The State University of New York at Fredonia Department of Athletics filled three openings this summer with the appointment of two head coaches and one assistant athletic trainer.
Linda Hill-MacDonald was elevated to head coach of women's basketball, Amy Simon was promoted to head coach of women's lacrosse, and Katalin Parent joined the Fredonia athletic training staff.
A veteran coach with NCAA Division I and WNBA experience, Hill-MacDonald was named interim head coach just before the start of the 2013-14 season and proceeded to guide the Blue Devils to a 15-10 season, including a 10-8 record in the SUNYAC. Led by senior 1,000-point scorers Becky Hebert and Jaime Warren, the Blue Devils advanced to the first round of the SUNYAC Tournament and nearly upset host Geneseo before bowing out. In addition to the contributions from the two seniors, freshman guard Alexis Cheatham was named 2013-14 SUNYAC Rookie of the Year in women's basketball.
"We are pleased," Director of Athletics Greg Prechtl said, "that Coach Hill-MacDonald has accepted our offer to remain as head coach of the women's basketball team. She did an outstanding job last year as interim coach. It is not every day that a college division program is able to hire a coach with Big Ten, A-10 and WNBA experience. We are happy that our athletes will be the beneficiaries of this great coaching background. Although the program has lost a great deal in terms of scoring ... we are confident that Coach Hill-MacDonald gives our team the best chance of success moving forward."
"I am very honored," Hill-MacDonald said, "to have been named as the head coach at Fredonia. I am grateful to Greg Prechtl and (Vice President for Student Affairs) Dr. David Herman for their confidence in my ability to lead the program into the future and I am looking forward to getting back to work in August."
Simon will be serving as a head coach for the first time, yet she's no stranger to the Fredonia women's lacrosse program. She served as graduate assistant the past two years after playing four seasons for the Blue Devils with distinction. She is the all-time leading scorer in program history with 242 goals and 286 points, totals which also rank her among the all-time leaders in the State University of New York Athletic Conference. She was selected to the Empire Region all-star team by the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association twice, and SUNYAC all-conference four times.
A 2012 Fredonia graduate, Simon succeeds Chris Case, who has stepped down as head coach of women's lacrosse after 12 seasons yet will remain as full-time head coach of women's soccer. Case accumulated a 116-79 won-loss record in lacrosse, including a 71-35 mark with Simon as either a player or a graduate assistant. The Blue Devils qualified for the NCAA Tournament in Simon's senior year and again this past season.
"We are pleased to have Amy joining our staff on a more permanent basis," Greg Prechtl said. "Amy has been an important member of coach Chris Case's lacrosse staff and has provided valuable input and assistance during her two-year graduate assistantship. As one of the most accomplished athletes ever to play lacrosse at this institution, Amy has been coached and mentored by one of Fredonia's most successful veteran coaches. I am pleased that our women's lacrosse team will have someone with coach Simon's experience and I look forward to watching Amy step out on her own and put her stamp on this highly successful program."
Simon acknowledged the progress made under coach Case and expressed a desire to continue the success of the program. She also said she's overjoyed at the chance to coach at her alma mater.
"It's really exciting to me," she said. "I love being here, I love this program, so getting a chance to stay here is like a dream. It's something that everybody would love to do, and not everybody gets the opportunity. I'm thankful for it."
Parent comes to Fredonia from the University of Mount Union, where she spent the last year on the athletic training staff. She also served as an instructor in the Mount Union Department of Human Performance and Sport Business. Parent is a 2012 graduate of Keene State College, and earned a master's degree from California University of Pennsylvania.
"We are happy," Prechtl said, "to have Katalin Parent join the athletic department as a member of our professional support staff. Katalin is a certified athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach who will provide much needed and appreciated help to our student-athletes. In addition to preparing athletes to compete - and assisting in their timely return to play after injury or illness - Katalin will help develop strength and conditioning programs to help improve individual performance. We welcome Katalin to our staff."
Head Athletic Trainer Erik Barkley echoed Prechtl's sentiments.
"We are happy to welcome Katalin to Fredonia, and are excited to have her as part of our team," Barkley said. "Katalin's dual position is unique in that both duties will allow her to prepare our athletes to perform at their highest level to achieve success. She brings with her knowledge and expertise in the field of athletic medicine and the care of NCAA Division III athletes.
"Nothing is ultimately more important than our players' health, and we believe Katalin will contribute significantly to our ability to provide superior athletic training support in all areas, including maintenance, diagnosis, education, treatment and rehabilitation of our athletes and their respective injuries."