Samantha Eustace said there were a lot of pieces that just fit for her to become the women's lacrosse head coach at Mercer.
The announcement was made Wednesday by athletics director Jim Cole.
"I knew about Mercer when they upset Duke; I knew the school," Eustace said of the basketball team's win in the NCAA tournament in 2014. "I knew it was in Georgia, outside of Atlanta. I probably couldn't have pointed to it on a map, but I knew it was near Atlanta, and it's a growing area in women's lacrosse. That's an exciting piece because there are some programs that start, but there's no lacrosse around it. Here, you have a lot of the schools and private schools outside of Atlanta that have lacrosse, and it's starting to build.
"That's an exciting piece to be a part of."
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Eustace has been an assistant coach at James Madison for the past three seasons, working primarily as a defensive coach, goalie coach and draw specialist. She also served as the program's recruiting coordinator, academic liaison and video coordinator.
"Samantha comes from a nationally recognized program and rose to the top of our search list because of her reputation as an outstanding coach and more importantly as a person of high character,” Cole said.
Mercer's program played its first season last season, and the first-time head coach is excited about the possibilities with the program.
"I think being able to come into a newer program was enticing to me, so I can put my stamp on it," Eustace said. "Knowing that I'm coming in with Jim and (deputy athletics director Sybil Blalock) at the helm with their support, this can be a successful place for women's lacrosse. In talking to my friends who are coaches at all levels, it all comes down to who is supporting you, and I'm really excited about that.
"I had lots of conversations with both of them, and they're really excited about women's lacrosse here at Mercer, and that's contagious."