Kristen Skiera, formerly Kristen Waagbo, enters her sixth season as the Noto Family Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach at Army West Point during the 2019-20 academic year after being appointed to the position on June 13, 2014.
Under her watch, the women’s lacrosse team reached new heights in 2019. She guided the team to a program-best 14-5 record and a third-place finish in the Patriot League standings after playing to a 6-3 mark in league play. Army played in its first-ever league tournament and claimed a, 12-9, win in the quarterfinal round versus Lehigh at Michie Stadium. The successful season also included a seven-game winning streak to start the year, a program-high nine home wins and countless records broken.
Skiera coached a program-best five All-Patriot League performers in Jackie Brattan, Caroline Raymond, Samantha Stewart, Maddie Burns and Manuela Cortes. Raymond was named the league’s rookie of the year, making her the first-ever major award winner from Army. The freshman was also tabbed the ECAC Rookie of the year after setting a program record for single-season points and assists.
In the 2018 season she coached the Black Knights to a five-game turnaround, marking the program's first-ever 10-win season. During that season, Army also set program records in home wins (5) and Patriot League victories (4), with Amy Johnston and Samantha Stewart garnering all-league accolades. The Army defense was one of the best in the league under Skiera's watch, allowing the second-fewest goals (184).
During the 2017 season, Skiera led the program to its first Patriot League victory with an 11-9 road win at Colgate on April 19. To start off the season, the Black Knights went 4-1 with wins over Marist (13-12), Manhattan (11-6), Central Connecticut State (13-11) and Quinnipiac (9-8 OT). Army picked up its first post-season honors with the selection of Manuela Cortes and Kiersten Spencer to the All-Patriot League Second Team. Shelby Lindsay was named to the Academic All-Patriot League squad and garnered the prestigious IWLCA Coaches Association Community Awareness Award.
Skiera led the team during its inaugural season to a 5-12 mark. The first program win came against Central Connecticut State. The team defeated the Blue Devils, LIU Brooklyn, UMass-Lowell, Presbyterian and Howard in its first NCAA season.
Skiera oversaw the women’s lacrosse program’s final season at the club level, guiding the Black Knights to an 8-3 overall record and an appearance in the championship game of the New England Women’s Lacrosse League Tournament in 2015.
She transitioned the team to the varsity level as women’s lacrosse became the Academy’s 28th varsity sport beginning in the 2015-16 academic year. Army West Point made its debut at the NCAA Division I level as a member of the Patriot League in the 2016 season.
A former standout attacker at Duke, Skiera arrived at West Point after spending two seasons as an assistant coach at her alma mater under head coach Kerstin Kimel. During her two seasons in Durham, N.C., Skiera helped lead the Blue Devils to back-to-back NCAA Tournament quarterfinal appearances, along with producing four Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) All-Americans.
As an assistant at Duke, Skiera served in an offensive coordinator position where she was tasked with tracking player development and creating and implementing offensive strategy. She also handled recruiting responsibilities, helping in areas of talent evaluation and in the academic fit of student-athletes.
Before returning to Duke, Skiera served as an assistant coach at Navy for two seasons, where she worked primarily with the Midshipmen offense. While in Annapolis, Md., Skiera helped Navy to a combined 33-9 record, back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances and Patriot League Championships in 2011 and 2012. Under Skiera’s direction, the Midshipmen netted 275 goals during the 2011 campaign before setting a Patriot League standard with 306 goals in 2012.
Skiera spent the 2010 season as an assistant coach with UC Davis’ women’s lacrosse program and helped dramatically increase the Aggies’ offensive production. Skiera instructed a UC Davis offense that achieved 14.06 goals per contest in 2010 after netting 10.06 goals per game in 2009.
Prior to her time at UC Davis, Skiera worked two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach at Navy, aiding the Midshipmen in their transition from the club level to Division I for the 2008 campaign.
In 2008, Skiera served as the co-head coach of the Dutch national women’s lacrosse team, leading the squad in the 2008 European Lacrosse Championships in Lahti, Finland.
Skiera completed an impressive four-year playing career at Duke in 2007, twice earning All-America honors. She graduated as the school’s career leader in assists (116) and ranks second with 277 points. Additionally, Skiera is tied for fourth on the Blue Devils’ career goal scoring list with 161 markers.
During her senior campaign, Skiera tallied a Duke-record 44 assists to go along with a career-high 90 points in 20 appearances. She earned three All-America citations following the season and was a semifinalist for the Tewaaraton Award.
In 2006, Skiera notched a team-leading 32 assists and finished second on the squad with 46 goals, drawing Inside Lacrosse All-America third team recognition and being named a Tewaaraton Award nominee. During her four seasons at Duke, Skiera led the Blue Devils to three NCAA Tournament Final Four appearances, four consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference regular season titles and one ACC Tournament championship.
Skiera earned her bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology with a concentration in markets and management studies from Duke in 2007.
In January of 2018, Skiera was inducted into the U.S. Lacrosse Greater Baltimore Chapter Hall of Fame. She began her stellar career at Mt. Hebron High School where she led the team to four consecutive state titles. She was named Baltimore Sun Female Athlete of the Year, twice (2002 & 2003) and was the All-Metro Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year as a senior in 2003.
A native of Ellicott City, Md., Skiera resides at West Point with her husband Kyle. The two were married in the summer of 2016.