Venechanos Inks New Five-Year Contract

Alexis Venechanos signed a new contract through the 2020 season.
Alexis Venechanos signed a new contract through the 2020 season.
Oct. 16, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State head coach Alexis Venechanos has signed a new five-year contract that will make her the head coach of the Buckeyes through the 2020 season, Janine Oman, Ohio State Associate Athletics Director announced this week.

“The Ohio State University is a very special place and I am humbled and honored to have the continued support from Gene Smith, Janine Oman and the athletics department,” Venechanos said. “I am grateful to have an incredible support staff, an inspiring coaching staff and hard-working student athletes, on and off the field. I am very motivated and excited for the future of Buckeye Lacrosse.”

Venechanos is entering her sixth season at the helm of the women’s lacrosse program. She was hired as the program’s second head coach in July 2010 and since then has turned the program into one of the nation’s best, in one of the nation’s toughest conferences. In her first 5 seasons, Venechanos has amassed a record of 55-38, including 26 wins over the past two years, the best over a two-year stretch in program history.

“We’re excited to have Alexis continue to lead our program,” Oman said. “She focuses on the student-athlete experience and has a passion for their development on and off the field.”

During her tenure, Venechanos has coached 18 All-Conference honorees (ALC and Big Ten) and five IWLCA/US Lacrosse All-Americans, including 17 All-Region selections. Her teams have reached the conference tournament semifinals each season, including the inaugural Big Ten championship game in 2015.

Last season Ohio State finished 13-8 overall and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season and for the fourth time in program history. The 13 wins tied for the second-most wins with the 2014 squad. The Buckeyes finished No. 15 in the final IWLCA Top 20 poll, marking the second consecutive year finishing in the Top 15.



The 2015 season also marked the inaugural year of Big Ten women’s lacrosse. The Buckeyes wasted little time leaving their mark, advancing all the way to the Big Ten tournament championship game. On the way to the championship, Venechanos’ Buckeyes pulled off arguably the biggest win in program history, knocking off No. 1-ranked and previously undefeated Maryland, 11-10. The victory snapped a 27-game win streak by the Terrapins and gave Ohio State its first win over a No. 1-ranked team.

Individual recognition followed, and rightfully so. Four Buckeyes were named to the inaugural All-Big Ten team: Jackie Cifarelli, Kate Chase, Jennifer Porretto and Taylor Donahue. Highlighting the All-Big Ten honorees were Chase and Cifarelli, who were also named to the IWLCA All-Region and Big Ten All-Tournament teams. They also were teammates at the IWLCA North/South All-Star game. Donahue joined them on the All-Region team.

"I am very motivated and excited for the future of Buckeye Lacrosse."

The team not only shined on the field, but off it as well, placing 19 student-athletes on the academic All-Big Ten list for having a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, the most of any spring sport at Ohio State. In addition, nine Buckeyes were named Big Ten Distinguished Scholars for having at least a 3.7 GPA in throughout the academic year, the most of any Ohio State sport. The team also was named an Academic Honor Squad by the IWLCA, an honor bestowed upon any team that has a cumulative grade-point-average of 3.0 or higher for the academic year.

In 2014, the Buckeyes finished 13-7 with a 4-2 mark in ALC play, ending the year with a No. 13 national ranking by the IWLCA – the second-best finish in school history in a national poll. The Buckeyes earned their first trip to the NCAA tournament in 11 years and advanced to their fourth consecutive ALC tournament semifinal. In addition, Ohio State defeated back-to-back Top 10 opponents for the first time.

In addition to her duties at Ohio State, Venechanos served as the head coach of the Canadian national team in 2011, leading them to the Gold Medal game of the 2013 World Cup, marking the first time the Canadians advanced beyond the semifinals.