Midfielder Turned Associate Head Coach


Associate Head Coach Britt Orashen talking to her players at University of Florida game. Photo Courtesy of Women’s Lacrosse Athletic Department.

Celita Lewis, Contributing Writer

“Let’s go, Let’s go, Let’s go!” Associate Head Coach Britt Orashen yells as she sprints alongside her players before letting out a long “YES!” and clapping excitedly as they execute a perfect play.

Orashen, 27, is a former JU Women’s lacrosse Midfielder turned coach. After five years being the team’s assistant coach, she is starting out her sixth year with a promotion as the new Associate Head Coach.

This All American and former captain is all over the JU record books as one of the most accomplished players to ever set foot on D.B. Milne field.

She was ASUN Defensive Player of the year in both 2014 and 2015 and a 4-time ASUN All-conference and all-tournament team selectee from 2011-2015. She is the all-time leader in ground balls, second all-time in caused turnovers and third in draw controls while scoring more than 100 goals in her career.

Despite all her success as a player, she never thought becoming a coach was ever in the cards.

“I didn’t ever think I would be a coach. I was just going to go home and figure out what to do,” Orashen said while smirking. “[After graduation in 2015] Mindy asked me if I wanted to coach and I kind of just stepped in to the role fresh out of college thinking yeah why not.”

Although she loves it now, it was not easy going from player to coach.

Associate Head Coach Britt Orashen as a player on Jacksonville University’s Women’s Lacrosse team in 2014. Photo Courtesy of Associate Head Coach Britt Orashen.

“It was terrible to be quite honest” she said laughing. “It was very difficult to go from hanging out and playing on the field with your teammates to then putting on a coaching hat and disciplining your friends.”

Those same challenges are also what she believes makes her a successful coach.

“Being a player [2010-2015] and then hopping into that coaching role I obviously had experienced this culture.” She said proudly.

“This team, the systems that we run and so the communication to our players about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it and how we’re doing it is so different because I have experienced that and I do think it helps them.”

Orashen joined the team when it was only in its second year. A factor that solidified her decision to become a Dolphin. She wanted to be a part of something new, to help build a legacy.

The Dolphins currently hold seven regular season conference titles, six conference tournament crowns, and five bids to the NCAA Tournament, making them one of the most successful programs in school history, all of which involve Orashen as both player and coach.

Asia Moore, left, Associate Head Coach Britt Orachen, middle, Jess Worchester, right, as captains during ring toss in 2015. Photo Courtesy of JU Athletic Department

“She’s been a culture builder as an alumna and that was really important to be able to hire people who really cared about being able to take the program further than they did when they were here”.

McCord went on to say she knew Orashen was a great leader after watching her as captain.

“Her energy, her purpose and her passion are a great gift to work with,” she continued, “We share a vision for the success of this program and she is a great example.”

Passionate, determined and energetic were all recurring themes when talking about this former Dolphin.

“Coach Britt is determined to make us into our best selves,” Junior Defender Maddie Sturgell said. “She cares who we are on and off the field and I think that helps us as a unit.

Graduate Assistant Erica Beal has played under Orashen’s leadership as well as coached beside her and says’s her energy and passion makes everyone want to be their best.

“She’s so passionate and has such a determination, excitement and energy that’s hard to not be contagious. Even on her worst days she will lighten the mood and make you feel good.”

This year has been the most successful season in the team’s 11-year history. Beating the University of Florida earlier in the season launched them into their first ever top 20 ranking. They are currently ranked 9th in the nation, another first for the Dolphins.

Orashen feels honored to be ranked among big names like Maryland, Syracuse and UNC.

Associate Head Coach Britt Orashen talking to her defenders at University of Florida game.. Photo courtesy of Women’s Lacrosse Athletic Department.

“It’s really great to see our name next to all these different teams who are these giant schools and then you have little ol’ private school JU up in the top 10. It’s really cool and exciting to see”.

She attributes the success of this season to her players and their hard work while also seeing the building blocks created years ago at work.

“A big foundational piece of our program from [the start] was always “family, love and trust.” We love each other unconditionally and I think that’s why we have the success that we do. We really embody those values that have been here since the start.”

After the inaugural season in 2010, half the team quit, leaving the remaining players and the incoming class to start over with building their foundation. The class Orashen was a part of. According to Former Captain and Midfielder Rachel Hannon it is a foundation that made them even stronger.

“We basically started over that 2nd year. We welcomed that 2nd class in and established a new team with them. That was really the start of our team and the legacy we wanted to build.”

Orashen has a different perspective than anyone else currently involved with the team. Being there from the beginning is not something many people get to do, and she feels thrilled to be here.

“This is better than I ever could have imagined when I chose to come to JU 10 years ago. Gaining friendships that have lasted for 10 plus years, watching the growth of the program from the beginning and dreaming up what we will be for the next 10+ years…There’s just nothing better.”