Girls’ lacrosse coach: Chris Dotson

New girls’ lacrosse coach


Photo courtesy of Chris Dotson

Chris Dotson and his kids

New girls’ lacrosse head coach Chris Dotson has lived on the East Coast until he moved to Oak Park July 2016.

“This is really our first time out to the West Coast,” Chris Dotson said. “Although it’s different for us, it’s really great that we so quickly have been able to get plugged into the community here and within a year and a half be able to coach the high school girls’ lacrosse team. It’s kind of a dream come true.”

Although Chris Dotson moved from Maryland, he is originally from Pennsylvania where he attended Neshannock High School and played for the school’s basketball, baseball and football teams.

At the University of Notre Dame, Dotson’s college roommate introduced him to a sport he had never heard of: lacrosse. Dotson said he became intrigued with the sport and signed up to play on their dorm’s recreational lacrosse team. After graduating from Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, he joined the Navy in 1998 through their Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. Dotson has now served on the Navy for 20 years as a Commanding Officer and Chief Test Pilot.

“With my full-time job in the Navy [coaching girls’ lacrosse] is the only thing I’ve gotten involved in with Oak Park High School,” Chris Dotson said.

Both of Chris Dotson’s children play lacrosse: Andrew Dotson, who currently attends Medea Creek Middle School, and Oak Park High School junior Erin Dotson, who plays midfielder on the OPHS girls’ lacrosse team. Erin Dotson previously played on her Leonardtown High School girls’ lacrosse team in Maryland as well as a travel team, the Jets, before moving to the west coast her sophomore year. She said her dad introduced her to lacrosse when she was four years old, and she’s now been playing for 12 years.

“We start young in Maryland,” Erin Dotson said.

Erin Dotson said she is impressed with her father’s ability to juggle responsibilities between the Navy and coaching lacrosse.

“I believe my dad is doing a great job coaching this team and making this team something special,” Eric Dotson said. “He believes in us and that we will do great things.”

Chris Dotson said that he enjoys coaching the girls’ team and feels welcome in the Oak Park community.

“I think Oak Park has a smaller and little bit tighter-knit student body. They do offer a lot of different classes and opportunities than Maryland,” Chris Dotson said. “Overall, moving to a smaller high school was a benefit.”