DURHAM, N.C. – Duke assistant coach Kristen Waagbo has been named the first head coach of the women’s lacrosse program at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, as announced Friday, June 13 by Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan.
“I am so proud that Kristen has been selected as the first women’s lacrosse coach at the United States Military Academy,” said Duke head coach Kerstin Kimel. “She is an excellent choice to join USMA’s outstanding athletics program and members of our Duke Athletics family, Athletic Director Boo Corrigan and head men’s lacrosse coach Joe Alberici, in coaching and mentoring our country’s future leaders. I am confident her experiences as a student-athlete and assistant coach at Duke have prepared her to build a program whose standards of excellence will be commensurate with others at Army.”
The women’s lacrosse program at Army will begin competition in the Patriot League in 2015-16.
Waagbo, who returned to her alma mater during the summer of 2012, directed a balanced Duke attack over the past two seasons. In 2014, the Blue Devil offense averaged 12.53 goals per game to rank among the top 20 teams nationally in scoring. The squad featured five players who tallied at least 25 goals, including Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) All-South Region selections Kerrin Maurer and Taylor Trimble. Maurer also ranked among the ACC’s leaders in assists during the 2013 campaign, while Makenzie Hommel was fourth in the league in scoring with 2.75 goals per contest.
Under Waagbo’s watch, the Blue Devils made consecutive trips to the NCAA quarterfinals in 2013 and 2014 and concluded both seasons ranked in the top eight of the final IWLCA Division I poll.
"The last two years spent coaching at my alma mater have been very special,” Waagbo said. “I will miss the students, staff, and community at Duke. Without a doubt, my experiences as a student-athlete and coach at Duke University have helped prepare me to take the next step in my career, and I am extremely grateful for the support from my Duke family.”
"I am beyond thrilled for the opportunity to start the women's lacrosse program at West Point. I look forward to working with the cadet-athletes, and to building a program that exemplifies the tradition of excellence at West Point.”
Waagbo returned to Durham after serving as an assistant coach at the U.S. Naval Academy, where her responsibilities included overseeing the development of the squad’s offense. During Waagbo’s two years in Annapolis, Navy recorded a ledger of 33-9, captured two Patriot League Championships and made back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
Prior to her arrival in Annapolis, Waagbo previously spent one season as the top assistant at UC Davis, helping the Aggies become one of the most improved teams in the country in 2010. She also spent two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach at Navy in 2008 and 2009, guiding the Mids to the Patriot League Championship game in just their second year as a program.
A gifted attacker on the Blue Devils’ front line, Waagbo completed a standout playing career at Duke, twice earning All-America honors. She is the program’s all-time career assists leader (116) and tallied 277 points over four seasons, which ranks second all-time behind 2005 Tewaaraton winner Katie Chrest. Waagbo is also tied for fourth on Duke’s all-time charts with 161 career goals.
A native of Ellicott City, Md., Waagbo earned her bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology with a concentration in markets and management studies from Duke.