After seven years of coaching the girl’s varsity lacrosse team, Jaime Nesbitt is being replaced by coach Ana Flooks due to her increasing professional commitments, meaning she won’t have enough time to coach. Although she had to step down as head coach, Nesbitt will be aiding Flooks to make the transition as seamless as possible.
A former MIT lacrosse star and graduate, Flooks was recently hired as the Paly girls lacrosse varsity head coach because of her experience as a lacrosse player and coach.
This season, Flooks said she is excited for the opportunity to have the same impact on the team that she felt from her coaches as a highschooler, and hopes to learn more about the league and goals the lacrosse team already has set.
“I’m sure the girls have a lot of goals about which teams they want to beat and which losses they want to avenge,” Flooks said. “What I want is for the girls to grow individually, as a team, and as a family. I think it’s a really special group and I believe that if they come to practice and get better each day, those more concrete goals that they have will fall into place.”
Since she began lacrosse as a third-grader, Flooks said she has always had extremely positive experiences with lacrosse.
“Through lacrosse, I have found a lot of really awesome female role models, as well as incredibly supportive teammates,” Flooks said. My time on the varsity lacrosse team at MIT was one of the best parts of my college experience.”
However, Flooks said she always knew she would end her lacrosse career as a player after college.
“Professional lacrosse is reserved for the best of the best in D1, so as a D3 player it never really crossed my mind,” Flooks said. “I also really loved mechanical engineering and knew that was something I wanted to pursue.”
Bill McIntosh, the father of Paly lacrosse player Heidi McIntosh, played a big role in the selection of the new girl’s varsity head coach, as he was told with a short notice that if there was no replacement coach, lacrosse would not run this season. Passionate about lacrosse, McIntosh searched and found Flooks on his own. McIntosh said he was searching for someone with the same qualities Nesbitt possessed.
“Passion, knowledge of the game and focus on skill development were all exemplified by Jamie,” McIntosh said. “She had the reputation for taking teams and dramatically improving them over the season, making them perennial challengers for the SCVAL title.”
Senior lacrosse player Sanaz Ebrahimi said she looked up to Nesbitt, and that this season will be a transition that the team will need to work through.
“I hope my new coach is just like my last because she is one of the best coaches I’ve ever had,” Ebrahimi said. “I hope the new coach is able to keep us on task and help us gain new skills.”
Junior varsity lacrosse player Heidi McIntosh shared a similar sentiment about Nesbitt.
“A good coach is someone who creates a competitive, serious, and focused environment for the team, while also focusing on the aspects of having fun and loving the game,” Heidi said.
Heidi, and fellow junior varsity player Laney Henry joined the girl’s varsity team as freshmen and shared similar experiences and outlooks on what they value in their coaches.
“The most important characteristics in a coach are charisma and the ability to inspire devotion,” Henry said.
Flooks said she is excited for her first season as Paly girls varsity head coach and looks forward to her future experiences with the team.
“We have a really hard-working group with strong leaders, and they all give their best when I ask for it,” Flooks said. “If we continue down that path, I think we will have a really great season!”