GVSU's Groveston tabbed with award
Lacrosse coach earns IWLCA Coach of the Year
Grand Valley State’s Alicia Groveston was recently named the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) 2015 Division II North Region Coach of the Year.
Groveston led the GVSU women’s lacrosse team to a 15-4 overall record and 7-0 record in conference play last season in just her fourth season at the helm. The team has won the conference regular season and tournament titles in all three of the years of GLIAC lacrosse existence.
“I am truly honored and humbled by winning this award for Grand Valley,” Groveston said.
The three-time GLIAC Coach of the Year helped GVSU defeat nationally ranked opponents such as No. 18 Indiana (Pa.) on the road and No. 12 Regis at home.
Groveston also helped guide two of her student-athletes to All-American honors in 2015. Sisters Alyssa and Erika Neuman became the first All-Americans in GVSU lacrosse history.
“This award is not a testament to me, but more toward our student-athletes and our program,” Groveston said.
Groveston is viewed as a fiery head coach during the game. Her competitive nature has always been the source of her motivation and dedication.
Groveston’s father was her first coach ever, and instilled a love for sports and coaching in her from a young age. Groveston’s first sport was not lacrosse, but rather basketball.
“I was decent at basketball,” Groveston said. “But my dad taught me more about working hard and playing smart when he coached me.”
From then on it was all about that mixture of smarts and hard work for Groveston to achieve success. Groveston started her college lacrosse career at Hartwick College in New York. Besides lacrosse, she also played field hockey.
After playing two seasons for Hartwick’s program, she used her final two years of eligibility to attend Salisbury University in Maryland. There, she earned All-Conference honors as a defender and All-Conference academic honors.
“Alicia was a very analytical player,” said Jim Nestor, Groveston’s coach at Salisbury. “She worked hard every day to improve the small details of her game.”
After graduating from Salisbury, Groveston started her coaching career as an assistant at Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina.
The next year, Groveston led Division II Gannon University in Pennsylvania to a 12-4 record and a national ranking of No. 8.
Groveston became the first head coach in GVSU women’s lacrosse history in 2011. Her first season, the Lakers finished 10-7, but since have taken Division II lacrosse by storm. GVSU has never lost a conference game under Groveston. Her overall record as the head coach of the Lakers is 51-21.
Groveston’s success, however, isn’t just limited to the field. The Laker head coach has won three GLIAC Coach of the Year awards and in 2011 she was honored with IWLCA Service Award.
“Coach Groveston has been such an incredible mentor for me throughout my three years at Grand Valley,” said Ashley Johnson, former GVSU assistant coach and current head coach at Alma College in Michigan. “She has been a true model of what it takes to be a successful coach. Hard work, fostering relationships and doing things the right way.”
Groveston has become a sports icon and role model around the GVSU campus. She is not as big as the coaches she looks up to such as Pat Summitt or Geno Auriemma, but in GVSU lore, she may be some day.