Former UMass women’s lacrosse coach Angela McMahon-Serpone excited for new start at Deerfield Academy

  • Angela McMahon-Serpone, right, stepped down as UMass women's lacrosse coach in late April. She'll coach Deerfield Academy's girls lacrosse team this spring. CHRIS TUCCI/UMASS ATHLETICS—

Staff Writer
Published: 7/15/2022 6:42:01 PM

Deerfield Academy has a new girls lacrosse coach many in the area should be familiar with.

Longtime UMass women’s lacrosse coach Angela McMahon-Serpone stepped down from her position with the Minutewomen to take the job at DA. She will also serve as an associate athletic director.

“It’s been great so far,” McMahon-Serpone said. “The people are so friendly, welcoming, kind and generous. They’re really passionate and carry a lot of pride for Deerfield and its community. It’s really exciting and energizing to go into an environment like that. We’re really excited to settle into that life that everyone has been raving about. I want to express my gratitude to [UMass athletic director] Ryan Bamford and [Deerfield Academy athletic director] Bob Howe for bringing me in. Both of them gave me great opportunities to work at amazing institutions. I’m grateful and looking forward to everything to come.”

McMahon-Serpone spent the last 12 years running the UMass program, going 192-35 in her time in Amherst. The Minutewomen had the second-best record in the country during that span, trailing only Maryland in wins.

She racked up seven Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year awards, 11 A-10 regular season conference titles, eight A-10 championships and nine NCAA tournament appearances. Prior to UMass she coached at UConn and Bentley, holding a career record of 211-64.

McMahon-Serpone was the A-10 Coach of the Year after leading the Minutewomen to their first NCAA at-large bid in 2022.

Why would she walk away from that situation at UMass? It came down to the opportunity Deerfield Academy provided her and her family, as they’re set to move on to the DA campus this summer.

“It’s all about opportunity and timing,” McMahon-Serpone said. “It was a family decision, not a personal decision. The opportunity this provides my kids and family, it was the right thing for us at the time. I feel really fortunate to have this opportunity. It was about family, the environment at Deerfield and the energy I felt when I visited.

“It’s an exciting and unique thing to have kids grow up in that environment,” she added. “It’s a great opportunity for their development. Whether it’s social, academic or athletics, they’re going to have so many opportunities to learn and cultivate their own curiosity. They’ll be surrounded with the brightest, kindest people who are community driven. Those are values my husband (Amherst College men’s soccer c and I share and is something we’re passionate about.”

McMahon-Serpone hands the keys at UMass to Jana Drummond, who had served as her associate coach the past five seasons with the Minutewomen.

Reflecting on the memories made in Amherst, McMahon-Serpone is most proud of the relationships she built during her 12 years at the school.

“She’s primed, she’s prepped, she’s ready and she will do an amazing job,” McMahon-Serpone said of Drummond. “I had an amazing 12 years coaching at UMass. I loved every second of it. I loved the student-athletes, their passion, their commitment. I got to work with so many amazing coaches both in lacrosse and across other sports. UMass is a special place. I had three kids during that time period so there’s amazing memories and it’ll always have sentimental value to me.

“Yes we won championships but looking at the way the athletes matured and grew and seeing all the different things they’re doing now is what I’m most proud of,” she continued. “I’m proud of the culture we built there and the relationships everyone still has with each other. Hearing from so many alumni after my announcement that I was heading to DA, the messages I got were so kind and so appreciated on my end. Watching the players grow and how close they still are with one another, it makes me feel so good. I have so many good memories from UMass.”

Expect to see McMahon-Serpone in the stands at Garber Field during some games in the future.

“I’m excited about being a fan of the players and the coaches at UMass and supporting them from a different angle,” McMahon-Serpone said. “I’ll forever be a fan of them and support them however I can. I owe so much to UMass. It opened up so many opportunities for myself and my family. I’m grateful for it all.”

Moving from the Div. 1 level to the preps can be a change, but McMahon-Serpone has seen the same level of commitment in the Big Green athletes that she saw with the Minutewomen.

“They’ve always been at a high level and have high caliber athletes that are committed to being the best they can be in everything they do,” McMahon-Serpone said. “That level of commitment will be familiar. Playing at the high Div. 1 college level, you have to have that motivation and commitment to be the best you can be. That’s something I’ve felt here.”

McMahon-Serpone is taking over for Allison DiNardo at DA, who she’s close with.

DiNardo is staying on as an assistant, with McMahon-Serpone feeling she just needs to keep the already stellar culture within the program going.

“Allison has done a terrific job of building the culture there,” McMahon-Serpone said. “There’s not much I need to change from that. The players and people that have been around that program have had great experiences. It’s produced some really great kids. I’m hoping I can live up to filling her shoes. She’ll be right there with me and I’m excited to work with her.”

Of course, there’s a shift from going from a Div. 1 program to DA. There’s less recruiting at the prep level, and like at UMass, DA has phenomenal athletic facilities that more than sell themselves.

The Minutewomen practiced from the time everyone got on campus through the end of the season in May, giving McMahon-Serpone plenty of team-building opportunities. With the Big Green, she’ll have just a few weeks of practice next spring before the games get underway, a big change she’ll have to adapt to.

“Deerfield always attracts the top kids from all over the world because of its amazing reputation,” McMahon-Serpone said. “I’m really focused on getting those players and getting them to play at the highest level possible. The practice schedule will be an adjustment for me. I’ll have to figure out how to get that team culture to come together in a quick span. It’s going to take some learning and creativity. I’ll be leaning on those who have been there and experienced it.”

While she’s excited to get to work with all sports as an associate athletic director, McMahon-Serpone plans to be coaching in another sport, though not sure which one yet.

She’s looking forward to getting her hands dirty in another sport as well as getting to coach lacrosse.

“At UMass I was exposed to just the lacrosse and athletic community,” McMahon-Serpone said. “Going into a faculty position, it’s going to open up so much access to the academic and social environment of the school. There’s so many things I’m excited to learn about and experience as well as having my family have that experience as well. I’m super passionate about sports and being able to have direct exposure to all the different sports and other activities is something I think will be a great fit for me. Hopefully I can find ways to be a resource for the coaches and athletes.”

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