Cayuga Community College has hired three new coaches, including an alum to lead the women's volleyball team and two coaches to helm the new men's and women's lacrosse programs.
A 2014 graduate of Cayuga, Kaitlin Byrnes is returning to the Spartans to coach the women's volleyball team, while Auburn native Alyssa Long was named the coach for Cayuga's first women's lacrosse team. Veteran Maryland lacrosse coach Vic Goeller was hired to lead the Spartans' men's lacrosse team.
"Our new coaches bring energy, leadership and knowledge to Cayuga and our student-athletes," said Cayuga Athletic Director Pete Liddell. "Their talents will be essential as we revitalize our volleyball program and launch our men's and women's lacrosse teams. We're excited to see Kaitlin, Vic and Alyssa hit the ground running."
An award-winning volleyball player, Byrnes graduated from Jordan-Elbridge High School in 2012 and quickly became the starting outside hitter for Cayuga's volleyball team that fall, before becoming the starting setter for the 2013 team. She also assisted volleyball coaches with recruiting during her Cayuga career.
Byrnes earned her bachelor's degree in criminology from Le Moyne College, and is currently a graduate student at Canisius College, where she is studying physical education. She returns to Cayuga after coaching eighth-grade volleyball and varsity softball at Jordan-Elbridge.
"I am looking forward to rebuilding the volleyball program. As a Cayuga alum, I am excited to bring my knowledge of the sport to my old stomping grounds," said Byrnes. "With the returning players and new student-athletes coming on, we have a very talented group of girls. I am thrilled to be back as a Spartan."
Newly moved to Cayuga County in 2018, Goeller comes to Cayuga with almost 20 years of lacrosse coaching experience. A past recipient of the U.S. Lacrosse Coach of the Year award, Goeller coached high school lacrosse for 16 years and coached for three years at McDaniel College.
Goeller will build Cayuga's lacrosse program from the ground up, a challenging task he's faced before at Patuxent High School, where in just three years he led a program from its infancy to a conference championship.
"I have a history of building up programs, so I'm looking forward to a similar challenge here at Cayuga. We're in a strong lacrosse region, so I know recruiting will be competitive," said Goeller. "I'm a blue-collar coach who believes sports provide vital life lessons, and I like to teach players how to understand the game, and allow them to read and react."
Goeller is self-employed, owning and operating lacrosse equipment company Tribal Lacrosse.
A familiar name to local lacrosse fans, Long returns to Auburn after starring on Lourdes University's lacrosse team. A graduate of Auburn Enlarged City School District, Long finished her career at Lourdes as the college's all-time leader in goals and assists, and was named Second-Team National Women's Lacrosse League All-American in her first year at Lourdes.
She was an assistant coach at Lourdes during the fall season before being named head coach of Cayuga's women's lacrosse team. Long said she was excited to return to her home city, and have the chance to build the college's lacrosse program.
"I don't necessarily see this as a challenge — I see this as an opportunity to start the program on the right track. I want it to be a positive atmosphere, where players come in and have a great experience," said Long. "I want them to get to know their teammates and create a family atmosphere, so that when they're on the field, they're not playing for me or the school, they're playing for each other."
Cayuga's lacrosse programs are scheduled to begin competition in the 2019-2020 academic year, and will compete at Falcon Park in Auburn.