Aubrianne Neubert won’t have to change her wardrobe very much.
Neubert donned the Blugolds’ navy and gold Thursday morning as UW-Eau Claire Athletic Director Dan Schumacher announced her as the first head coach of the newly formed women’s lacrosse team, set to commence play in the spring of 2021.
“I’m glad to be here,” she said. “I’m excited to be here, I’m anxious, I’m nervous, I’m humbled, I’m overwhelmed, and I’m ready. I’m ready to take this women’s lacrosse team to the furthest reaches.”
Neubert should be used to the Blugolds’ colors as she comes from the University of Michigan, where she coached defense for Wolverines’ club lacrosse team.
Unlike the new baseball program, which announced Charles Bolden as its head coach last week, Neubert takes over a program in a city with no strong connection to lacrosse. Eau Claire will be the third Division III school in Wisconsin to add women’s lacrosse, joining UW-River Falls and UW-La Crosse, and Neubert said she’s excited to begin the process of growing the sport in the community.
“Getting the community on board with a good thing isn’t a very hard thing,” she said. “We’ll definitely be reaching out to the different schools in the area, doing camps, inviting them out to things to get the excitement and the sport growing at the high school level and down to the middle school level.”
In the immediate future, Neubert said she plans on looking out of state for her recruiting, specifically to the East and West Coast where lacrosse is far more popular than in the Midwest.
“I’m excited about the recruiting process that is coming up,” she said. “Nationwide, we’ll be looking for recruits and we’ve already started looking for girls who will be wonderful Blugolds.”
The lack of any Blugolds lacrosse tradition means Neubert can put her own stamp on the program and look for girls that fit the system she wants to run.
“I can really shape (the program) and mold it into what my vision is,” she said. “I like to play a very fast style of lacrosse and a very basic (style), so if I can stick to that at a high speed, we’re all good, and it’s easy for me to bring that in as the first head coach rather than trying to change different ideas and scaffolding that we have from other teams. … I see the blank slate as a wonderful thing.”
Schumacher said he and his search team did an extensive search and felt that Neubert brought the expertise and passion the Blugolds were looking for to lead the new team. She has been involved with the sport since her days at Brigham Young University, where she was a four-year starting goalie for the Cougars’ club team. After two years as an assistant coach at BYU, she took the head coaching job at Truman State, where she coached the Bulldogs’ club team.
Neubert said she was drawn to Eau Claire after her husband, Jonathan, accepted a job in the area and the two of them decided Eau Claire would be a great place to raise their two young daughters.
“Dan (Schumacher) said ‘this is a family school,’” Neubert said. “We have felt that since the moment we got on campus.”
The women’s lacrosse coaching announcement was the second of three coaching announcements the Blugolds are expecting to fill this month as the school expands to include men’s baseball, women’s lacrosse and men’s soccer. Schumacher said the men’s soccer announcement could be expected in near future.