The Watterson High School athletics department has tapped into the success of its boys lacrosse program to fill a pair of coaching vacancies.

Chris Sauter was named boys lacrosse coach Aug. 2 and Joe Gavin was hired as girls lacrosse coach Aug. 14.

Sauter served as an assistant the past five seasons under Tom Foley, who stepped down after compiling a 71-34 record in six seasons. Gavin was the boys junior varsity coach the past four seasons.

“Chris has been (an) integral piece in developing our program as an assistant the past few years and has been instrumental in its success,” athletics director Doug Etgen said. “Joe’s experience and knowledge of the game as well as his exuberance for working with young people separated him from our other candidates.”

Sauter is a 1987 Upper Arlington graduate who played for former Golden Bears coaches Bill Wolford and Ted Wolford. He is the father of 2017 Watterson graduate George Sauter, who helped the Eagles reach a Division II state semifinal and finish 18-2 last spring.

Sauter takes over a boys program that lost 17 seniors.

“I’ve been involved in lacrosse for the better part of 35 years at the high school, college and youth levels,” Sauter said. “I really have grown some deep roots at Watterson.”

Gavin inherits a girls program that went 29-11-1 in two seasons under Karen Bailey. Last spring, the Eagles, led by 13 seniors, went 16-5 and reached a Division I regional semifinal.

Gavin is a 2009 Watterson graduate whose father, Dan, helped start the Eagles’ boys program in 2004.

“We’re Watterson people,” Gavin said. “I’m a big fundamentals and conditioning type of guy, so I’m going to harp on that. I’d like to see more bonding among the players and do a lot of teamwork type of drills. The rules are a little different with the girls game with there being a lot less contact. But having been around the sport, it shouldn’t be an issue.” 

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