2017, Thorpe was named the head coach of the U.S. Men’s Indoor Lacrosse team that will compete in the 2019 World Box Championship in British Columbia.
Greg Waldbaum – Waldbaum is the Chief Executive Officer of Denver-based 3d Lacrosse. Waldbaum helped found the company in 2009 and was named the company’s CEO in 2016. He was instrumental in forming the partnership between 3d Lacrosse and the UWLX in 2017. Waldbaum has served as the President and/or CEO of six operating companies over the past two decades, four of which he was an original founder. Waldbaum also serves on many boards and councils including the Children's Hospital Colorado Corporate Leadership Council and the Harlem Lacrosse New York Advisory Board.
“We have really brought some outstanding lacrosse minds together to lead the UWLX into the future,” Ash said. “Our Board of Commissioners features some of the best women’s coaches in the world and that will be really powerful moving forward.”
The league has also named key staff members across the four franchises, including some of the high profile coaches who’ve been involved with the UWLX in its first two seasons.
“We have been able to keep together a lot of the great people who have been involved in this league from the start and that has been a winning combination,” Ash said. “Some new key additions add creativity and great balance to a solid concept. We’re looking forward to working with our team under 3d Lacrosse’s leadership to help create a great lacrosse experience for everyone involved.”
Among some of the key staff additions, Don Zimmerman, who spent nearly four decades as a Division I lacrosse coach, will coach the Baltimore Ride franchise. Janine Tucker, the Assistant General Manager for the Ride, said she sees the quality of coaches gravitating toward the UWLX as an important sign for the league’s future.
“Don is a Hall of Fame coach who brings a positive passion to the game,” Tucker said. “He will be an incredible leader for the Baltimore Ride. It will be an honor to work with him and I know our team will flourish under his direction.”
Krystin Porcella, a two-time gold medal-winning coach of the U.S. Women’s U19 team, is back as the General Manager of the Ride.
“This is an important time for the league and it’s promising to see so many dedicated lacrosse people involved to help take the UWLX to the next level,” said Porcella, who played college lacrosse at Loyola University in Maryland and now serves as the President of Top of the Bay Lacrosse.
“Our management with the Ride is excited to continue into Year Three. We’re proud of the opportunities this league has created for the players as professional athletes.”
Andrew Fink, returning as the General Manager of the Boston Storm, said he’s looking forward to the league’s third season and expects the UWLX to make strides in Year Three.
“I’m extremely excited to be back in action with the Boston Storm and make the UWLX the premiere women’s pro lacrosse league in the country,” said Fink, who is the head men’s lacrosse coach at Mount Ida College and runs Xcel Lacrosse in Massachusetts.
Below is a list of the additional confirmed staff members across the four UWLX franchises:
Baltimore Ride: Coach, Don Zimmerman; General Manager, Krystin Porcella; Assistant General Manager, Janine Tucker
Boston Sound: General Manager, Andrew Fink; Assistant General Manager, Chris Widelo
Long Island: Coach, Regy Thorpe; General Manager, Carol Raison-Rose; Assistant General Manager, Tracy Weiner
Philly Force: Coach, Mike Bedford
The league’s management has been diligently working to also secure some of the top athletes in the game for the third year of the league, including STX athlete and Boston Storm goalie Liz Hogan.
“With STX the first year, Nike the second year and now 3d in the third year, it makes for a power partnership that will ensure the growth of UWLX and continue to provide opportunities to female athletes,” said Hogan, who was a first-team All-American at Syracuse University and was the 2010 IWLCA Goalkeeper of the Year.
“I’m really looking forward to participating in my third season and am so grateful to continue my professional career.”
Regy Thorpe, one of the league’s Board of Commissioners members and coach of the Long Island Sound, believes the league will keep the game’s best players involved in a meaningful way.
“The fact that we are this geared up for the third season should be a great signal to women’s players that this is the best opportunity to play the game professionally,” Thorpe said. “At the end of the day, this is really all about the incredible players who share the game with fans of all ages and skill levels and help grow the game"
Following the league’s announcement last week that 3d Lacrosse would be taking over the league’s operations, UWLX has announced its Supplemental Draft to be held on Sept. 30.
The Supplemental Draft will be overseen by Ash and the newly assembled Board of Commissioners. It is open to all women lacrosse players who wish to participate in the UWLX.
Following the UWLX Supplemental Draft, the league will host its Collegiate Draft in early winter and will be hosted by Tracy Weiner, who currently serves as analyst for LaxSportsNet.
“We think the crop of talent coming out of the graduating college class next season is as deep as any we’ve seen, and that obviously bodes well for UWLX,” Weiner said.
Any athlete wishing to register for the Supplemental Draft is encouraged to reach out to Kristan Ash via email at [email protected].
More information about the UWLX 2018 Collegiate Draft will be provided in the coming weeks, as well as the 2018 UWLX schedule.
For more information on the United Women’s Lacrosse League, visit the UWLX website. Follow the league on Twitter at @unitedwlax and on Instagram at @unitedwlax.
The United Women’s Lacrosse League is a Boston-based professional women’s lacrosse league founded in 2016 by Digit Murphy and Aronda Kirby. Also known as UWLX, the league features four teams in major sports markets: the Baltimore Ride, the Boston Storm, the Long Island Sound and the Philadelphia Force. The league is sponsored by STX Lacrosse in Baltimore and, as of 2017, is managed by 3d Lacrosse. Follow the league on Twitter at @unitedwlax and on Instagram at @unitedwlax. Learn more at the league’s website at http://uwlx.pointstreaksites.com.
About 3d Lacrosse
3d Lacrosse is the nation’s fastest-growing lacrosse services company, offering innovative training, premier events, select travel teams, showcases and leagues for boys and girls ages six through 18 at all levels of organized competition. Founded in 2009, the Company trains more than 35,000 athletes annually using its proprietary Box-Field Hybrid™ Development System that combines the tight stick-handling and ball control of box lacrosse with the team-based field strategies used in Division I college programs. In addition to lacrosse-specific training, professional coaches help players develop lifelong skills, including dedication, teamwork and critical thinking under pressure. Based in Denver, 3d Lacrosse also has offices in Annapolis, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Hartford, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, Rochester, San Diego and San Francisco. Learn more at 3dLacrosse.com.
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