By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/9/10
Former Harvard University standout Erin Cleary Cook has been named head girls’ lacrosse coach at the Academy of Notre Dame, her alma mater.
The announcement by Notre Dame athletic director Tina O’Malley comes only several weeks after Brooke Record resigned for family reasons.
Cleary Cook was a three-year starter at attack at Harvard and earned All-Ivy League Honorable Mention honors in 1996. A 1992 graduate of Notre Dame, she also has served as the assistant coach the past seven years for Notre Dame’s highly-touted field
hockey team under head coach Adele Williams.
Cleary Cook said she jumped at the chance to become the school’s lacrosse coach after being contacted by O’Malley after Record resigned on Jan. 14. Cleary Cook noted that her goal is to help the Irish become a regular Inter-Ac League contender.
“I took the job because, first and foremost, I am an alumna of Notre Dame and I have a deep respect for the school and everything it did to prepare me both as an athlete and student to go to Harvard,” Cleary Cook said.
“Secondly, I have always looked at Notre Dame’s field hockey program as stellar, and we share a lot of the same athletes. We should be just as strong in lacrosse. Philly is such a great place for lacrosse; the girls can do so much in the off season to get prepared.”
Record turned around a struggling program and posted a two-year mark of 28-11, taking third in the Inter-Ac two years ago while tying for second last year with Baldwin School. From 2004-07, the Irish won only three Inter-Ac games.
“Brook did an excellent job and I am looking forward to jumping in and continuing the success,” Cleary Cook said. “I want the lacrosse program at Notre Dame to become one of those outstanding programs and be just as good as the field hockey program,”
Cleary Cook coached lacrosse in summer campus under her legendary Harvard coach, Carole Kleinfelder (Archbishop Prendergast grad, standout at West Chester, former Radnor coach) for five years when she attended college. Upon graduation, she worked for five years in the corporate world in New York City, but returned home and since has started a successful business, as owner of the Bikram Yoga Center in Berwyn.
Cleary Cook has already assembled a solid coaching staff. One of her assistants will be her former coach at Notre Dame, Karen Martellucci, a former Maryland great who coaches with the Phantastix club team. Also on the staff are Laura Lindsay, an assistant from last year, and former Manhattan standout Nora Jacquette.
“Stretching and aspects of yoga will be part of the preparation,” said Cleary Cook. “And Karen is such a fantastic coach. She walked into my yoga studio the day before I got the e-mail from Tina looking for a coach.
“I hadn’t seen her (Martellucci) since high school! I asked Karen if she would do this with me and she said she would. I said to her, ‘This is destiny.’”
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