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Former player looks to make mark as coach
Monday, March 09, 2015

Former player looks to make mark as coach

Former head women's lacrosse coach, Chris Case, remembers Amy Simon's transition to college when he recruited her from Amherst High School.

"When Amy started playing collegiately, she needed to be pushed in a way to get the most out of her talents," Case said. "Amy found success without much work in high school. There would be days when she would be lazy, and I would really have to focus on her. There were definitely times where she thought I was singling her out, and there were days where that was true. I wanted to see her full potential shine through."

Six years later, Simon stands as the Blue Devil's all-time leader in goals (242) and points (286). Now the head coach of the program, she is ready to motivate her players in a similar way.

"One of the biggest things I've learned from (Coach) Case is in taking an interest in the players, knowing them not just as athletes but as people." Simon said. "I know for me, personally, he had to light a fire under me and get a spark inside me, and then I would let loose. But people respond to different types of coaching, you can't coach every single athlete the same way."

Simon is taking over a program that was led by Case for the previous 12 years. After graduating from Fredonia in 2012, she was considered by many to be the best player in program history. Simon's talent as an athlete is still fresh in her players' minds, especially the ones who were her teammates. Current Blue Devil seniors Katie Kleine (Cazeovia, N.Y./Cazenovia) and Marissa Cussins (Corning, N.Y./Corning-Painted Post West) were freshmen when Simon was a senior.

"At some point we all really looked up to Amy because she was just so good," Kleine said. "Now with her being our coach, we look up to her so much more. I'm really happy she got the job here. That way, she can keep going with what we've built over the last four years."

"Amy set the tone when we came in as freshmen," Cussins said. "I learned a lot from her with the transition from high school to college and that's contributed to her now coaching us. The transition for both of us has been good so far."

The transition from player to coach can be a learning experience, establishing new boundaries and ways of relating. Simon says the transition has been as smooth as could be expected."For the older girls, we played together so we have that mutual respect from

being teammates," she said. "The girls have been great about it. They wouldn't disrespect you as a teammate so they wouldn't as a coach."

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