Kristen Skiera chosen to lead Virginia Tech lacrosse program
Virginia Tech director of athletics Whit Babcock announced Friday that Kristen Skiera has been named head coach of the women’s lacrosse program.
The two-time All-America performer as an attacker at Duke and a Tewaaraton Award semifinalist joins the Hokies after seven seasons as the women’s lacrosse head coach at Army West Point.
“Throughout our search process Kristen’s name, reputation and coaching style consistently came to the forefront,” Babcock said. “She has distinguished herself as a coach in both NCAA and international competition. Just as importantly, her penchant for developing a winning culture both as a head coach and as an assistant was mentioned frequently by her peers and administrators. Certainly her history as an elite player in the ACC and her background growing up in the highly-competitive Baltimore lacrosse scene were positives, as well as her family ties to Virginia Tech and experience recruiting in the ACC. We’re pleased to welcome Kristen and her family to Blacksburg.”
“I sincerely appreciate the confidence that Whit and his team are placing in me,” Skiera said. “I’m honored for the opportunity to serve as a head coach and at a university as respected as Virginia Tech, competing in the preeminent women’s lacrosse conference in the country. Growing up as the daughter, sister and niece of Virginia Tech alums, I’m well versed in the rich history and tradition of Virginia Tech, as well as the beautiful campus setting in Blacksburg. Watching from afar, it’s apparent that the Hokies can definitely compete with the best programs in the nation. There are so many positives to sell at Tech. I can’t wait to meet the team and get to work. Go Hokies!”
Skiera successfully guided Army’s transition from a club team to a varsity sport in 2015 and led the team to four consecutive winning seasons. Competing in the Patriot League, the Black Knights compiled a 48-40 record at the varsity level under her leadership. She also helped the squad turn in four consecutive seasons with a winning record at home, posting a 19-6 mark at Michie Stadium from 2018-21. Skiera has developed 12 All-Patriot League performers, as well as the program’s first-ever Patriot League Rookie of the Year, Caroline Raymond.
The Black Knights boasted three first-team all-conference performers under Skiera in 2021, including Army’s all-time leading scorer, Jackie Bratton. Despite a truncated 2020 campaign, the Cadets produced a 7-0 mark to make them just one of eight NCAA Division I women’s teams to finish the year undefeated. Army ranked first in the nation in draw control percentage (.677), tied for second in fewest goals allowed per game (7.29) and ranked 15th in scoring offense with 15.29 goals per contest. The Black Knights held six of their seven opponents to single-digit goals and ranked seventh in the nation in scoring margin after outscoring the opposition by 8.0 goals per outing.
Skiera elevated the Army program to new heights in 2019. She not only guided the team to a school-best 14-5 record, but also to a third-place finish in the Patriot League standings after registering a program-best 6-3 mark in league play. Army competed in its first-ever league tournament and claimed a quarterfinal win vs. Lehigh. The 2019 season included a seven-game winning streak to start the year, as well as a program-high nine home victories.
She arrived at West Point after spending two years as an assistant coach at her alma mater under head coach Kerstin Kimel. During those two seasons, Skiera helped lead the Blue Devils to back-to-back NCAA Tournament quarterfinal appearances, along with producing four Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) All-Americans.
Before returning to Duke, Skiera served as an assistant coach at Navy for two seasons, working with Hall of Fame head coach Cindy Timchal. While in Annapolis, Skiera helped Navy to a combined 33-9 record, back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances and Patriot League Championships in 2011 and 2012. She spent the 2010 season as an assistant coach with UC Davis’ women’s lacrosse program and helped dramatically increase the Aggies’ offensive production. The Aggies racked up 14.06 goals per contest in 2010 after netting 10.06 goals per game in 2009.
Prior to her time at UC Davis, Skiera worked two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach at Navy, aiding the Midshipmen in their transition from the club level to Division I for the 2008 campaign. In 2008, Skiera served as the co-head coach of the Dutch national women’s lacrosse team, leading the squad in the 2008 European Lacrosse Championships in Lahti, Finland.
The Ellicott City, Maryland native completed an impressive four-year playing career at Duke in 2007, twice earning All-America honors and was a semifinalist for the Tewaaraton Award. She graduated as the school’s career leader in assists (116) and ranked second with 277 points. Additionally, Skiera is tied for fourth on the Blue Devils’ career goal scoring list (161). She was part of Duke squads that won four regular season ACC championships, as well as one ACC tournament title.
In January of 2018, Skiera was inducted into the U.S. Lacrosse Greater Baltimore Chapter Hall of Fame. She began her stellar career at Mt. Hebron High School where she led the team to four consecutive state titles. She was named Baltimore Sun Female Athlete of the Year, twice (2002 & 2003) and was the All-Metro Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year as a senior in 2003.
Skiera married her husband, Kyle, in 2016. The couple has a daughter, Caslen.