Former MI coach Elston is new assistant at Wheaton College

Megan Elston spent seven years as a girls lacrosse coach at Mercer Island High School. When she left the Islanders last year, she had helped turn the program from door mat to league champion, was head coach for two seasons and was voted “Coach of the Year” by the other coaches in the league.

Elston, a Mercer Island High School graduate, is now looking to do the same at the collegiate level with Wheaton College, in Norton, Mass.

“I was looking through some old Mercer Island lacrosse stuff and decided to see if there were any jobs out here,” said Elston. “I always thought it would be great to coach at the college level, but I wasn’t sure I would be able to.”

Elston is an assistant coach with the Division III program and enjoys how the program is being put together under new head coach Emily Kiablick.

“The entire coaching staff works together,” said Elston. “I am working with the goalie and the offense.”

Her experience at Mercer Island High School has helped her adjust to collegiate coaching.

“I started from the bottom at Mercer Island and worked my way up,” said Elston. “I feel that I have all the aspects of team management down.”

The Wheaton team finished 3-3 in league last year, in the middle of the pack.

“Ideally, we want to be in the top two or three,” said Elston. “Right now, we are just trying to get everyone on the same page since it is a whole new coaching staff.”

Elston moved to Massachusetts in 2008 with a teaching degree from the University of Washington and took a position as a teaching assistant.

The former Islander found it difficult to find a job.

“The Massachusetts red tape for teachers is sick,” said Elston. “A degree from the other side of the country doesn’t transfer very easily.”

Elston is working with special needs kids in fourth and fifth grade, but hopes to move into a position working with junior high or high school level kids.

“I love the [elementary] kids, but it’s not really what I want to be doing because I like working with older kids,” said Elston. “But it is really great to be in a school community and get to know people.”

As much as Elston enjoys her new coaching role and looks forward to finding her dream job, her heart is still with Mercer Island girls lacrosse.

“I miss MI lacrosse, and I always check the scores,” said Elston. “I am anxiously awaiting this next season.”

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