BUENA VISTA, Va.—Former Southern Virginia University men's lacrosse assistant coach Luke Christiansen has been named head coach of the Spanish national team that will compete at the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships from July 10-19 in Denver, Colo.
"It will be a pure coaching challenge," Christiansen said. "We show up in Denver on June 28 and just start coaching without really knowing the players. I'm excited for the opportunity and happy they have confidence in me to lead their team against the world's best lacrosse players."
Christiansen became aware of the opening by way of an advertisement on a popular international lacrosse website. Not expecting a reply, he sent an introductory email to Spanish team president Alberto Diaz and the interview process began shortly after.
"I didn't think anything would come of it, but I did my best in the interview process and am fortunate that they chose me," he said. "The challenge will be monumental but I'm ready to give my best effort and help them be successful at the event."
He learned the Spanish language by way of serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Rosario, Argentina, from 2003-05.
"It's been a huge blessing in my life to be able to speak Spanish and help others with my knowledge of the language," Christiansen said. "To be able to coach lacrosse and speak Spanish was the combination they were looking for and it's a privilege to have this chance to showcase my abilities."
Before Southern Virginia, Christensen was a coach at Camden Military Academy in Camden, S.C., where he led his team to two consecutive state semifinal berths. Prior to Camden, he was the defensive coordinator for the Utah State University men's lacrosse club in Logan, Utah. During his time at Utah State, he helped guide the defense to its first recorded shut out in program history.
Christiansen will be assisted by current Southern Virginia men's lacrosse offensive coordinator Stephen Macurdy and also one of his former players from Utah State.
He left Southern Virginia upon completion of the men's lacrosse season in late April to begin a men's lacrosse program at Laurel University in High Point, N.C. He will also pursue a graduate degree in photojournalism at the school.
Christiansen graduated from Southern Virginia University with a B.A. in Spanish in 2009 and received a master's degree in sports management from Missouri Baptist University in 2012. While at Southern Virginia, he participated on the football and men's lacrosse teams.
Currently a small business owner of LaxPath.com and WesternLacrosseScout.com, Luke and his wife, Abigail, reside in High Point, N.C., with their three boys Dean, Maddux and Jude.
More information on the 2014 FIL World Lacrosse Championships can be found at worldlacrosse2014.com.
The following nations have been confirmed to participate in the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse World Championship:
Republic of Korea