A new era is upon Ohio State women’s lacrosse.
On June 27, the Buckeyes announced the hiring of Amanda Moore as the program’s fourth head coach following the firing of former team leader Amy Bokker. Thursday the former Ohio State assistant (2009-10) held her introductory press conference before a collection of Buckeye media, including BSB.
“I’m excited to be back here in Columbus,” Moore said at Ohio State’s Schumaker Complex. “This is where I started my coaching career, so this feels like a full-circle moment, to come back as the fourth head coach of the women’s lacrosse team. I’m excited to be a Buckeye again and bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm, love and passion to the program and to the players.”
Now that she’s taken charge of Ohio State’s team, Moore plans on building a winning habitat centered around relationships with her players and the squad’s future talent.
“I think culture starts with your relationships,” Moore said. “Getting to know your players one-on-one, as a group. Obviously these girls have all walked different walks in their lives. They’re coming from everywhere, all across the country. So getting to know them, then also being vulnerable and allowing them to get to know me. Being as present as possible in the moment, on the field, in the office.”
Following her two years as an assistant at Ohio State, Moore spent time cultivating her head coaching ability on staff at Boston University and then Duke, before being charged with becoming the first head coach for East Carolina’s new women’s lacrosse team in 2016.
The Pirates had their inaugural year in 2017, and by the time she left to take the Buckeyes’ coaching vacancy following the 2023 season, she’d recorded three consecutive winning campaigns.
Of course, one giant aspect of building a program’s culture is attracting top talent to one’s roster. Moore has already started getting out there to try and land the best prospects she can.
“I think you start recruiting the second you start the job. Or maybe even beforehand,” Moore said. “So we’ve already hit the recruiting trail a little bit, talking first with the players that were committed, the incoming freshman class and the 2024 high school graduates that were verbally committed to Ohio State, communicating with them, getting to know them a little bit better. Then for us, it’s talking to potential transfer candidates and getting out there with the high school and club coaches that are in the system.”
Moore added that, while ensuring the team attracts the best players from the Midwest, her focus will be on getting the top talent from around the country, going to such lacrosse hotbeds as New York and Maryland.
It’ll help both the development of talent locally and Moore’s broader recruiting efforts that Ohio State has upgraded its lacrosse facilities over the past few seasons. The Ohio State Lacrosse Stadium, a new $24 million venue, opened its doors for both men’s and women’s lacrosse games prior to this season. Teams now train in the Schumaker Complex, completed in 2019, a state-of-the-art hub for student-athletes.
“The Schumaker facility is just incredible. I think it’s second-to-none in anywhere I’ve ever seen for women’s lacrosse players across the country,” Moore said. “And the lacrosse stadium too, it’s had just less than a spring season under its belt. But I think coming back, it’s (also) what’s the same. And you still have a sense of the tradition and the people that are still here and care very deeply about this university, about this athletic department.”
Moore has high expectations for the team, even in her first few seasons. She wants to be competitive in the Big Ten conference which, by correlation, means being competitive nationally.
“Based off the film we’ve been watching, cutting up and looking at, I think we’ve got a lot of really talented players both currently on the roster and coming in in the 2023 and 2024 recruiting classes,” Moore said. “I’m excited to build on the consistency aspect of that, both on the fundamentals and on different offensive looks and different options that they have creating with the ball.”