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Lacrosse is by far one of the fastest growing team sports in the United States. Since 2001, youth participation is up 138 percent to nearly 300,000. No sport has grown faster at the high school level and in the past six years is the fasting-growing sport in the NCAA with 755 college teams – 433 of which are women's teams. This does not include more than 500 college club programs, nearly 200 of which are women's teams that compete at the US Lacrosse Intercollegiate Association level.
"Every summer we have Trilogy lacrosse camps here at Georgetown," said GC athletic director Brian Evans. "The process to start a team here has been in the works for a while. The trustees decided now is the time to expand to offering women's lacrosse, and I had the pleasure of hiring Brandon Davis just this past week as our coach."
Davis is not new to building a team from square one. The Tolland, Conn. native began playing lacrosse in middle school, but the high school he attended did not offer the sport. He started the program and by his senior year his team was in the state playoffs.
He went to University of Louisville, which at the time did not offer lacrosse. That did not stop him from playing, and he was instrumental in forming both the Cardinals men's and women's programs.
"By my senior year, we were 19th in the country, which is the highest ranking thus far for Louisville," Davis said.
The 26-year-old also helped to coach several high school programs during his time at Louisville and for the past three seasons has been leading Sacred Heart's girls' team. The Valkyries were a sub-500 team when Davis took over. In his first season, they advanced all the way to the state semifinals. SHA won the state title in 2011 and this past year it was back in the state semifinals.
During his three seasons at Sacred Heart, Davis has coached two All-Americans, 11 academic All-Americans, a two-time state Defender of the Year and one Goalie of the Year. He was Kentucky State Coach of the Year in 2011. In 2012, the Valkyries were also ranked 10th in the Southeast Division (south of Kentucky and east to Texas).
"I'm excited about this opportunity," Davis said. "I don't shy away from molding and growing a program. It seems almost every step of the way I've been called upon to take on that task. I think it is a reflection of how much I love this sport.
"I was familiar with Georgetown College from coaching with the Trilogy camps here in 2008 and 2009. I love the family, close-knit atmosphere. I love the bond between academic success and athletic success, and I see the eagerness here to make lacrosse a success not just at the college, but in the community as well."
Davis knows he has a challenge ahead as he prepares to recruit for the 2014 spring season. The Tigers will join the hundreds of colleges in the club division with the goal to be a varsity sport in 2015. He wasted little time in calling upon his connections through the club, high school and college coaching circuit.
"I'm looking for this first season to have a strong Kentucky base," Davis said. "I want to bring athletes in from Louisville and Lexington, but have also been in contact with players from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Pittsburgh and North Carolina.
"I'm trying to branch into both areas of the sport – the solid developed programs from up north to the rapidly growing hot spots."
Growing up in Connecticut gives him the in with a lot of college and club coaches in that area that he played for or against. Couple that with his time coaching in the Kentucky area where high school teams alone have more than quadrupled on the boys and girls side and in middle school boys' teams have gone from eight to 70 in eight years.
"It is exciting watching this sport branch out and grow," Davis said. "I love being a part of that."