More often than not, they talk multiple times each day.
That’s nothing new for sisters Alyssa Treanor and Kayla Treanor, but the topic of conversation lately has centered more around how each of the Niskayuna High School graduates is handling taking over a women’s lacrosse program for the first time.
“And they’re obviously two very different positions,” Alyssa Treanor said recently, “so it’s been interesting to see what the jobs have in common and what are the differences.”
Kayla Treanor was named in June as the new head coach at Syracuse, her alma mater, while Alyssa Treanor started earlier this month as the head coach at Russell Sage. Syracuse plays in the ACC and is coming off an appearance in the Division I championship game, which Boston College — with Kayla Treanor serving as an assistant coach — won at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson, Maryland. Meanwhile, Russell Sage is a Division III competitor inside the Capital Region that’s coming off a losing season in the Empire 8.
The differences are numerous, and obvious, between the two jobs — but there have also been plenty of similarities based around planning how to recruit high school players, navigating the NCAA transfer portal, and learning — re-learning in Kayla Treanor’s case — the ins and outs of a campus.
“So we take turns calling each other multiple times each day,” Alyssa Treanor said.
Kayla Treanor, one of the most accomplished players in Syracuse lacrosse history, took over the Orange’s coaching role not long after the team’s former coach Gary Gait switched over to coaching the school’s men’s team. At Russell Sage, Alyssa Treanor was actually the second head coach hired this summer, as the school’s athletic department originally hired Megan Smith — an assistant coach at Wisconsin-La Crosse — before Smith ultimately opted not to take the job and a brand new search started up that concluded with Alyssa Treanor’s hire.
For Alyssa Treanor, who starred at Siena College after teaming with her younger sister at Niskayuna, the opportunity to take over the Russell Sage program arrived at the right time. Since graduating from Siena in 2015, Treanor has worked as an assistant coach at Union College — a Liberty League competitor — and has coached with a number of area club programs.
“I had been at Union, and wanted to stay at Union for a while because I love the school and the team,” said Treanor, who lives in Scotia with Devin Grimes and their daughter Gracie Lou. “But I was also ready to become a head coach. . . . It’s not something I was actively looking for, because I was so happy at Union. I loved the players and my experience there, and I’ll always love them. But, internally, I always knew for the last couple years — maybe three — that, at some point, I had to find an opportunity.”
Treanor, who is pregnant with her second child, said she was “very lucky” to work for Union head coach Abigail Jackson.
“She’s been not only a wonderful head coach over there, but also one of my best friends and a great mentor to me,” Treanor said. “I owe everything I know about Division III coaching to her.”
Coaching, too, is nothing new for Treanors in the area. Mark Treanor — Alyssa’s and Kayla’s dad — coached the Niskayuna High School boys’ basketball team for two decades, and has served as an assistant coach with the Union men’s basketball program in recent years. This past spring, too, he coached a modified girls’ lacrosse team for Niskayuna.
Besides the new coaching gigs for Alyssa Treanor and Kayla Treanor, Alyssa Treanor said it was a proud moment this summer for her family when Niskayuna native Asa Goldstock — who both Treanor sisters view as a “younger sister” — accepted a position on the coaching staff at USC after finishing up her career at Syracuse earlier this year.
“Kayla got her job one next week, Asa was the next week and then I started up my process,” Alyssa Treanor said.
Alyssa Treanor said it’s been helpful to know someone so well that’s simultaneously going through their first stages as a first-year head coach. In terms of age, only 14 months separate Alyssa Treanor and Kayla Treanor.
“So it usually feels more like we’re twins — but I am a year older, so I did teach her everything she knows,” Alyssa Treanor said with a laugh.