Blugold athletics gains a new sport

UW-Eau Claire hires a new women’s lacrosse coach

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Photo by Robin Armagost

UW-Eau Claire hires Aubri Neubert as the new women’s lacrosse coach

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UW-Eau Claire has many sports for both men and women, such as football, track and field, swimming, basketball and more. 

Now, the university will gain a new sport: women’s lacrosse. 

In a press conference on Tuesday, Feb. 13, athletic director Dan Schumacher welcomed Aubrianne Hilton Neubert as UW-Eau Claire’s new women’s lacrosse coach. 

“We are excited to welcome Aubri to our staff and her family to the community,” Schumacher said. “We are all looking forward to adding women’s lacrosse to our department and bringing a new sport to the Chippewa Valley.”

Neubert was originally employed as the defensive coach for the University of Michigan’s women’s club lacrosse team. Before her employment at Michigan, she was the head coach at Truman State University in Missouri.

In college, Neubert was a four-year starter at Brigham Young University. After graduating with a degree in Elementary Education, she served as an assistant coach at the university for two seasons. 

Neubert said she was taking every opportunity that came her way. Her husband was hired at the university in April and she saw the opportunity to work at UW-Eau Claire and felt it was a perfect fit for her. 

“I am anxious, nervous, humbled and I’m ready,” Neubert said. “I am ready to take this women’s lacrosse team to the furthest regions.”

In efforts to recruit players, Neubert said they plan to gain players not just from the Midwest, but from both east and west coasts, as lacrosse is more popular on the coasts. 

Additionally, Neubert wants to reach out to high schools and eventually middle schools in the state.

“We’d definitely be reaching out to different schools in the area, doing camps, inviting them out to things, to get the excitement of the sport growing at a high school level and then down to a middle school level,” Neubert said. 

According to Neubert, lacrosse is a great sport for women who want to jump into a new sport in high school and bring those skills to college with them. 

Neubert was excited to start the program from scratch as she could shape it and mold it to her liking. She likes a very fast and basic style of lacrosse. 

“It’s easy for me to bring that in as the first head coach rather than trying to change the different ideas we already have for different teams,” Neubert said. 

Chancellor James Schmidt welcomed Neubert and the new sport to UW-Eau Claire. 

“From the moment I accepted this job, people said ‘this is a baseball town and we need to have it back,’” Schmidt said. “Today we are making history as well because instead of leaning on our history, we are to create some new history and that is with the addition of women’s lacrosse.” 

Schmidt said women’s lacrosse is an important sport which many Wisconsin residents do not know about, further admitting that he has some learning to do himself. 

Women’s lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the NCAA, with 36,000 athletes playing women’s lacrosse at the college level, according to Schmidt. 

“The group is large but it’s a new sport for Wisconsin,” Schmidt said. “We’re hoping to make this be known as a lacrosse community in Eau Claire.” 

Armagost can be reached at [email protected]