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Mom-Management: Coaching is a Family Affair

Mom-Management: Coaching is a Family Affair
Coach Chrissy Trescavage's daughter.

Three Scranton coaches find success both on and off the field.

Coaches Chrissy Trescavage, Colleen Moyer and Colleen Pivirotto know what it takes to win.

As student-athletes, they did it at their respective institutions. Then, they each moved into coaching, finding their way to Scranton, where the success has continued for the programs they lead.

But, along the way, each has also had to master another challenging job: new mother. 

Running a college athletic program while also caring for a young family brings unique challenges. The three coaches have tackled those challenges headfirst and with purpose, and each sat down with us recently discuss her journey.

Chrissy Trescavage, Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach

trescavage,-chrissy-4-13-19-1.jpgSleep is at an absolute premium in the Trescavage house. 

In December, women’s lacrosse head coach Chrissy Trescavage and her husband, Mike, welcomed their third daughter, Tessa, into their new family of five that includes older siblings Harper and Emmy.

Trescavage came to Scranton in 2018  and helped lead the women’s lacrosse team to its its best season in program history in 2019, culminating with an overall record of 16-3, along with a spot in the final national Top 25 for the first time in program history.

As her own family has grown, Trescavage is thankful to be a part of the Royal family.

“The biggest challenge with raising my daughters and leading our women’s lacrosse program seems to always be time and child care,” she said.  “At The University of Scranton, I’ve always felt a high level of support and understanding to my family responsibilities, so many challenges have a quick solution.”

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"If they have a true understanding of my life and my children then the players and I have a stronger relationship and connection." - Chrissy Trescavage, Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach


Trescavage said her coaching has improved since her daughters were born, and, right from the start, she has incorporated her children into her women’s lacrosse program. They have, in their own right, become part of the Royal family.  

“I have learned that it’s best to let my players see me as a person and vulnerable,” she said. “If they have a true understanding of my life and my children then the players and I have a stronger relationship and connection. My love of my children and the needs of my family do not deteriorate my coaching abilities, and I am confident that my players believe this as well.”

Family first is an ideal Trescavage preaches to all of her players, and she hopes she has set a good example for the young women who have come into her program in her short time at the University.

“I believe absolutely that I can help my team reach the highest level of success while I’m raising a family,” she said. “Part of my job is being a female example to my players. I want them to know they can reach all of their goals in life, but you must always keep perspective. Knowing what to prioritize, what to delegate, and what to let go of will help them find success.”

Colleen Moyer, Head Field Hockey Coach

moyer,-colleen-9-8-18-1.jpg 

While Trescavage is a relative newcomer in the athletics department, Colleen Moyer has been a fixture on the sidelines since 2005 for the field hockey program.

Moyer, who also coached the softball team from 2007-11, reached several career milestones during the 2019 season.

First, she became the winningest coach in the history of Scranton field hockey on Sept. 25, 2019, and now boasts 162 victories. Later in the season, the Royals finally reached the mountaintop of the Landmark Conference, winning their first conference title ever to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

But when Moyer gets home each evening from another hard practice, she goes back to what she considers  her bigger role: being a mom to her son, Samuel, and two daughters, Maia and Isla.

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“For any coach, raising young children and coaching is very challenging,” Moyer said. “The schedule and needs of a young child do not line up with a coaching schedule. Coaching requires working late in the evenings, a lot of travel and very intense months of time during our seasons where we are working at least six days a week. Unfortunately, there are days that I arrive home and all three of my kids are already in bed because we had a late practice or game.”

Like Trescavage, Moyer has a supportive family around her to pitch in when needed. She works with her husband, Stephen, to share parenting responsibilities. And, like Trescavage, Moyer believes parenting has helped her become a better coach.


“It’s always great to see them with the team, and it’s unique and special to have a job where your children can come and watch you do what you do.” - Colleen Moyer, Head Field Hockey Coach


“Parenthood has forced me to be as efficient, practical, flexible and purposeful as possible as a coach,” she said. “My 5-year-old, 3-year-old, and 10-month-old are not going to allow me to dwell on what happened at the field once I get home. It has really taught me the importance of prioritizing what is most important, letting go of the small stuff and having realistic expectations for each day. This has helped me to be as present as possible, whether I’m with my team or with my family and friends.”

At the end of the day, Moyer is a successful coach and mom and relishes the moments her family can be with her on the job.

Her children “do love coming to games with my husband and their grandparents,” she said. “It’s always great to see them with the team, and it’s unique and special to have a job where your children can come and watch you do what you do.”

Colleen Pivirotto ’04, Associate AD & Head Women’s Soccer Coach

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While Trescavage and Moyer came to Scranton from other institutions, Colleen Pivirotto ’04 has been a part of The University of Scranton community for a decade and a half, first as a student-athlete, then, since 2008, as head coach of the women’s soccer team.

She has won 159 matches and six Landmark Conference titles to become one of the more successful young coaches at the Division III level.


"I think it is so important for our female student-athletes to have positive role models in their lives.” - Colleen Pivirotto ’04, Associate AD & Head Women’s Soccer Coach


In 2015, Pivirotto and her husband, University men’s soccer coach Matt, welcomed their first child, Ben, into the world. The challenges for the Pivirottos were unique right from the start: Both parents are college coaches.

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Quickly, the Pivirottos learned to adapt and succeed, just as they have in their coaching careers.

“To be successful we must be extremely organized with our scheduling, flexible and sometimes creative in how we make it all work,” she said. “I think that having a job that you are passionate about is so rare, and I feel fortunate to be able to do something I love every day. Regardless of what I do for a living, there would be challenges and struggles as a working parent. The most important thing is that my husband and I are a team and work together to care for and raise our son Ben.”

Pivirotto admitted that nothing can prepare you to become a mother and she was unsure how it would affect her coaching career.

But, since Ben’s birth, the women’s soccer program has soared, winning the Landmark Conference championship in three of the past four seasons, while also twice winning matches in the NCAA Tournament.

“There are a lot of factors that contribute to that success, but for me personally I think motherhood forced me to find balance in my life,” she said. “I’ve had to learn to be more flexible and understanding to my student-athletes because it is hard to balance sports and life at times.  I think it is so important for our female student-athletes to have positive role models in their lives. As a college coach, I have been given a great platform to do that and continue to work every day toward being the best coach and mom that I can be.” 

Trescavage, Moyer and Pivirotto all look to continue their success once the 2021 season kicks off for their respective programs this spring. But each had her own advice to share with young coaches who are thinking about starting their own families.

“I have learned that it is important to not allow others to define what is best for you and your family,” Pivirotto said. “Every family is unique, and, as a college coach, your family dynamic might be different than others. Juggling the demands of being a working mom can be overwhelming at times. It’s really important to ask for help, establish a support network and remember you don’t need to do everything on your own.”

Trescavage added, “My biggest piece of advice I would give a coach looking to start a family is that the only feeling better than winning and having a happy team is coming home and sharing the experience with your children. Some moments are hard, and it is a ton to juggle, but it’s worth it.”

Finally, Moyer continued, “Surround yourself with people who love, support and respect you.  Coaching is a very time-demanding profession. We work all kinds of crazy hours, and, unfortunately, not everyone will understand the challenges of raising a young family. 

“But some will, and it’s important to keep those people close.”  

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