Marc Gargaro boxing trainer for US National Elite Team

HOW TO COACH GIRLS Progress Report

We are so thrilled to have fifteen coaches lending their wisdom to How To Coach Girls. The lineup of coaches is below. After the interviews were conducted, two of these coaches received recognition:

Acacia Walker, Head Coach of Women’s Lacrosse, Boston College was named NCAA Division 1 Women’s Lacrosse Coach of the year!

Marc Gargaro, Boxing Trainer, Nonantum Boxing Club was selected as a national coach for both the men’s and women’s USA Boxing Elite National Team that competes in the Pan Am and Olympic games.

Marc Gargaro boxing trainer for US National Elite Team

With 70% of kids quitting organized sports by age 13 and girls quitting at six times the rate than boys, it’s clear the the priority for coaches and parents is to keep their girls in sport!

The benefits of sports for girls are numerous: higher self esteem, higher high school graduation rates, lower teen pregnancy rates, less issues with body image, travel opportunities, overcoming adversity, setting and reaching goals, making new friends, and fitness for life.

We hope our book will help parents feel confident to volunteer as coaches, and coaches to feel like they have a resource that has practical ideas for creating team chemistry and keeping girls engaged in sport.

Ainslee Lamb on how to keep girls in sport:

And now for our lineup of coaches:

Fabian (Fabe) Ardila, President at MGA Sports Inc., and High Performance Court Coach, USA Volleyball

Fabian (Fabe) Ardila has coached volleyball for almost 30 years. In addition to having held the position of Assistant Coach for Harvard University, he has coached high school volleyball for both boys and girls at Newton South, Wellesley, Sacred Heart, and Weston High Schools. He currently coaches at the club level for Smash Volleyball, as well as at his own club, MGA. For the U.S.A. Women’s National Volleyball Team, Fabe was a coach for the setters who competed at the Rio Olympics under Coach Karch Kiraly. He is currently working at U.S.A. Volleyball with high performance athletes, training future Olympians. Last, but certainly not least, he coached his three daughters who all play at an advanced level.

How to Coach Girls

Brent Bode, Competitive Novice Girls Head Coach at Community Rowing Inc. (CRI), Boston, Massachusetts

Brent Bode has been coaching and teaching at Community Rowing, Inc. since 2010. He is Head Coach for the Competitive Youth Novice Girls program and Assistant Director of CRI’s Coaching Education programming. Bode also coaches novice and intermediate adult rowers year-round and teaches fitness, strength, and conditioning to athletes of all ages. He holds a Master’s degree in Exercise & Sports Studies from Smith College and is a long-time member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
Under Bode’s direction, the Competitive Novice Girls team grew from 27 to more than 50 athletes in just three years.

How to Coach Girls

Amanda Cromwell, Head Coach of Women’s Soccer, UCLA

Amanda Cromwell is the Head Coach of UCLA’s women’s soccer, leading her team to the program’s first-ever NCAA Championship after just eight months in the role. She was previously Head Coach for 14 years at the University of Central Florida, and Head Coach at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
At the University of Virginia, Cromwell was captain of the 1991 Cavaliers team that advanced to the Final Four. She was a two-time All-America selection, a finalist for the 1991 Hermann Trophy and a four-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference honoree. Cromwell is currently a member of the coaching staff sent by the State Department as an envoy to other countries to empower girls and women through soccer, and has served on the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors.

How To Coach Girls

Katie Crowley, Head Coach of Women’s Hockey, Boston College

Katie Crowley started as an Assistant Coach at Boston College in 2004, and was promoted to Head Coach in 2007. At the end of the 2014-15 season, Crowley was honored as National Coach of the Year.
Crowley won a gold medal in the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, a silver medal in the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, and a bronze at the 2006 Games in Turin, Italy. She took home five consecutive silver medals in the World Championships (1997, 1999-2001, 2004), and a gold medal in 2005 with Team USA. In 2009, she and her 1998 Olympic teammates were enshrined in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
Crowley has worked with many national teams, and was named Head Coach of the 2010 Under-18 National Team.

How to Coach Girls

Sarah Dacey, Head Coach of Women’s Soccer, Barry University

Sarah Dacey joined Barry University as Head Coach in 2016 after spending the previous season as an Assistant Coach under Denise Brolly. Formerly, Dacey was the Head Coach at Babson College, as well as Club Head with FC Bolts and Pinecrest Premier Soccer Club. She served as an Assistant Coach at the University of Albany, Providence College, the University of Tennessee, and Boston College, where she helped lead the Eagles to the 2010 Women’s College Cup.

Dacey played professionally for the WUSA’s Carolina Courage and Boston Breakers until 2003. A four-year letterwinner and three-year starter under legendary coach Anson Dorrance at UNC, Dacey helped lead the Tar Heels’ soccer program to three National Championships while earning Honorable Mention All-American honors in 1996.

How to Coach Girls

Kelly Doton, Head Coach of Women’s Field Hockey, Boston College

Kelly Doton became Head Coach of the Boston College field hockey program in 2015. She started as Associate Head Coach at Boston College in 2012, having previously coached at Indiana University. In Doton’s four seasons, Boston College has posted double-digit wins each year and has advanced to the NCAA Tournament in the last three seasons from 2013 to 2015.

A 2004 graduate of Wake Forest, Doton was named the ACC Player of the Year in 2002, and was a two-time NFHCA First-Team All-American and a three-time All-ACC honoree during her career. Doton was a member of the U.S. Women’s Senior National Team from 2005-10. In 2008, she was part of the U.S. squad that traveled to the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.

How to Coach Girls

Marc Gargaro, Boxing Trainer, Nonantum Boxing Club

Marc Gargaro is a professional boxing trainer as well as USA Boxing Level 2 and AIBA Star 1 amateur boxing coach. He has extensive coaching experience at both the regional and national level, and has been selected as a national coach for both the men’s and women’s USA Boxing Elite National Team. Gargaro works with boxers of all ages, and has coached hundreds of fighters since co-founding Nonantum Boxing Club, around a quarter of whom have been women. He has personally trained and sent ten boxers to the National championships from his gym in Nonantum.

How To Coach Girls

Erik Johnson, Head Coach of Women’s Basketball, Boston College

Erik Johnson took over as Head Coach of women’s basketball at Boston College in 2012, having previously coached at Denver from 2008 to 2012. In his first season, he took a team that was formerly 7-23 and finished 12-19 in the 2012-13 season.

Ainslee Lamb, Natick Middle School Coach and National Team Coach for USA Women’s Field Hockey

Ainslee Lamb was Head Coach of the Yale University field hockey team from 1999 to 2003. In 2005, she became Head Coach of Boston College, where she remained for ten highly successful years. Under her lead, the Eagles achieved a winning record. She currently coaches Natick Middle School girls field hockey as well as various national teams for the USA Field Hockey program.

Prior to college, Lamb was a member of both the 1990 World Cup team and Canadian National team from 1987-92, where she competed in the Junior World Cup, the Olympic qualifying tournament and two Four Nation Tournaments. A 1994 graduate of the University of Toronto, Lamb was a three-year field hockey letter winner, and helped lead the team to a national championship in 1988.

How To Coach Girls

Dave Lombardo, Head Coach of Women’s Soccer, James Madison University

Dave Lombardo is the first and only Head Coach in James Madison women’s soccer history, completing his 27th season at the helm in 2016 with 22 winning seasons. Prior to James Madison University, Lombardo was Head Coach at Keene State College from 1981 to 1987. He was the early architect of an Owl women’s soccer team that would go on to prominence at both the regional and national levels. He is the sixth Keene State College coach to be inducted into the Alumni-Athletic Hall of Fame. He has the seventh most wins amongst active Division I coaches.

How to Coach Girls

Mary-Frances Monroe, Head Coach of Women’s Soccer, University of Miami

Mary-Frances Monroe took over as Head Soccer Coach at University of Miami in 2016, having previously been the Head Coach of the University of Albany. A highly respected player and instructor, Monroe competed on the field with the Boston Breakers in the WPSL Elite League as recently as the 2012 season.
Monroe and her coaching staff won the 2009 America East Co-Coaching Staff of the Year honors in just her fourth year at the helm. During that season, the Great Danes earned the first Division I postseason berth in program history. In 2010, the Great Danes finished with a 10-8-2 record under Monroe’s direction, the first winning season for the program since 1988.

Monroe achieved success on the international level as a player, earning several caps with the United States Women’s National Team.

How to Coach Girls

Ashley Obrest, Head Coach of Women’s Softball, Boston College

Ashley Obrest returned to Boston College in 2011 as Head Softball Coach where she is still in the school’s record book for career runs batted in, as well as single-season on-base percentage and walk. Under her coaching, in 2014 the Eagles won a program-best 12 ACC games.

Obrest was at Colgate University prior to rejoining Boston College, first as Assistant Coach, before being promoted to Head Coach in July 2010. She set a school record for most wins by a first year Head Coach (27) and led the Raiders to a regular season Patriot League title. Previously, Obrest served as an Assistant Coach at Concordia University in Chicago and a private hitting and catching instructor for the Chicago White Sox Training Academy.

How to Coach Girls

Randy Thomas, Head Coach Women’s Track and Field, Boston College

Randy Thomas is the Program Director of the women’s cross country and track and field teams at Boston College. A former world record holder, he has guided the women’s cross country squad to 16 NCAA Championships in the past 24 seasons. Overall, Thomas, who served exclusively as the school’s cross country coach during the first seven years of his tenure, has produced a total of 52 All-America selections, four national junior champions and one Pan-American Games gold medalist. His coaching honors include New England Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association as the Division I Women’s Coach of the Year, and the 2001 Track and Field Association National Cross Country Coach of the Year.

How to Coach Girls

Acacia Walker, Head Coach of Women’s Lacrosse, Boston College

Acacia Walker has been coaching women’s lacrosse at Boston College since 2011, first as Associate Head Coach, before being promoted to Head Coach in 2012. In 2014, she brought the Boston College women’s lacrosse team to their first ever Final Four. Prior to coaching the Eagles, Walker was the Associate Head Coach at the University of Massachusetts. She was also an Assistant Coach at Northwestern, where the Wildcats won three consecutive NCAA National Championships and three consecutive American Lacrosse Conference titles.
Walker was the youngest member of the World Championship U19 Team that won gold in Perth, Australia in 1999. She also won a gold medal with the U.S. Women’s Senior National Lacrosse Team at the 2009 World Cup in Prague, and was a member of the 2010-11 U.S. National Team. She was named the Division I Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association National Coach of the Year in 2017.

How to coach girls

Chandra Wisneski, Nordic Ski Instructor, Newton North High School

Chandra Wisneski began Nordic Skiing as a freshman in high school. She joined the Nordic team at the University of Maine at Presque Isle and studied a dual major in Cross Country Ski Coaching and Athletic Training. After graduating, she was part of the coaching team for the New Zealand National Development Team. She furthered her education with a chiropractic degree, and continued coaching Nordic Ski as the Ski School Director at Weston Ski Track. She is the Newton North High School Nordic Ski coach for both the girls’ and boys’ teams. In just two years, the team grew from 38 to 58 members.
How to Coach Girls

How To Coach Girls comes out March of 2018!

Best piece of advice for new coaches from Marc Gargaro:

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. This looks great, Mia!! March 2018–hooray!!

  2. This book sounds fantastic! I can’t wait for it to come out!
    maryanne recently posted…Jelly Belly Factory Tour and More California Fun for KidsMy Profile

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