NU Women's Athletics Expansion
The NU Athletic Department had decided to augment the future of women's athletics at Norwich by adding women's volleyball and lacrosse as varsity sports and by upgrading the women's ice hockey and rugby teams from club to varsity status. The implementation of these changes was not scheduled to take place for several years. However, when the plan was presented to the Norwich University Board of Trustees, Nancy Archuleta, a sitting member of the Board, stepped up and made an immediate donation in excess of $200,000 to set the plan in motion. As a result of Ms. Archuleta's generosity, the Norwich Women's volleyball and lacrosse teams will begin varsity competition in the 2006-07 season, and the ice hockey and rugby teams will begin varsity play in subsequent years.
"It's time for Norwich to be in a position to offer a women's program that puts us into a more competitive situation with other universities of our size that offer a good women's program," said Archuleta. "In the coming years, I hope to see an increased women's enrollment at Norwich and to have a women's athletic program that's recognized nationwide."
The two coaches who will oversee the new varsity sports are already on campus. Amanda Cuiffo will coach the volleyball squad, while Tyler Renaud will lead the lacrosse team. Cuiffo will also serve as the assistant athletic director and senior women's administrator. Renaud will also have additional duties, as he is the new women's soccer coach, taking over from Steve Looke.
Cuiffo comes to Norwich from Waltham, MA, where she was the head women's tennis coach at Brandeis University and the assistant volleyball coach at Bentley College. She has also coached at Smith College and Amherst College.
Cuiffo is a 2002 graduate of Colby College, where she captained both the women's volleyball and tennis teams. In volleyball, she was the All New England Rookie of the Year in 1998 and was twice selected to the All-NESCAC 2nd team. After graduating Magna Cum Laude, Cuiffo went on to obtain an M.S. in Exercise and Sports Studies from Smith College.
Tyler Renaud takes over the Norwich Women's Soccer program following three years of directing the women's soccer and lacrosse teams at Cayuga Community College in Auburn, NY. Renaud turned an upstart women's soccer team into a conference champion and an NJCAA Tournament participant. In lacrosse, he led CCC to a number three ranking in 2004, losing in the national final four in double overtime to the eventual champions. While maintaining a .750 winning percentage in soccer and .850 in lacrosse, both the Lady Spartans Soccer and Lacrosse Teams have had a 100 percent graduation rate under Renaud's leadership.
Renaud is a 1991 graduate of SUNY Fredonia, where he was a three-year member of the men's soccer team. He later earned an MBA from LeMoyne College. In addition to his coaching duties, Renaud served as the Cayuga Community College Director of Adult Education.