Irene Cucina, Massachusetts – 2004
Irene currently works at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire.
Irene has been extensively involved in women’s sports as a coach at Newton North (MA) High School lacrosse (11 years), basketball (12 years), soccer (1 year) and field hockey (1 year). She also coached at Needham (MA) High School for field hockey (9 years) and lacrosse (1 year). She has also served as a coach for the Massachusetts Bay State Games for lacrosse in 1966. She was chair of the Pilot Girls’ Lacrosse in 1995-1996 where she selected for the girls’ lacrosse Select Team in 1995.
She has been actively involved with the National Association for Girls and women in Sports as a member of the Sport Links to Leadership Committee from 1991-1992. In addition to advocating at the national level, Irene has worked at the local level as a member of the MIAA/MA Advocacy for Women in Sport Leadership Committee (1990-1998, chair of the Pathfinder Award Committee (1990-1991), vice president for Girls and Women in Sports (1989-1991), and the Massachusetts Celebration of Girls and Women in Sport Committee (1989-1998).
Irene was affiliated with the Suburban and Bay State Leagues. She served as the girls’ basketball representative to the Suburban League (1987-1991) and as the field hockey and lacrosse representative to the Carey Division of the Bay State League.
Irene’s Newton High School teams have posted a 116-28 basketball record and a 95-55-7 lacrosse record. Her Needham field hockey team had a record of 84-20-7.
Her teams in field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse earned berths in post-season play. Her basketball teams were Suburban League Champions, MIAA South Sectional Champions, MIAA South Sectional Runners-up. They qualified for the MIAA tournaments for 8 years and were the North Quincy Holiday Tournament Champions in 1988 and 1999. Her lacrosse teams were state runners-up in 1995 and Bay State League Champions and runners-up. Her field hockey teams qualified for the MIAA State Tournament every year and won the Carey Division of the Bay State League twice.
Irene has been recognized by several organizations: Boston Globe Coach of the Year in basketball (1995), Bay State Coach of the Year for field hockey (1990), and the Newton-Waltham News Tribune for basketball (1986-1990). The Women’s Sports Foundation awarded her a Dream Team Grant in 1994.
Additionally, Irene has published articles and research addressing women’s sport equity and implemented a new column in the Eastern Express entitled Title IX Alert. She is currently working the NAGWS to increase collaboration between NAGWS, EDA, and AAHPERD.