Chris Francis, Virginia Wesleyan’s new head baseball coach, became a fan of collegiate baseball at Ithaca College. During his sophomore year, he found a passion for coaching from watching his coach, George Valesente.
“I was so impressed and enamored with this man, and I wanted to give this feeling back to others,” said Francis.
He spent time coaching at five different schools, including VWC from 2002-2007 as a pitching coach, before taking the head coach position here. He wants to bring structure and discipline to the baseball program in hopes of having a successful season.
Rhett Bonner will be Virginia Wesleyan’s new assistant men’s basketball coach. After playing basketball for Guilford College, Bonner decided to begin a coaching career.
“I think I decided it when we had a lot of success at Guilford that I wanted to be around the game the rest of my life,” said Bonner.
He began his coaching career at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte before returning to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference to coach at Randolph-Macon College. He plans to use his familiarity with the ODAC to bring the team success.
Rebecca Hartrum will join Virginia Wesleyan as the new assistant coach for the women’s lacrosse team. Hartrum spent her college career at Old Dominion University. By the time she graduated, she knew she wanted to start coaching.
“I just knew I wanted to coach at the collegiate level to try and give other players the same experience I had,” said Hartrum.
She began her coaching career at West Chester East High School in Pennsylvania, and she still coaches the V3 Rush Lacrosse Club located in Virginia Beach. She plans to bring a new perspective, energy, and drive to this team.
Matt Gill is the new assistant coach for the Virginia Wesleyan’s women’s soccer team. Gill started his collegiate soccer career at a junior college and finished at Mount Ida College. After completing an internship with Boston College’s men’s soccer team, Gill fell in love with coaching. Gill began coaching for his alma mater and continues to coach travel soccer teams. He joined Virginia Wesleyan because of its successful soccer program.
“They want to win a national title, and that’s what I want,” said Gill.
He plans to bring into the program an understanding of what it takes to win.