ADRIAN, Mich. – The Adrian College athletic department is proud to announce the hiring of Melissa Nakasuji as the head coach of the women’s lacrosse program. Nakasuji was the assistant coach for the Bulldogs in 2013, her first year with the program, and takes over a program that has a record of 80-25 in six years of existance.
“We are pleased to keep Melissa here at Adrian College and believe she is ready to continue one of the most successful programs in our athletic department,” said athletic director Michael Duffy. “She did a great job during this year and showed our administration that the program is in very capable hands.”
Nakasuji helped lead the Bulldog women’s lacrosse team to the inaugural Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association regular season and tournament championships. Adrian finished this season with a 17-3 overall record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time in school history.
“I am extremely honored to be named as head coach for the women’s lacrosse team at Adrian College,” said Nakasuji. “I am thrilled at the prospect of building on the successes of the 2013 season with a core of dedicated returning players and the addition of eager and talented recruits. I am excited to remain a part of the Bulldog family and ready to begin a summer of recruiting.”
As a player, Nakasuji competed for Limestone College in Gaffney, S.C. from 2008-11. While there, she helped lead the Lady Saints to four consecutive Conference Carolinas Regular Season and Tournament championships. Nakasuji and the Lady Saints made appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament each of her four years at Limestone, playing in the national championship final as a senior.
During her playing career at Limestone, the native of Ajax, Ontario, Canada played defense. She started 73 of the 77 games she played in and is currently ranked second all-time in time played with 4,187 minutes. In four seasons, she compiled 61 ground balls, 24 draw controls and 20 caused turnovers and helped the Lady Saints to an impressive 67 wins. In her senior year, she served as team captain.
As a result of her prowess on the field, Nakasuji garnered a number of individual awards throughout her career. In 2011, she was recognized as an All-American Honorable Mention by USACollegeLacrosse.com and was named to the IWLCA North-South All-Star game. She was named as an All-Conference Carolinas selection twice, in 2010 and 2011, and earned All-Tournament honors in 2011.
In June 2012, Nakasuji graduated from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Education. She also holds a Bachelor of Science from Limestone College, with a double major in Physical Education and Strength & Conditioning, and a minor in Coaching.