Brighton girls lacrosse coach awarded $25,000Nov 18, 2021 02:08PM ● By Jerry Christensen
Melissa Nash was named “Favorite Coach.” (Jerry Christensen/City Journals)
By Jerry Christensen | [email protected]
It takes a community to turn any sports organization from just a team to a movement and to a dynasty. Brighton girls lacrosse may have just turned that corner.
Orem-based Prolook Sports sponsored a first-ever “Favorite Coach” contest with a $25,000 prize. In September, high school boys and girls teams of all sports could mount a PR campaign to generate votes for their coaches. The coach with the most votes would be designated “favorite coach” along with the cash/gear prize.
Toward the end of the voting period Brighton girls lacrosse coach Melissa Nash, 2019 IMLAX Coach of the Year and 2020 UHSAA Coach of the Year, was notified that she was in the top 10 for the country. In fact, she was the only female coach to crack the top 10. The passionate Brighton lacrosse community took that as further motivation to get out the vote.
“I was blown away by how many people were supporting us,” said Nash. “They know the blood, sweat and tears the six assistant coaches and I put into this program, and they came out in full support.” The Olympus alumnus (class of 2008) and former Skyline lacrosse coach, Nash was humbled by the reach of the Brighton lacrosse community.
“It shows where girls lacrosse has come to,” said senior lacrosse standout Hunter Doyle, who has seen the program grow through her years in the program. With 68 girls in the program, Brighton lacrosse is the first team in the state to field a freshman/sophomore team in addition to the JV and varsity squads.
“This is a huge statement of community support,” added Chelsea Owens, assistant coach and former Brighton lacrosse player (class of 2014). The newly sanctioned USHAA sport at Brighton draws crowds filling the stands even in pandemic years. The region championship game between Brighton and Olympus came down to a single goal in the last minute of regulation time. Brighton came away with the sport’s first region trophy in front of a jubilant Brighton crowd.