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AIC Women Hire New Staff

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AIC Women Hire New Staff

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – American International College Director of Athletics Matt Johnson announced the hiring of a new women's head coach and assistant coach effective immediately.

Dimitri Efthimiou will take the reigns, as the 2014 fall season is already in full swing, and he will be assisted by Laura Carney.

Efthimiou replaces a very successful coach in Melanie Denham, who compiled a 22-6 record in her two seasons at AIC and left the program after the Yellow Jackets' third-place finish at DI nationals. Denham is pursuing a similar opportunity at new varsity program Central Washington University.

Efthimiou joins AIC after coaching the Boston Women's RFC to a near-perfect season, falling one game short of reaching the Division I championship last spring. He also coached the Royals, which won the women's Las Vegas 7s Invitational over Japan's select side.

Efthimiou's passion for rugby dates back to high school where he excelled at scrumhalf and captained the team for two years. After graduation he participated in several tours with the USA 7s team and Tiger Rugby. Efthimiou then received a trial with the Leicester Tigers in the UK, and spent two years with the Northern Suburbs RFC (Sydney, Australia) in the NSW Premiership.

Carney is a local of western Massachusetts, graduating from Agawam High School and coaching Mount Holyoke from 2009-2013. She has a master's degree in strength and conditioning from Springfield College, where she is currently finishing her PhD in exercise physiology.

Carney began her rugby career in 2007 playing for the Cincinnati Kelts as inside center and wing. The Kelts placed 2nd in the 2007 Midwest Championship, earning a place in the Division II National Championship where the Kelts placed 7th. She is the current captain and flyhalf of the Springfield Rifles, which won the NERFU DIII title last season.

So far this fall the women's team is 3-0 with victories over UConn, Harvard and Northeastern, and will battle with Norwich on Saturday at 11 a.m. in the first test for Efthimiou and Carney since being hired.