Our Coaches

At Ripcurl Lacrosse, we believe in personal development through athletics, teamwork, and community engagement. We encourage our athletes to grow as a player, enjoy the thrill of competition and fall in love with the game of lacrosse.  Our goal is to develop our local players into national-level competitors.  Local practices with the area's best high school coaches, Ripcurl looks forward to becoming a dominant presence in the lacrosse community. 

Heather Chase O'Neill


Hometown: Haddonfield, NJ
Sports Played in HS: track, field hockey, basketball, cross country
College: Syracuse University 

Athletic Scholarship to play D1 Field Hockey
Years Coaching: 12 years

Cofounded The Casey Powell World Lacrosse Foundation (CPWLF) in 2014
Former Executive Director, CPWLF

Full Time: Associate Teacher at CDS

Mom of Conor & Emily

Favorite Quote: "We may not have it all together, but together we have it all."

Jeanette Dunnigan

Middle School Coach

Hometown: Long Island, NY 
College: University of Delaware

DI Lacrosse Player

Coaching: Head Defensive Coach, St. Joseph's College Women's Lacrosse; Coach, JV High School Lacrosse; Assistant Coach, Molloy College DII its inaugural year.

Currently: US Lacrosse Certified Official 


Favorite Quote: “I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career.  I've lost almost 300 games.  26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed.  I've failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed." ~Michael Jordan

Tyler Liotta

Youth Coach

Hometown: Duxbury, MA

Sports played in HS:  IMG Lacrosse

College: University of Hofstra and

Quinnipiac College Majoring in economics

*Played lacrosse in Japan as part of the Lacrosse Makes Friends Foundation

Full Time: Project Manager

Fran Thompson

Middle School Coach

Hometown: Garden City, NY

Sports Played: Soccer, Basketball, Lacrosse

College: Washington D3 

transferred to University of Maryland, College Park

Years Coaching: 12 years

Started PureLax in NJ

Daughter plays attack at UF

"I'm excited for the opportunity to help grow the sport of girl's lacrosse here in Sarasota."

Warren Luster

Middle School Coach

Hometown: Newton, MA

Sports Played in HS: Swimming, Lacrosse, Football

College: University of Massachusetts Minutemen Lacrosse / UMASS Boston Beacons Lacrosse. Played in

the Cape Cod (MA) Summer League

Position Played: Attack

Years Coaching: 4. Assistant Lacrosse Coach for Amherst High School Varsity Lacrosse Team

Full Time: Regional Territory Manager, Southeastern US, for Centricity Vision (manufacturer of a leading-edge medical-surgical device for use in cataract surgery).

Dad to Max and Sydney. Both love playing lacrosse in the Ripcurl organization!

Favorite Quote: “At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have, or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about what you’ve done with those accomplishments. It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back”.

-Denzel Washington

Heather Ballew

High School Coach

Hometown: Annapolis, MD

Sports Played in HS: Soccer & Lacrosse

College: Clemson University 

Club Lacrosse, President of Lacrosse Club Co-founded Southeastern Women's Lacrosse League (SWLL) Years Coaching Lacrosse: 20+ years coaching girls rec and club girls lacrosse

Assistant Coach: Sarasota HS

Full Time: Realtor, US Lacrosse Certified Official, Mom of Kyla, Kellan, Kase & Kora


Favorite Quotes: "Be awesome or don’t be awesome, so be awesome." ~Cathy Reese


"Teamwork makes the dream work!"

Darby Henjum

Travel Coach

Hometown: Rosemount, MN

Sports Played in HS: Lacrosse, Hockey, Tennis

College: UW - River Falls

Years Coaching: 9 years 

Assistant Coach: Sarasota High School & U.S. Certified Referee

Favorite Quote: "The difference between impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination." - Tommy Lasorda

Christiana Walker

Youth Coach

Hometown: Jarrettsville, MD

Sports Played in HS: Soccer, Lacrosse, Cross Country

College: High Point 

Played Club Lacrosse and Rowing

Years Coaching: 6 years 

Former Assistant Coach: Cardinal Mooney HS

Full Time: Interior Decorator 

Favorite Quote: "You must be the change you want to see in the world." Gandhi

Kendall Gay

Middle School Coach

Hometown: Sarasota, FL

Sports Played in HS: Baseball, Football, Surfing, Knee Boarding, Water Skiing

College: University of South Florida

Years Coaching Lacrosse: 10

Assistant Coach: Sarasota High School

Coaching: US Lacrosse, Level 3 Certified Coach

Full Time: 29 Years as a Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Marketing Research Professional. Currently, VP, Healthcare – MarketVision Research, Inc., Husband to the ever-patient Melissa Gay for 28 years

Father to Bryce and Brock Gay

Favorite Quote: “If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don’t have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence.” – Carol Dweck

Ashley McLeod

High School Coach

Hometown: Fairfax, VA

Sports Played in HS: Soccer, Lacrosse, Swimming, Tennis

College: Dennison University 

Division III Lacrosse Player

Years Coaching: 9

Head Coach: Riverview HS

Full Time: Teacher with a law degree, Mom of Caspian

Favorite Quotes: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." ~Will Durant  

"You can observe a lot by just watching." ~Yogi Berra

Sarah Giblin

Youth Coach

Hometown: Noank, CT

Sports Played in HS: Field Hockey and Lacrosse

College: University of Miami, currently working her MBA at UMass School of Business​

Years Coaching: 4

Full Time: Marketing

Barbara Peters

Youth Coach

Hometown: New Canaan, CT

Sports played in HS: Lacrosse, field hockey

College: Union College

Major in Marketing

Sports Played in College: Field Hockey

Full Time: GM Athletic Republic

Favorite Quote: "The only yardstick for success our society has is being a champion.  No one remembers anything else." John Madden

Richard Smith

Middle School Coach

Hometown: Canton, MA

Sports Played: Baseball, Cross Country

College: Norwich University

Occupation:  Owns several Icecream stores on Cape Cod