Elon University

Elon University Athletics
2500 Campus Box - 104 E. Haggard Ave. Elon, NC 27244
Division 1 North Carolina Southeast
Private Medium National competitor

Coaches

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Josh Hexter

Josh Hexter enters his sixth season at the helm of the Elon University women’s lacrosse program in 2019 after building the program from the ground up since being tabbed the first head coach in program history by Elon Director of Athletics Dave Blank on April 28, 2012.


With vast improvement each of the first four seasons of competition since the first campaign in 2014, the 2017 campaign saw Elon reach new heights with the program’s first appearances in a conference tournament title game and the NCAA Tournament. Throughout the year, Elon earned a 13-7 record that included wins over No. 13 Virginia, No. 19 Virginia Tech and No. 17 Towson in the CAA Semifinals. With a 4-2 record in CAA action, the Phoenix won its first conference tournament game with a thrilling 10-9 victory in overtime over Towson on its home field, Johnny Unitas Stadium in Maryland. Earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, the Phoenix took on No. 13 Virginia and though it fell 11-9, Elon battled back from a deep early deficit to come within striking distance midway through the second half. At the start of the season, Elon opened with a 4-0 record for the second season in a row and opened the year with six wins in seven games for the best seven-game stretch in program history. Though it dropped its opening two CAA regular season games, Elon answered nicely in winning each of its next five games to reach the CAA Finals, marking the most consecutive wins to date for the program.


Though Hexter's Phoenix regressed in 2018 with a 4-11 record against nine nationally-ranked opponents, Stephanie Asher earned First Team All-CAA honors and Alexis Zadjura Second Team All-CAA honors for the third-straight campaign. Additionally, Asher was named a Tewaaraton Trophy Watch List honoree for the second-straight season. Along the way, Elon battled NCAA Tournament teams Virginia, Stanford, Virginia Tech and Towson to go with national semifinalist North Carolina and national champion James Madison. In May, the program reached its third-straight CAA Tournament, but fell 9-7 to No. 6 Towson in the semifinals.


In 2016, Elon posted a 10-7 record with its first-ever win over a nationally-ranked opponent when Elon defeated No. 10 Duke on Feb. 25 by the score of 7-6 in Durham, N.C. The Phoenix opened the season with a 4-0 record, which set a new high mark for best starts to a season. Finishing with 10 wins on the year, some good fortune could’ve added up to a total of 15 wins on the season with the Phoenix dropping four two-goal games and one one-goal game on the campaign that ended with an 8-6 loss to second-seeded Towson in the CAA Semifinals in Philadelphia.


Elon’s second year of competition in 2015 ended with Hexter guiding the Phoenix to an even 8-8 record with wins over three programs that claimed wins over the Phoenix in 2014. During the year, Elon picked up its first CAA win on April 12, an 8-7 win over William & Mary at Rhodes Stadium. At season’s end, Stephanie Asher was named the CAA Rookie of the Year while also being picked a Second Team All-CAA and CAA All-Rookie Team honoree after scoring 44 goals. That mark stood as a program record until she shattered it with 58 goals in 2017.


In Elon’s first season of competition in 2014, Elon posted an 8-9 record with a 4-1 mark in Atlantic Sun action while finishing second in the regular season standings. The Phoenix also posted a perfect 5-0 record at home during the year. For his efforts, Hexter was named A-Sun Coach of the Year while a total of seven players earned all-conference honors, including Sloane Kessler’s A-Sun Freshman of the Year award.


The inaugural 2014 season opened on Feb. 7, where Elon traveled to No. 6 Duke. With Hexter’s guidance, the Phoenix won its first-ever game on March 1, a 16-7 triumph over St. Francis at Rhodes Stadium.


Hexter began his time at Elon in 2012 following the conclusion of his eighth season with the Duke women’s lacrosse program. He joined the Blue Devil staff prior to the 2005 season and was promoted to associate head coach in 2010.


Duke amassed a 119-42 record during Hexter’s tenure, averaging nearly 15 wins per season. With Hexter on staff, the Blue Devils won three ACC regular season championships, as well as an ACC Tournament title, while also reaching five national semifinals (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011). In his eight seasons, Duke finished among the Top 5 seven times.


Under Hexter’s guidance, the Duke offense consistently ranked as one of the best in the country. In Hexter’s eight seasons with the Blue Devils, Duke scored 2,020 goals – averaging more than 14 per contest – a jump of nearly four goals per game from the nine seasons prior to his arrival. In addition, the 2009 squad set program single-season highs for goals (313), assists (150) and points (463).


While at Duke, the Blue Devils had a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award, an honor annually presented to the best NCAA Division I men’s and women’s lacrosse player. In 2005, Duke’s Katie Chrest won the Tewaaraton and was a finalist a year later.


Prior to arriving at Duke, Hexter served as the head women's lacrosse coach at Bridgewater State College in Bridgewater, Mass. While at Bridgewater State, the program totaled a 72-42 record and made a trip to the New England Women's Lacrosse Alliance (NEWLA) title game in six consecutive seasons. He led the team to two conference championships during this time. In 2003, Bridgewater made the program's first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament.


Prior to coaching at Bridgewater, Hexter coached the New England III Team in the National Tournament and in the Bay State Games. He also served as an assistant women's lacrosse coach at The College of the Holy Cross from 1996-97.


A 1995 graduate of Assumption College, he was a four-year standout defenseman on the lacrosse team, earning team captain and NECLA All-Star honors during his senior campaign. In 1995, Hexter became the first player in Assumption history to earn a spot in the East-West New England All-Star Game.


Hexter and his wife, Courtney, reside in Durham with their sons - Evan, Christopher and Nicholas - and their dog, Rosie.

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Beth Ellis Roberts

Beth Ellis Roberts joined the Elon University lacrosse coaching staff in June of 2016 as an assistant coach and enters her third season on staff in 2019.


Directing Elon’s offensive attack, the Phoenix eclipsed 200 goals in a season for the first time in program history with 221 tallies in 2017 on the way to a 13-7 record with trips to the CAA Finals and the NCAA Tournament. Fifty-eight of those goals came from Stephanie Asher, who set a new program record while leading the CAA in the category. At season’s end, Asher was named First Team All-CAA for the second year in a row while being named the program’s first All-American by Inside Lacrosse. Earlier in the spring, she and Rachel Ramirez were named to the Tewaaraton Trophy Watch List, becoming the first two Elon student-athletes named to the watch list for the sport’s highest honor in program history.


On the field, Elon’s stellar offensive output helped the Phoenix collect victories over No. 13 Virginia (11-10), No. 19 Virginia Tech (13-12 OT) and No. 17 Towson (10-9 OT) in the CAA Semifinals. In all, the Phoenix tallied at least 15 goals on six occasions, topping out at 18 goals in the team’s commanding 18-4 win on the road at William & Mary. During conference action, the Phoenix earned five victories in a row to set a new program record. The run included wins over Drexel, Delaware, Hofstra, William & Mary and Towson.


Though Elon's 2018 record regressed to 4-11 against one of the toughest schedules in the country with nine nationally-ranked programs on the docket, Asher continued her successful career with a third-straight First Team All-CAA honor to go with a second-straight Tewaaraton Trophy Watch List honor. During the season, Elon battled NCAA Tournament teams Virginia, Stanford, Virginia Tech and Towson to go with national semifinalist North Carolina and national champion James Madison. In May, the program reached its third-straight CAA Tournament, but fell 9-7 to No. 6 Towson in the semifinals.


Before arriving at Elon, Roberts worked at Durham Academy in Durham, N.C., for four years, where she taught physical education for pre-kindergarten through fourth grade. She also coached girls varsity lacrosse, girls junior varsity field hockey and girls middle school basketball.


Along with coaching various lacrosse camps, Roberts served as the junior and senior head coach for the Carolina Fever Lacrosse Club in Cary, N.C., and the Grade 3 and Grade 4 team head coach for Fusion Lacrosse in Durham.


Prior to DA, Roberts experienced a successful playing career at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., as a varsity women’s lacrosse athlete. While a defender for the Tar Heels, she made three Final Four appearances and advanced to the national championship in 2009. Off the field, Roberts was a member of the Carolina Leadership Academy as a CREED mentor and head of UNC’s women’s lacrosse team leadership committee, while also being named to the Deans List. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in exercise and sport science from UNC in May 2012.


A native of Bryn Mawr, Pa., the former Beth Ellis and her husband, Brandon, reside in Durham.

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Renee Olsen

Renee Olsen is in her first season with the Elon lacrosse program. She serves as an assistant coach under head coach Josh Hexter. Olsen comes to the Phoenix after a four-year stint at Colby College.


Olsen previously served as an assistant coach on the Mules’ coaching staff. After working with the team’s offense in her first season (2016), she was named the defensive coach from 2017-19. In her tenure at Colby, she coached three All-Americans, four All-Pilgrim Region selections, and four All-NESCAC honorees. Olsen also trained one NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year.


As a player, Olsen had a four-year career at Trinity College. During her time with the Bantams, she helped Trinity to four consecutive NCAA Division III Championship appearances and one national title during her freshman season. She finished her career with 52 goals and 15 assists.


A 2015 graduate, Olsen earned her Bachelor’s in Economics. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Sports Leadership at VCU.


Olsen is the fifth assistant coach in program history. She replaces Katrina Geiger, who departed after accepting a coaching position at Georgetown.

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