Mindy Richmond landed her dream job in summer 2018. Her title: head women’s lacrosse coach. Her goal: establish a foundation for and build an elite women’s lacrosse team capable of succeeding at the Sunshine State Conference and NCAA Division II national levels.
"Locker rooms are a big deal in collegiate sports, and her gift will make an enormous impact on the program and on the team.”
Mindy Richmond, head women's lacrosse coach
As a young woman, Richmond dabbled in many sports before finding a passion for lacrosse. She played her first games in high school and quickly became a standout. She earned scholarships and attended Gannon University, where she led the nation with 88 goals—the most in school history and the fourth-highest single-season total in Division II history. Her senior year, she was nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Shortly after college, she became an assistant coach at her alma mater and then head coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. There, she led the team to six consecutive state conference tournament appearances and earned Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2013.
Despite her winning record, 15 years into the sport, she wanted something more. Unsurprisingly, she jumped at the chance to become the head coach of the Fighting Knights’ 19th sport: women’s lacrosse.
A dream takes shape
“Lynn is in a very competitive conference. I realized if Lynn is competing at the top of the conference, it’s competing at the top of the division, and that’s very exciting,” she said of her opportunity. “To see the excitement on campus and in the community about bringing women’s lacrosse here is motivating. There’s real potential for growth.”
The Fighting Knights’ expansion into the sport was made possible by the generosity of Mary Perper, a longtime donor and Lynn supporter. She recently offered a gift that allowed Lynn to build a women’s lacrosse locker room at Bobby Campbell Stadium. The team is expected to occupy the space in fall 2019, ahead of its spring 2020 inaugural season.
“I am so grateful to Mrs. Perper,” said Richmond. “The women’s lacrosse program would not be possible without her generosity. Locker rooms are a really big deal in collegiate sports, and her gift will make an enormous impact on the program and on the team.”
According to Richmond, a dedicated locker room provides an opportunity for student-athletes to gather and get into the right mindset for competition. It helps the team feel the institution’s support and commitment to the sport, and it gives them a sense of belonging on campus, which lifts the team’s spirit. Plus, potential student-athletes love to see them.
“Mrs. Perper’s gift represents what Lynn is all about,” said Richmond. “It’s about giving back to the community and supporting the greater good.”
- Lacrosse also is known as “stickball” and “the game with the hooked sticks.”
- Its roots can be traced back to Native American Indians.
- Canadians then brought the sport to Scotland, where it gained popularity and became a women’s sport.
- Women’s lacrosse first was part of college curriculum; it later became a club sport.
- Women’s lacrosse is played faster than men’s lacrosse.
- It’s considered a “pretty” sport, given the finesse required to maintain control of the ball.
- The first international women’s lacrosse game was played in Richmond, Scotland.
- Mindy Richmond’s family has Scottish roots. (Coincidence? We hope so!)