RICHMOND, Va. – A familiar face will be back on the sidelines for VCU Field Hockey next fall as Head Coach Shannon Karl announced the hiring of former Ram standout Laura Baker as Associate Head Coach.

"We're incredibly excited to welcome Laura back to VCU as our associate head coach," Karl said. "I've had the pleasure of both coaching and working side-by-side with Laura for four years. We have a very high level of respect for one another and I can't wait to work with her towards our common vision for this program in the coming years.

Baker, who played her entire collegiate career for the Rams before becoming an assistant, served as an assistant and goalkeepers' coach at La Salle University last season. She helped guide the Explorers to the A-10 conference tournament semi-finals. Lisa Shafer, La Salle's starting goalkeeper was among the nation's best in goals-against-average and was named First-Team All-Region by the NFCHA. 

"I'm very happy to be back in Richmond with VCU and I'm so thankful to Norwood Teague, the administration and Shannon Karl for presenting me with this amazing opportunity," Baker said. "I'm really looking forward to working hard with Shannon and this team during the spring to produce a successful 2012 season."

Prior to leaving for Philadelphia, Baker was on the sideline for one of VCU's most successful seasons in school history. She helped guide the Rams to 13 wins and its first CAA Tournament berth since 2004, during the 2010 campaign.

"Laura's tactical knowledge and international experience will a huge asset to this program and is a huge part of our vision for the future," Karl said.

The Kent, England native was a four year starter for the Black and Gold from 2005-2008. She ranks in the top ten in every goalie statistical category at VCU.