Christine Paradis is a lacrosse legend.
Those who have had the privilege of experiencing Paradis' dedication to the playing, teaching and development of the sport already know this, however with the inaugural season of the of the Women's Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL) just around the corner in the summer of 2018, her status as a lacrosse icon is set to be formally recognized.
One of 80 elite coaches and players spanning across several eras to be honored by the WPLL, Paradis began carving out her place as a trailblazer at the College of William & Mary. Helping direct the Tribe to back-to-back VIL State Championships and a NCAA postseason berth, Paradis earned Second-Team All-America honors for her performance during the 1984 season in which she racked up a 80 ground balls – a W&M single season program record that still stands today.
Gaining experience on the national stage, Paradis represented the United States as a member of the National Team from 1985-90 and from 1992-93, and was an attacker on the 1993 World Cup winning squad. Following stints at Springfield College and Yale University, Paradis joined the Amherst College coaching staff in 1995 as the coach of the field hockey and women's lacrosse programs before turning her attention to the lacrosse program full time in 2003.
Recently wrapping up her 23rd season at the helm of the Amherst College women's lacrosse program, Paradis has led the team to a 277-106 overall record (.736 winning percentage) and 12 NCAA Championship Tournament appearances – including six berths in the NCAA Final Four, a trio of appearances in the national title game, and the program's first-ever NCAA Championship title in 2003. Named the 2003 Warrior/Inside Lacrosse, IWLCA and Women's Lacrosse.com Division III Coach of the Year, Paradis added IWLCA Berkshire Region Coach of the Year honors to her resume in 2014 after guiding the Mammoths to program-record 19 wins.
In addition to her illustrious list of coaching accomplishments, Paradis also boasts membership in the William & Mary Athletic Hall of Fame since 1998 and the the New England Lacrosse Hall of Fame since January of 2004.
Off of the field, Paradis is a certified Yoga Instructor and serves as the Wellness Director for the Athletic Department, bringing holistic practices and programming to the campus community.
Paradis will be honored on Saturday, September 30 at the WPPL's Legends' Celebration and Legends' Game at US Lacrosse Headquarters in Sparks, Maryland. Paying homage to the many players and coaches who helped pave the way for women's lacrosse, all individuals being honored have been invited to participate in the Legends' Game at 12:30 p.m. ET, after which select players from the inaugural WPLL draft will play in an exhibition game.
WPLL Legends Celebration Release
WHAT THEY SAID
"Coach Paradis is not only a legend amongst her peers on the national stage of IWLCA Women's lacrosse and at Amherst, but she is also an extraordinary leader of humans. She understands that getting the most out of those she leads requires understanding the whole human, not just the athlete. She's been an extraordinary colleague who I've learned an incredible amount from. She's loved immensely."
Head Amherst Men's Lacrosse Coach
"Chris is a great coach and educator. It's no surprise to me that she is being honored at the Legends celebration. The impact she's made in the lives of our women's lacrosse student-athletes is unmatched."
Amherst Athletic Director
"It has been a great experience and privilege starting off my coaching career under Chris Paradis. She has some much knowledge and love for the game that has resulted in many years of success at Amherst! Chris is truly one of the greatest in our sport and well deserving to be honored as a women's lax legend!"
Amherst Women's Lacrosse Assistant Coach
"Chris's coaching is a reflection of the players and coaches who influenced her during her own development as a highly successful player. Her attention to technical skills and strategy as well as her passion for the game are a true testament to the sport and to those who came before her. It was an incredible honor to coach by Chris's side for many years where I witnessed first-hand the positive influence she had on so many players, many of whom are giving back to the game as coaches themselves and using leadership skills developed under Chris's guidance. She has touched countless lives through her dedication to the sport of lacrosse and is so deserving of this honor."
Head Amherst Field Hockey Coach
"Chris's impact as a lacrosse coach extends beyond simply Pratt Field or Alumni Gymnasium. Chris's impact during our time at Amherst shapes us as people. One of the most valuable gifts I have learned from Chris is balance. Chris possesses remarkable poise and strength even through the toughest defeats. As players, we look to Chris for her centering influence in times of triumph and defeat. Her sense of balance, mindfulness, and spirituality will certainly stick with me long after I graduate from Amherst. While this honor specifically recognizes Chris's extraordinary achievement as a women's lacrosse coach, Chris will also be remembered as a tremendous person, woman, mentor, and friend for years to come."
Julia Crerend '18
This article also appears in the upcoming issue of Amherst Football Illustrated.