Two-Time HS State Champion Kramer Named as Women’s Lacrosse Coach at George Fox
NEWBERG, Ore. – Dara Kramer, a two-time state champion during 11 seasons as the women’s lacrosse coach at Oregon City (Ore.) High School, will become the first head coach for the new women’s lacrosse program at George Fox University, which will inaugurate competition in the spring of 2014 as the institution’s 16th intercollegiate sport.
Kramer, who will also serve as an instructor in the Master of Arts in Teaching at George Fox’s Tigard (Ore.) campus, will begin her dual duties for the university in the fall of 2013 as the Bruins prepare to become the fourth intercollegiate women’s lacrosse team in the Northwest Conference. Linfield College, Pacific University, and the University of Puget Sound currently sponsor varsity programs, while several other NWC teams have club teams which may eventually become official NCAA Division III programs.
“I first talked with Craig (Taylor, GFU director of athletics) about the position after he asked to meet with me, knowing I was on the Oregon women’s lacrosse board at the time,” explained Kramer. “He wanted to learn more about lacrosse in Oregon. At the same time, he sounded me out about the prospect of coaching the team. It was a huge honor for me, but it was only a part-time position at first, and I didn’t think I could handle coaching at the college while still teaching in Oregon City with all of the travel involved.
“Craig came back to me later, however, and wanted to know if I would be interested in coaching the team and teaching at the college in the School of Education. Ginny Birky, a professor in that department, was my cohort leader when I was in school at George Fox, and the idea of working with her again was exciting. I agreed to teach in the MAT program and possibly fill in some holes with the undergraduates, as well as starting the lacrosse program.”
Kramer already has two players with whom she is familiar lined up to play for the Bruins in Alicia Wong and Kaylee Kolin, who competed for the George Fox women’s soccer team this past fall as freshmen. Both also played lacrosse for Kramer at Oregon City, with Kolin earning First Team All-State honors as a goalkeeper.
“I am thrilled to be a part of the athletics program at George Fox, my alma mater and school that has meant so much to me,” admitted Kramer. “It is exciting to be stepping up to the college level, but at the same time, there will be some sadness at leaving the Oregon City program behind next year. I founded the girls’ program there, and it is something that will always be very close to my heart.”
“I can't imagine a better person than Dara to start women's lacrosse at George Fox,” declared Taylor. “In addition to Dara's outstanding lacrosse credentials, she brings an understanding of our university from her time as an undergraduate and graduate student. We are excited to see how women's lacrosse will grow here under her leadership.”
In her 11 years at Oregon City High School, Kramer guided the Pioneers to a 148-49 record after initiating the lacrosse program in 2002. Her teams reached the “final four” in the state’s highest level each of the past six seasons, playing in the state title games four times (2007, 2009-11) and winning championships in 2009 and 2010. Three of her players went on to play at the NCAA Division I level, while numerous others have competed for D-II and D-III programs. She coached three players who earned high school All-America honors and two others who were honorable mention All-Americans.
Kramer founded Oregon City’s youth girls’ lacrosse program in 2003 and has served as its administrator since its inception. She has directed youth summer camps for players from around the state since 2004, and coached Team Oregon at the National Lacrosse Tournament in Baltimore in 2009, finishing with a 3-2 record against national competition. She served as an at-large board member on the Oregon Girls’ Lacrosse Association Board of Directors from 2008-10, and as its vice-president from 2011-12.
Originally from West Linn, Ore., Kramer moved to nearby Lake Oswego in her sophomore year of high school, where she played lacrosse for Lakeridge High School in 1995-96, the first two years for high school girls’ lacrosse in Oregon. Lakeridge defeated West Linn in the 1996 state championship game. A multi-sport athlete, she also lettered in water polo and cross country.
Kramer played one season of college lacrosse at Pacific Lutheran University in 1997 before transferring to George Fox, graduating in 2000 with a major in writing and literature and a minor in international studies. She earned her MAT from George Fox in 2002 in secondary English. A teacher in the Oregon City School District since 2001, she has taught elementary physical education, fifth and sixth grades, and seventh and eighth-grade English.
Kramer and her husband Jeremy, also an MAT graduate of George Fox and a middle school music teacher, have been married for 12 years and reside in Oregon City with their dogs Cosmo and Charlie. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and outdoor activities with Jeremy such as hiking, skiing, and snorkeling.
George Fox University, Oregon's nationally recognized Christian university, currently sponsors 15 varsity sports as members of the Northwest Conference and the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division III. The Bruins compete in soccer, cross country, basketball, track and field, tennis and golf for both men and women, baseball for men, and softball and volleyball for women. Women’s lacrosse will debut in the spring of 2014, followed by the return of football in the fall of 2014 for the first time since 1968.