University of District of Columbia

Univ of the District of Columbia Dept of IC
Sports Cmplx/Bldg 47- 4200 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, DC 20008
Division 2 Dist of Columbia Northeast
Public Small Competitive team


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Cassandra Grady

University of the District of Columbia Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Patricia Thomas, announced the hiring of Cassandra Grady as the new Head Women's Lacrosse Coach in November, 2017. Grady is the program's 2nd ever head coach.

"With the foundation firmly in place, Cassandra Grady possesses the experience, energy, and will to succeed that will elevate our women's lacrosse program," Thomas said. "Her goals clearly align with the University's objectives, and she understands the process of developing young adults. I am impressed with her resourcefulness and creative spirit. I look forward to working with Cassandra, and I welcome her to the Firebird family."

Haase, who inherits a UDC Women's Lacrosse program entering just its 5th season of competition, is no stranger to building a program. She built the brand new women's lacrosse program at Newbury College in Brookline, MA by recruiting 15 student-athletes for the first season and adding an additional five the next year. She was also responsible for administrative tasks such as branding and marketing the program and locating game and practice facilities.

"I am thrilled to be welcomed into the Firebird family. I would like to thank Athletic Director Thomas and the rest of the hiring committee for this amazing opportunity," Haase said. "The team has a chance to be incredibly talented, and I cannot wait to contribute to it with the right guidance and leadership on and off the field. We will surprise a lot of people this year and the future is very bright."

Before Newbury, Haase served as Head Women's Lacrosse Coach at Simmons College (Boston, MA) and coached club and high school lacrosse in New York and California. She also spent a year as an Assistant Coach at Division III Pomona-Pitzer College in Southern California.

During her stint at Simmons, she coached one Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) First Team honoree and three Second Team honorees. The team was also honored as an Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association Honor Squad in 2015.

A New Jersey native, Haase graduated from Lasell College (MA) in the spring of 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fashion Design and Production. She was a four-year member of the Lasers women's lacrosse program from 2005-2009 while also serving as a Resident Assistant for the Office of Student Affairs as well as a Student Ambassador in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

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Zhane' Ruffin

Head Coach Cassandra Haase announced the hiring of Zhane' Ruffin as the Assistant Women's Lacrosse Coach at the University of the District of Columbia on December 15th, 2018.

"I am very excited to be able to bring Zhane' on board here at UDC," Haase stated. "She brings a great competitive drive and will be an incredible role model for the team. Her knowledge of the game will push us to the next level, and she will be an incredible recruiting partner for the future classes that we look to bring here."

Prior to her arrival at UDC, Ruffin was completing her Masters of Professional Studies in Sport Industry Management from Georgetown University. Before her time at Georgetown, Ruffin did her Bachelor of Science in Sport Management at Methodist University, Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Ruffin was also a camp counselor and instructor at the Lenny Simpson One Love Tennis Program in 2014 to 2015, where she played a big part in instructing children on healthy lifestyles, providing advice, and becoming a mentor to many of the children.

During her playing career, Ruffin was women's lacrosse captain in 2016, and she was awarded USA South Academic All-Conference and USA South All-Sportsmanship Team during her time at Methodist. She also served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee

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