Interview: Jacqueline Kisthardt joins RE Girls’ Lacrosse team as new head coach


Daniela Pineros '21

Coach Kisthardt smiles behind her mask as the RE Girls Lacrosse Team secures another win

After the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the boys and girls 2020 lacrosse season last spring, Ransom Everglades welcomed new coach to the Ransom Everglades Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse team program this year. Jacqueline Kisthardt is the new head girl’s lacrosse coach for the varsity team, and she plans to pick up the program where it left off left off before the quarantine shutdown. Although Kisthardt tested positive for COVID-19 at the beginning of the season, she was able to bounce back and lead the team to many victories. Even though she was out for two weeks in a critical part of our season, she continued to lead us from home,” Rachel Bienstock ‘21 saidShe encouraged us not to give up, and we are well on our way to success now.” 

Coach Kisthardt was born and raised in Hudson, Ohio and lived there until she graduated from high school. In her junior year of high school, she committed to Kennesaw State University in Georgia to play Division I women’s lacrosse. Kisthardt played lacrosse there for two years and then ended up stepping away from the sport to focus on school and to get work experience.  

After she graduated, she started working at West Reserve Academy, a private boarding school in Hudson, Ohio, where she found her love for athletics and coaching as the field hockey and lacrosse coach. The COVID-19 pandemic then took a toll on her plans and led her to coaching at Washington & Jefferson College, a liberal arts college in Washington, Pennsylvania. Right after she took the position at Washington & Jefferson, however, the opportunity to coach at RE presented itself, and here she is now. 

“It was a no brainer for me,” Kisthardt said. The campus was beautiful, and the coaches were so welcoming.” I recently spoke to Kisthardt for about 30 minutes. During our conversation we discussed her experience thus far and her goals and vision for the team.  

What was it like to get COVID at the beginning of the season?   

It was definitely not how I thought my first few weeks or months would look like at Ransom Everglades, but I think with COVID, if we have learned anything, it is that you just always must expect the unexpected and be flexible. Unfortunately, I had to be in my apartment for the first few weeks of the beginning of the season and be away from the team, but it was a good opportunity for me to rest since I had just moved here. I was glad I was still able to work from home and still be able to connect with the team. If anything, it has just made me more grateful and thankful now that I am back out of quarantine and back with the team. We are playing games, we are winning. Unfortunately, it happened, but I’m happy to be back. 

What has your experience been like thus far now that youre back?  

I feel like I am now getting into a routine. It is nice that we can play games. I know that the season was cut short last year, so to be able to get the girls out on the field is amazing. We have a big senior class, so just to be able to work with them for their final year is also incredibly special. I feel like all the girls have taken me in right away, and I have loved working with them. Getting to work with the RE athletics team in general has also been great. It is such an amazing school; we have awesome facilities and awesome staff, so every day I just can’t believe that this is my job and that I get to work here. 

What are your expectations for the team? How far do you think the team will go?  

I think finding our identity as a team and bringing out the best in the girls is important. So whatever that means in terms of going into the playoffs, I think if we are playing our best and bringing the best out of every single girl, then success will come. I do not necessarily want to say I am focusing on making it to regional finals, but obviously I want to win our district and then just take it from there. I am really focusing on day by day, because with this COVID situation, if you think too far ahead, then who knows what’s going to happen? 

What are your goals and vision for the team? 

I want to build this program off a 10-core value culture that we created as a team. The 10-core values are: determination, intensity, selflessness, commitment, integrity, pride, loyalty, inclusion, accountability, and energy. Every week we focus on a specific code of behavior. We have the talent, we have the skills, but you must have that kind of behind-the-scenes part that is more than what you just see on the field. Being able to get the best out of our girls on and off the field is really what I am trying to do.