Salem College Director of Athletics Melissa Barrett has announced that Merridith Cho has been hired as the first lacrosse coach in Salem history. Cho, who played in a NCAA Final Four at UNC-Chapel Hill in 1998 and coached at East Chapel Hill and Guilford College, will start working this August. During the 2016-17 calendar year, Cho will recruit lacrosse student-athletes to Salem in preparation for Salem's first year of NCAA DIII lacrosse competition in 2017-18.
“I would like to thank President Sterritt, Director of Athletics Melissa Barrett and VP for Academic and Student Affairs & Dean of the College Dr. Calovini for this incredible opportunity,” said Cho.
Barrett said, “It is with great pleasure that we welcome Coach Cho to Salem College and the Salem family. She brings a wealth of lacrosse knowledge and a passion for educating students both on and off the field of play. We are excited to name her the inaugural lacrosse coach.”
Cho spent four seasons playing on the lacrosse team at UNC-Chapel Hill from 1997-2000 for current coach Jenny Levy. She received her undergraduate Bachelor of Arts in Biology from UNC in 2000, and returned to earn her Masters of Arts in Teaching there in 2003.
Cho said, “It is an honor to be named the Head Women's Lacrosse Coach at Salem College. Salem's tradition of rigorous education for women and responsibility to the community dates back to the 18th century and it's my privilege continue the tradition of excellence.”
Following her playing career at UNC, Cho pioneered a new varsity lacrosse program at East Chapel Hill High School in 2001. During her five seasons coaching at East Chapel Hill, she led the program to back-to-back NCHS Lacrosse State Championships in 2002 and 2003 and both of those teams were undefeated.
“I've had the opportunity to be a part of a new program as a player , as a high school coach, and, in the community and I'm looking to building the Women's Lacrosse program at Salem College,” said Cho.
Cho was also the founder and CEO of Dayspring Lacrosse, LLC, where she developed youth lacrosse programs for kindergarten through fifth grade girls and boys. She also has experience at working at several camps including Academy Lacrosse Navy Lacrosse camps.
After taking some time away from coaching, where she started a family that includes seven children, Cho returned to coaching in 2015 as an assistant lacrosse coach at Guilford College. During her time at Guilford, she worked to devise practice plans, develop fitness and fundamental lacrosse skills, motivate work ethic, and recruit prospective student-athletes to Guilford. Cho helped the Quakers earn a surprising fifth place regular season finish in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, after being picked to finish eighth in the pre-season poll. Guilford's season finished in the ODAC quarterfinals.