Former UC athlete bridges the gap between coaching and administration

photo courtesy of Ursinus athletic communications

Jonny Cope

jocope@ursinus.edu

“It was always in the back of my mind: Wouldn’t it be great to go back to Ursinus and work,” reflected associate athletic director Erin Stroble.

Ursinus College athletics have been a part of Stroble’s life dating back to her time as a student here. Stroble was a two-sport athlete at Ursinus who played both field hockey and lacrosse. After graduating she accepted a position as a lacrosse coach before transitioning to an athletic administrator.

“I just loved the sport,” said Stroble. “I loved being active and having that time every day that was set aside so I could just go out and play.”

Like so many other Ursinus athletes, Stroble, a 2002 graduate, was drawn to the school by the opportunity to further her field hockey and lacrosse careers. Although she dropped field hockey after one season, Stroble stuck with lacrosse—a decision that would shape her life for many years to come.

Stroble was a standout on and off the field, earning First Team All-American honors and First Team Academic All-American honors for the women’s lacrosse team. Stroble was the first player in Ursinus women’s lacrosse history to score over 200 career goals.

Upon graduation, Stroble took her talents Down Under, where she played for the Burnside Club lacrosse team in Southern Australia.

“I was thrilled that I got to do this after graduation before I had to come back and be a real person,” she said.

Although most of her time was dedicated to improving her lacrosse skills, Stroble had the opportunity to experience Australia and its culture through travel. Throughout her time there, Stroble formed relationships and learned lessons that have lasted her a lifetime. The Burnside Club sponsors teams at all age levels, ranging from beginners to the master’s level. Since the club had so many members, the entire organization was there for her.

“It was a family environment,” said Stroble. “I met some great people, it’s hard to believe that it was 15 years ago.”

As her playing career came to an end, Stroble hoped to keep athletics in her life. While working towards her master’s degree, she landed an assistant coaching gig with LaSalle’s women’s lacrosse team. After spending a few years on the Explorers’ coaching staff, Stroble returned to Ursinus as the new head women’s lacrosse coach in 2004, replacing her coach and mentor, Carrie Reilly Kirk, who was the head coach from 1998 to 2003. Stroble held this post until 2011, when she left in order to dedicate her time and resources to the associate athletic director position. According to the Ursinus College athletic department, Stroble ended her coaching career with a record of 63-55 and was named the 2010 Centennial Conference Coach of the Year.

“Whether on or off the field, the biggest successes were working with a student-athlete who was struggling,” Stroble said, thinking back on her time as a coach.

Now in a role that she loves, Stroble is essential in making sure Ursinus athletics function properly. Among her many duties as associate athletic director, Stroble is in charge of scheduling, NCAA compliance, academic monitoring, and helps out with all coaching searches.

“It’s different every day, which I love,” said Stroble. “Sometimes I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Stroble gives a lot of credit to her role models.  “I was lucky,” she said. “I had a lot of female role models who showed me that you can have a career in athletics.”

A shining example of this is Stroble’s boss, Ursinus College athletic director Laura Moliken. Coincidentally, Stroble was actually a member of the student panel that observed Moliken when she was being hired by the school.

From her time as a student-athlete to her current position as associate athletic director, sports have always been an integral part of Stroble’s life. They will continue to be for many years as she works to help make Ursinus athletics the best they can be.