Christa Racine is a figurehead of the Athletics Department, stepping into her new role as Athletic Director as well as serving as the Head Women’s Soccer Coach. “I’ve always had a passion for administration, simply because when you’re passionate about athletics and providing a good experience for the student athlete, through administration, you’re able to have a broad impact on the student-athlete’s experience,” Drew Women’s Head Soccer Coach and new Athletic Director Christa Racine said.
Racine took over the helm of the Women’s soccer program in 1994 and is the all-time winningest coach in program history compiling 245 wins. Her impressive resume includes being named Coach of the Year three times, a Landmark Conference championship in 2013 and a Freedom Conference title in 1997.
This past summer, Racine was informed she would not just control the soccer program, but she would assume command as Drew University’s Director of Athletics. She had served as Associate Athletics Director since 2009.
Do not think for a moment that the Drew University athletics program will be taking a step backward or that Racine will not be able to handle both jobs. Her passion for athletics and Drew University shines through all that she does.
“I feel that with the current resources we have as a department and the facilities we have that we should be competing pretty regularly in the top half of the conference, Racine said. “All of our programs have the resources and facilities to be competing for at least the third and fourth spots in the conference pretty consistently.”
Racine is no stranger to a championship environment, with her two conference titles, two NCAA tournament appearances, fifteen conference tournament appearances and seven ECAC tournament appearances in her coaching tenure. Championships are not the only memory that Racine wants student-athletes to leave Drew University with.
“In my opinion, you go to college for three reasons: to get the best possible education, to have the best possible sport experience and to make lifelong friends,” Racine said. “If you can leave your four years at Drew University being able to say you’ve accomplished those three things, I think you’ve had a pretty good experience. I want all of our student athletes leaving here feeling that they brought their best to the table and that our coaches brought the best out of them.”
Racine brought the same passion to athletics when she was a star soccer player. She is the all-time scoring leader for Rutgers University with 39 goals and three consecutive ECAC Championship winner graduated in 1993 and understands the emotional connection and mark that her coaches left her with and she tries to adopt their coaching philosophies and administrative techniques.
“I had several people that I feel had the most influence on my coaching career, including my college coach, Charlie Duccilli, he was instrumental in getting me into coaching as a career,” Racine said, “Also, Ray Goon, the current head coach at Drexel University, was an assistant at Rutgers during my senior year. He’s really mellow, I just loved watching someone coach and get their point across without being loud. I can’t say I’m mellow, but I’d like to think I’m not always loud.”
Racine hopes to have the same impact on her players the way she connected with her former coaches from both a coaching standpoint, but also as individuals.
“From an administrative standpoint, a fabulous mentor of mine was Dr. Connee Zotos, who was the Athletic Director here when I first started. She really showed me how important it is to advocate for your athletes and exercise integrity,” Racine said. “Sometimes making the best decision is not always the popular decision. Doing what’s best for you, you may not always like it, but it’s best.”
Racine always has her player’s best intentions and the school’s best intentions in mind and has already started to address important revamps to the athletic program, including the Athletics Master Plan. When discussing the Master Plan, Racine said, “It enhanced several of our outdoor facilities. There was a game plan to raise several millions of dollars. We had the plan, so we said ‘Now let’s raise the funds to do it’. What I want to do moving forward, I want to re-evaluate the plan and blow it up and put it back together. I think there is a lot of potential to scale it back but still make a big impact on the facility and the experience for athletes.” The Athletics Master Plan currently includes renovations to the baseball and softball facilities, softball facilities, as well as a new all-purpose field house.
“When opponents face the Drew University Rangers I want them understanding that we’re always going to try and outwork our opponent,” Racine said. “We’re never going to give up. We’re resilient, whatever they have, we’re going to handle it.”
Racine’s passion is paying off on the soccer field so far this fall, as the women’s team is off to a strong 5-3 start and throughout the Athletics program, which has a renewed commitment to excellence.