GHS girls' lacrosse coach Kris Cofiell was named a USA Lacrosse Coach of the Year. Cofiell is pictured at the awards banquet with all-state players Bridget Clarke (left) and Avery Olschefskie.
Kris Cofiell, the longtime head coach of the girls’ lacrosse team at Glastonbury High School, was named the USA Lacrosse Connecticut Coach of the Year following another successful spring season.
USA Lacrosse is the governing body for the sport in the United States and annually honors a coach in each state based on the continuous success of the program and the amount the coach gives back to the sport.
“I have been very blessed in my tenure and this one is very special,” Cofiell said of the award. “It was cool to get. I dedicate a lot of time to things that are beyond my own team in lacrosse, so it’s a nice feeling.”
Since taking over the girls’ lacrosse program at GHS in 2001, Cofiell’s teams have been incredibly consistent. The program has won 15 conference titles, including going undefeated in league play for 13 straight years.
Her overall record is 274-98-6 with a pair of trips to the Class L championship game in 2011 and 2014.
Along with her latest national recognition, she has also been honored as the lacrosse coach of the year locally four times and was named by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CTHSCA) as the Coach of the Year in 2015.
Cofiell is an alumni of GHS, having played field hockey, basketball, and softball at the school prior to graduating in 1985.
Following her three-sport high school stint, she continued to play field hockey at Springfield College before injuries cut her college career short.
The injuries ended her playing days, but opened the door to her coaching career. Upon graduating Springfield, she was an assistant field hockey coach at Wesleyan University before coaching the field hockey program at Windsor High School in the early 1990s.
She eventually found her way back to Glastonbury where she took over an upstart lacrosse program at GHS.
Cofiell said the translation from coaching field hockey to lacrosse was surprisingly seamless.
“Lacrosse was a growing sport and it’s an amazing sport to coach,” said Cofiell. “There are so many facets to the game. It’s such a complex game and I love it.”
She added that in her over two decades coaching the sport, the number of athletes and high school programs have grown “exponentially” as the sport has blossomed across the state.
“One thing I will always continue to love about lacrosse, and I hope that it maintains this, is it absolutely encourages the playing of other sports,” added Cofiell, who is also an assistant field hockey coach at GHS. “I can take a kid that knows basketball and teach them lacrosse pretty quickly. You can move and learn from one sport to the other.”
In her 20 years on the sidelines (one season canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic), the team has qualified for the state tournament 19 times or 95% of the time.
For her latest national achievement, Cofiell was recognized at the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) girls’ lacrosse all-state banquet on June 21.
Cofiell said that GHS athletic director Trish Witkin was in attendance as she received her award. She also enjoyed the surprises on the faces of her three all-state players – Christina Guanci, Avery Olschefskie, and Bridget Clarke — when they found out that their coach was being honored at the ceremony.
“It was cool because the players didn’t know before the banquet,” said Cofiell, who gave a speech at the ceremony. “It was nice to get the support from athletics. It made it that much more special.”
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin