Andrew Holman | Sports Editor
Lisa Evans, who has spent the last seven seasons as an assistant in the program, was named the third head lacrosse coach in Duquesne history by athletic director Dave Harper on August 22.
After 11 seasons as the head coach of Duquesne’s women’s lacrosse team, Mike Scerbo stepped away from coaching and accepted a job as the assistant athletic director for compliance.
“I couldn’t be more proud of having Lisa as my successor,” Scerbo said. “Having put 11 years of my life into this program and building it up to where it is, I know it’s going to be in great hands. Lisa is a quality individual, a great coach and has a lot of energy to bring to these kids.”
For Evans, 2017 will mark her first year as a head coach at the collegiate level. She spent four years as an assistant coach at nearby Robert Morris University prior to becoming an assistant coach and the offensive coordinator for the Dukes for seven years.
“I was really excited,” Evans said. “Obviously a little bit nervous, but it’s that nervous ball of energy that drives you and forces you to do something that you might not think you are ready for, but in the long run, it’s the right move and it’s the next step in my career. I’m just ready to get to work.”
Evans will have quite the legacy to carry on following in the path of Scerbo, who finished his career on “the Bluff” with a 109-82 record — securing his place as the winningest coach in the history of Duquesne lacrosse.
Additionally, the Dukes’ are currently amidst a streak of six-straight appearances in the A-10 tournament. Last year they entered as the conference’s No. 3 seed before getting upset by the No. 6 seeded Richmond Spiders in the opening round.
“I hope to pick up right where we left off,” Evans said. “The goal was making it to the A-10 tournament championship game and I think the whole team is upset with the way we ended last year so early. So right now with me and the senior class, the thought is to pick up right where we left off and make it to the next game and then to the finals.”
Due to the fact that she has been a part of the program for the past seven years, Evans explained that many things within the program would stay the same, but she would also add her own coaching elements to the mix.
Some of the things Evans plans to implement with her new team include an increase in individual stick work and individual player development. She hopes to really break down the game for her players, so that they are ready to go when they play against the highest level of competition. In the end, Evans is extremely grateful for the time she spent coaching under Scerbo.
“Working with him has been incredible. He has taught me so much about the game,” Evans said. “But everything that Mike has taught me, I can’t really put it into words. He’s a great mentor. He’s a good friend. He helped me not just on the field, but with things outside of lacrosse and life decisions. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor.”
For Scerbo, the decision to move on was centered around family. He and his wife, Jessica, have two young kids, one age six and the other two, whom he hopes to spend more time with now that his coaching endeavors, which he began back in 1996, have come to an end.
He believes the change will let him live a more “normal life,” now that he no longer has to travel for recruiting and games and is excited by the opportunity to watch his kids grow up and play sports. However, Scerbo doesn’t deny the fact that he will surely miss the game.
“The two things I’m going to miss the most are — number one — the kids. The daily interaction with them, working with them to help them achieve their goals,” Scerbo said. “And then, of course, being a competitor, I am going to miss being on the sidelines during those games and the competitive atmosphere of game day. It’s not something that you can create in an office setting.”
Scerbo was officially named the assistant athletic director for compliance on August 22 by Harper.
“Mike has been an outstanding coach for us, and now we look forward to him shifting to the administrative team,” said Harper in a release. “He is a man of unquestioned integrity and character. Mike will be a tremendous asset to our compliance efforts and also will be able to assist with a smooth transition for our lacrosse program.”
Scerbo expresses a similar excitement about beginning his new job and having the ability to impact all 400-plus student athletes on campus.
“I think it’s an opportunity to do something different and have a broader impact on the athletic department as a whole,” Scerbo said. “The opportunity to work with Dave Harper and Rick Christensen in compliance and learn and grow as a professional in athletic administration is something that I can’t wait to get started.”