Article courtesy of: Matt Noonan - Inside Lacrosse
Julie Beer was beginning to reacclimate herself to her Alma mater's campus on a humid Wednesday afternoon in August.
It seemed to be a busy first day for the former Centre College women's lacrosse coach, who was in the process of setting-up her email account, which happened to be the same one she had as a student at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts before graduating in 2007.
"This is just kind of a full circle moment," she chuckled.
A full circle moment indeed it was for Beer, who seems rather content being back in her home state of Massachusetts after spending the past 11 years starting up a trio of NCAA Division III women's lacrosse programs, including the Anna Maria College and Framingham State teams.
"When Clark (announced they would be adding a women's lacrosse program earlier this year) it couldn't have been better timing," explained Beer, who had returned to Massachusetts last summer to startup the Anna Maria women's lacrosse program, which is scheduled to compete in its first varsity contest next spring.
As someone that is familiar with Clark's academic and athletic programs, Beer seems well prepared to pitch the entire student-athlete experience to some of the best talent, both locally and around the country, with hopes of one day leading these prospective players to a national championship.
"I think (about winning a championship) every day," Beer said with a smile. "That's the plan, national championship."
But before Beer or any future Cougar fans begin to book their tickets for championship weekend, the first-year coach must establish her program's culture and identity, which she hopes will attract prospective student-athletes that she will meet over the next few weeks and months on the recruiting trail.
Beer certainly knows the meaning of culture – in fact, she has spent close to a decade establishing a successful culture and identity at Anna Maria, Centre and Framingham State.
Additionally, she also believes her past experiences, including both failures and successes, will help her succeed in her new role.
"When I started building the Centre program I think I was 24 and I am 33 now, so I kind of grew up through coaching," Beer explained.
"I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning and I was fortunate that those mistakes didn't show up on the season records, but there were a lot of learning moments and the person I am now is not the person I was 10 years ago.
"I have taken everything I have learned and I (know that) I will not be making the same mistakes (going forward)."
Beer considers herself a true player's coach – she has learned the importance of being accessible for her student-athletes no matter what they need or when they need something. And from a quick conversation with the first-ever Clark women's lacrosse coach, it is apparent that Beer wants has an important goal for her prospective student-athletes: be successful both in the classroom and on the playing field.
While her team's first game won't take place until 2020, Beer says the plan as of now is to use the upcoming school year to prepare her student-athletes – perhaps most of the current members of the institution's club team – as if they would compete next spring. The program will "follow the NCAA model and do a five-week non-traditional (practice schedule)," she says, with hopes of picking-up a couple of exhibition contests next spring.
And once the 2019-20 school year arrives, one should certainly expect Beer's team to give it their best effort in a competitive New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) that saw both Babson College and Springfield College advance to the NCAA Division III Tournament this past spring.
Beer may not turn Clark into an overnight success, but her track record proves she certainly has what it takes to make these Cougars a talented program. When she was at Centre, she compiled an overall record of 86-39 in eight seasons, which included seven campaigns with 10 wins or more.
At Framingham State, she assisted the Rams to a 7-7 mark during the program's second season, which allowed the Black and Gold an opportunity to compete for some hardware in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Tournament.
Said Beer, "I have the mentality that we are going to hit the ground running. There are no apologies here, we are a first-year program, but having built a program that did really well, I know that first year at Centre we went 11-6, so I am aware of the work and what it takes to really come out strong in the beginning.
The full Inside Lacrosse article can be found here: Julie Beer Returns to Clark in "Full Circle Moment"