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Despite a late in the game run, the women's lacrosse team fell to #1 Northwestern on Friday night, in a game marked with lots of contact and several yellow cards Credit: Pete Lodato

Though they are only visible for a single sporting season of each year, the work of collegiate coaches is never truly done.

Aside from the three-to-four-month season, a coach spends the rest of the year promoting his or her team through practices, fundraising and recruiting.

For coaches at Penn, those activities require being very conscious of their alumni fan base.

Penn Athletics relies on University graduates not just for financial assistance but also for involvement with the programs that defined their college years.

“Part of our alumni outreach is having a mentoring night on October 29th, where we have lacrosse alumni from both the men’s and women’s teams come in and talk about the different fields they’re involved in,” said Penn women’s lacrosse coach Karin Corbett.

“We send e-mails out to all of our alumni to ask for support — and not just fundraising,” Corbett said.

That being said, a collegiate sports program doesn’t fund itself.

“This weekend we have ‘Dinner on the Diamond,’ where we recognize our 1975 and 1995 championship teams,” said baseball coach John Cole. “We invite alumni in, and players serve them a gourmet dinner.”

And the teams don’t stop at one event. “We also do a golf tournament at the end of the year, and then obviously there are monthly updates that try to stimulate interest in our program.”

All the money in the world however, won’t help produce victories on the field or diamond.

Wins come down to the players, and an integral part of any coach’s offseason is spending day in and day out recruiting athletes who will one day sport the “Red and Blue.”

“Word of mouth, phone call, you name it — any kind of media avenue, there’s recruiting,” Cole said. “It’s a non-stop thing, whether we’re recruiting 2011s or 2012s, it’s a non-stop job of PR sales.”

In the few days that Penn’s coaches do find off, however, there’s rarely time to hit the beach or the golf course. Instead, it’s back home for some family time.

“I’ve got three little kids and they’re very fun to be around, but it takes a special family to be able to juggle a coach’s life,” Cole said. “They’re very understanding and I certainly try to make as much time as I can for them.”

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