After 11 years as a field hockey head coach, including the past eight at Georgetown, Laurie Carroll has found a new profession, leaving the athletic department scrambling to find a new coach and players scratching their heads.

Carroll, who amassed a 55-84 record on the Hilltop, announced her resignation last Tuesday. Carroll said that she was presented with an offer to work in sales and marketing that was too good to pass up.

“I live in Annapolis and I had a wonderful business opportunity in the Baltimore area,” she said. “At this point in my career it was an unexpected opportunity and I felt like it was time for a new challenge.”

Carroll’s departure leaves the field hockey program with no coaching staff – former assistant Homero Pardi resigned in April – and only a few weeks to hire a replacement before the preseason begins on Aug. 11.

Carroll said that the opportunity came unexpectedly, forcing her to make a quick decision with the season in sight. Carroll spent the weekend before her resignation with six players at her annual field hockey camp.

According to several team members, Carroll said she would be in touch soon after the camp ended and would see them for workouts in August.

A university press release announcing the resignation said that the search for a replacement would begin immediately.

One of the students on the team said that the resignation was ill-timed.

“I am disappointed that she chose to resign now, as opposed to a few months ago when coaches were still available,” said the senior, who wished to remain anonymous because the interview was not conducted through Georgetown’s Sports Information. “But Georgetown is such a great place and our team has such talent that it is great opportunity for a young coach who is ready to break into the [Division I] coaching world.”

Another member of the team, who also wished to remain anonymous, said that Carroll’s departure is poorly timed, but welcomed.

“Most of the team, myself included, had never really approved of Laurie being our coach. I always got along with her, but I didn’t agree with a lot of her decisions coaching-wise and administratively,” the junior wrote in an e-mail. “When it comes down to it, I had dreamed about this happening ever since freshman year.”

The team member added that the athletic department has already interviewed several candidates for the position, who have spoken with some members of the team as part of the interview process. The prospective hires, according to the team member, show promise in establishing Georgetown as a strong Big East program.

“I do realize this is just another step in helping us actually be good and start having some winning seasons,” she wrote in the e-mail.

Carroll believes Georgetown will have no trouble filling the vacancy. “I don’t think it will be difficult. I really think it will be a great honor for people to jump at that opportunity and I think that the program will get a fresh start,” she said.

The short time frame before the team’s Aug. 25 season opener at James Madison is not the only factor hampering the search. Because Georgetown’s Kehoe field is in disrepair, the Hoyas’ home games will be played in College Park at the University of Maryland for the upcoming season. Carroll said that she suggested the move to College Park because of its superior facilities, and added that she knew of no plans to repair Kehoe field to make it suitable for competition in the near future.

“I really feel that this team has a great chance to go to a Big East tournament and a Big East championship site,” Carroll said. “I thought it was a great idea to expose our Hoya athletes to that kind of environment so hopefully if we went to Syracuse where the Big East championship is going to be, we’d be used to a state of the art venue.”

Despite her sub-.500 record, Carroll’s stint at Georgetown was not without its successes. Under Carroll, the Hoyas won four National Academic Team Awards, including one for the 2006 season. Georgetown boasted the fourth highest team GPA in the country in 2004. Seven Hoyas earned individual academic distinctions in 2006.

Athletic Director Bernard Muir was out of the office attending to a personal matter last week and was unavailable for comment.

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