Aspen High hires New York-native, Rutgers grad to lead girls lacrosse team
For a few months after posting the job, Aspen High School athletic director Martha Richards lacked any serious candidates for the head coaching position for the girls lacrosse team. Then, half a country away, she found Amanda Trendell.
“This is the type of person we want to bring to Aspen that with her background she’ll have the opportunity to be a great hire for the whole town,” Richards said Thursday.
“The lacrosse community has been fantastic in helping us find candidates. They’ve worked really hard. I can’t thank them enough. They helped find Amanda and pointed her and me in the same direction.”
Richards recently announced the hiring of Trendell, 26, to replace Jessica Owings, who stepped down after three seasons to focus on her two young children.
Trendell, who grew up in Yorktown Heights, New York, which is part of the greater New York City metro area, brings a strong lacrosse background to Aspen. She played for Rutgers University, where she was the team captain as a senior in 2014. After graduation she spent two seasons serving as an assistant coach at Manhattan College and most recently served as the girls program director for Trilogy Lacrosse in Jersey City.
“It’s been great being a program director and building events, but there is definitely that team aspect that I’ve missed since I left college coaching,” Trendell said. “Something I was really excited about was the opportunity to build a culture for these girls.”
Trendell inherits a strong program that has reached double-digit wins in five of the past seven seasons. She plans to be on the ground in the Roaring Fork Valley by March 3. Spring practices officially get underway Feb. 26, meaning she’ll have to lean on the assistant coaches and her veteran players in the interim.
“She knows what she wants to get done, so I don’t think we’ll skip a beat when she gets here. This girl, she is not afraid of work. She’ll get after it, I know that,” Richards said. “For only being 26 she has done a lot and accomplished a lot in very few years. My feeling is she is very mature beyond her years and has kind of a lot of worldly knowledge you don’t see in a lot of 26-year-olds.”
Trendell isn’t entirely a stranger to Aspen. She spent about a week in town in the fall as part of a “workcation,” as she called it, and was able to stay with a friend. The town left a strong impression on the New Yorker.
“I spent eight days out there kind of by myself getting to know the town,” Trendell said. “Obviously from a lifestyle perspective I’m a really outdoorsy person. So I kind of immediately fell in love.”
Trendell has been in contact with the players via phone and email, and wants to make a career out of events operations as well as coaching. Among her first dilemmas will be making the ultimate Aspen decision: will she ski or snowboard?
“This past winter I’ve been taking lessons, and I’m still kind of battling with both,” Trendell said. “I’m a longboarder and skateboarder and thought if I go to snowboarding there would be some parallel, but it’s completely different and I’m pretty bad. I love it and hopefully I’ll get good one day. Still figuring out which way I’ll go.”
For Richards, Trendell’s hire gets Aspen’s first-year AD one step closer to again having a complete coaching staff. She recently hired Steve Sand as the girls tennis coach and now will turn her attention toward football, which hasn’t had a coach since Karson Pike stepped down in December after two seasons to become offensive coordinator at Bemidji State University in Minnesota.
Richards said she’ll begin interviews for the football job the week of Feb. 26 and plans to make a decision as soon as possible.
“Everybody has really been supportive,” Richards said. “And nobody wants to hire a football coach sooner than me, believe me. It is our top priority now that we’ve gotten our spring sports coaches hired.”
The Basalt High School football team only needed one half to put away visiting Grand Valley on Friday night, winning 42-6 in the league opener on a wet BHS field. It was also homecoming for the Longhorns.