Courtesy of Rhodes Athletics
Memphis, Tenn. (Feb. 28, 2019) - Rhodes interim director of athletics, Matt Dean has announced that Alexis Kavanaugh has been hired as Rhodes College's next head field hockey coach. Kavanaugh becomes the fifth head coach in program history in February 2019.
"Coach Kavanaugh will bring energy and passion that will help our program immediately," said Dean. "I feel she is the right fit for our program and our players are thrilled to have her in Memphis. With us returning seven seniors from last year's NCAA Tournament team, we are excited about the upcoming season."
This will be Kavanaugh's first head coaching stint. She comes to Rhodes from Long Island University Brooklyn where she began as a graduate assistant last season, developing practice plans and scouting reports as well as recruiting for the Blackbirds. Before LIU, she was an assistant coach at Colgate University where she was responsible for working with the Raiders' attack, as well as assisting with game day operations and other administrative tasks.
"I am so blessed and honored to be named the new head field hockey coach at Rhodes College," said Kavanaugh. "This is an amazing opportunity at a beautiful campus. I'm excited to start the next chapter in my coaching career with a strong team of female student-athletes. After meeting with the team, it was great to see the passion they have for the game."
Kavanaugh was a standout field hockey player for the NCAA Division I Ball State Cardinals, playing in all 71 games throughout her four-year collegiate career. She was a two-time All-MAC second team player in 2013 and 2015 and was the MAC Rookie of the Year in 2013.
Throughout her career, Kavanaugh recorded 25 goals and eight assists for 58 points. Kavanaugh led the Cardinals in goal-scoring in all four seasons, including with career-highs of seven goals in 2013 as a freshman and 2015 as a junior. As a senior, Kavanaugh scored five goals and assists four more for a team-high 14 points, her fourth consecutive season with at least 10 points in her career at Ball State.
Kavanaugh has a variety of experience in coaching field hockey at various camps throughout the Northeast, including at Syracuse and Hamilton College, the Beth Ander's High-Intensity Field Hockey Camp and the All-American Field Hockey Camps. Outside of field hockey, she has also held several internships in minor league baseball with the Fort Wayne TinCaps and in summer collegiate baseball with the Utica Blue Sox.
In addition to those internships, Kavanaugh helped plan the Sports Administration Golf Tournament at Ball State where she planned and managed the tournament in addition to raising money through sponsorships, donations, registration, and ancillary events.
"I would like to thank Matt Dean and the entire hiring committee for understanding my goals for the program moving forward. I'm happy to be part of the Lynx family!"
Kavanaugh graduated from Ball State University in 2017 with a degree in sports administration and is a native of Sherrill, New York.
The Lynx are coming off a 12-4 season and NCAA appearance after winning the 2018 Southern Athletic Association Tournament Championship. Rhodes has consistently been ranked statistically among fellow NCAA Division III teams and individuals. In 2017, Rhodes was the DIII statistical champion in shutouts per game (0.59) and the Lynx just completed the 2018 season ranked second in assists per game (3.44) and points per game (12.31). Full top-10 final rankings can be found in the program records.
Rhodes will return 16 to next year's squad including seven seniors, five juniors and four sophomores. The 2018 SAA Offensive Player of the Year (Hailey Mules) and 2017 Defensive Player of the Year (Daryl Perry) return to the field. Mules became the fifth All-American in program history this season, while both students were selected All-Region. The Lynx also return fellow All-SAA recipient and SAA All-Tournament MVP, Nina Minegco.