From nursing to coaching, new women’s lacrosse coach Angelia Blythe’s journey to Mount Mercy

Published: Aug. 27, 2022 at 11:01 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Mount Mercy’s brand new women’s lacrosse program now has a brand new coach.

Angelia Blythe’s lacrosse journey began as a player, she started her own high school team, then played on the club team at Purdue where she studied nursing.

After graduating, she started pulling double duty, working in the emergency department and refereeing games in Indiana. Then, she got married and moved to Oregon.

“It was on a whim,” Blythe said. “We got married and the next day packed up our stuff and moved to Oregon.”

Blythe had a nursing job, but couldn’t stay away from lacrosse for long. She found a job coaching high school in Eugene while continuing to work as a nurse.

“I would coach in the afternoon and then go to work and then work my 12 hour night shift,” Blythe said.

She said her three years coaching in Eugene were invaluable.

“What I really enjoyed about coaching was the relationship that I was able to form with the girls,” she said. “Being able to introduce a new sport, because it was a new sport to a lot of girls, and just see how quickly they were able to pick it up, and watch their progression throughout the season.”

Angelia and her husband Greg moved to Cedar Rapids and started a family.

She applied for the job at Mount Mercy with convincing from her husband, a Mount Mercy alum.

“I said ‘I have to apply I have to at least talk to the athletic director and tell them how excited I am that they’re going to be doing this sport!’”

She knw with only three years of high school coaching under her belt the chances might have been slim.

“But if you can give me that chance and you take what I believe is a little bit of a chance on me then I will do my best to prove that I can contribute.”

Blythe’s next job: find players. lacrosse isn’t a sanctioned high school sport in Iowa.

“Lacrosse is still a small enough community that a lot of people know each other,” she said. “I think something that’s really special about lacrosse is everybody wants to help each other. We all have to same goal in mind and that is to spread the sport across the nation.”