Columbus Academy is excited to announce a pair of new varsity head coaches for the upcoming 2021 spring season! Ashlee Abraham takes over the track and field program while Morgan Fee Maldovan will guide our girls lacrosse team.
Abraham replaces Denny Hammond, who retired from coaching at the conclusion of the cross country season last fall after five-and-a-half years at Academy preceded by 17 years at Reynoldsburg High School (read news article at https://www.thisweeknews.com/story/news/local/gahanna-news/2020/11/23/columbus-academy-roundup-hammond-closes-coaching-career-state-cross-country-meet/6276014002/).
Abraham had been a Viking assistant coach overseeing sprinters since 2015, first on the middle school level for three seasons and then with our varsity squad. She ran collegiately for Eastern Michigan University, where she won three Mid-American Conference titles (60-meter dash, 100-meter dash and 4x100-meter relay), before transferring to Ohio State University for her final two years of eligibility. As a Buckeye, Ashlee was a three-time Big Ten champion (same three events), a First Team All-American and a member of the Buckeye Power Club for her work and dedication in the weight room.
“I know I have some big shoes to fill but I care a lot about this team and want us to succeed,” she told us. “My hopes are to help the athletes achieve their goals, learn new skills, and have a safe and productive season. I am very excited to step up and take on this role!”
Originally from Detroit, Ashlee currently serves as a program manager of workforce development for IMPACT Community Action, a nonprofit serving residents of Franklin County. She began her professional career as a financial literacy coordinator at the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education.
"I am so thrilled to retain and promote Ashlee Abraham as head coach," said Director of Athletics Jason Singleton. "She has been an integral part of building the track program and now gets to be the architect of taking our program to the next level. With her background, energy, passion and winning mentality, I can't wait to see what the future will bring for CA track and field."
After guiding our varsity girls lacrosse program for over a quarter-century, Anne Horton stepped away to focus on her health and her roles as assistant athletic director and field hockey head coach.
Maldovan takes over a team that had reached the district finals in four of the previous five seasons prior to the pandemic cancelling the 2020 campaign. She is not new to Columbus Academy, as she is currently also an assistant coach for our ice hockey program. As a senior at New Albany High School in 2013, Maldovan was an All-American midfielder who led the Eagles to the Division II state title. She went on to become a four-year letterwinner for Ohio State, where she was a two-time scholar-athlete and competed in back-to-back NCAA tournaments.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in agriculture and serving as a volunteer assistant with the Buckeyes, Maldovan joined the women’s lacrosse program at Kent State as an assistant coach. She also earned her master’s in sports coaching from OSU in 2019 and has been mentoring within the Midwestern Force lacrosse club since 2008.
"Coach Maldovan has so much to offer to our CA students," stated Singleton. "She is passionate about lacrosse, knowledgeable about the game, has both college and club coaching experience and is a former lacrosse student-athlete. She's a players' coach and the kind of person our students will go the extra mile for."
Maldovan becomes the fifth varsity girls lacrosse head coach at Academy (in addition to Horton, Michael Norman was the program’s initial head coach in 1992 and was followed by Nancy Sherman the very next season; also, Trish Derwart filled in for Horton during the 2003 campaign).
In 25 seasons as head coach, Horton compiled a 332-88-8 overall record while compiling three state championships (2000, 2011 and 2015) and a Midwest Tournament title in 1998 (prior to the OHSAA sanctioning girls lacrosse in 2000, the Midwest Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association hosted the top teams from five states at the Midwest Tournament).
“I have truly enjoyed coaching lacrosse at Columbus Academy” Horton said. “The game itself has changed so much, so it has been fun to be a part of that journey. I will miss working with the girls but need to get a hold of my health issues that emerged this fall. I appreciate all the support from the school and know the program is in good hands.”
For additional quotes from Horton, Abraham and Maldovan, visit https://www.thisweeknews.com/story/news/local/gahanna-news/2021/01/06/columbus-academy-names-girls-lacrosse-track-coaches/6566891002/.