June 30, 2003 by

Diane Geppi-Aikens

20 comments

Categories: Sports

dgeppiaikens.jpgDiane Geppi-Aikens simply refused to let her health get in the way of her passion — coaching the Loyola of Maryland women’s lacrosse team.
For the past eight years, Geppi-Aikens has battled an inoperable brain tumor. While partially paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair, Geppi-Aikens coached the Greyhounds to a No. 1 ranking. Her squad finished 17-2 this season, and reached the semifinals for the seventh time in her 15 years as head coach.
Geppi-Aikens was named national women’s lacrosse coach of the year in 1996, 1997 and this season. She died on Sunday of brain cancer. She was 40.

20 Responses to Diane Geppi-Aikens

  1. Kristen Chandler

    I never knew Diane personally. I have always been a fan of Loyola*s Women Lax and this was her best season. Altough they didn*t bring home the title this year they definately earned it. Diane was a great coach and a great person to watch. It*s sad to see her go, but she and her team have truly inspired me as a lax player. I hope to go to Loyola and follow on with the ways.

  2. Jill Ayd

    I never met Diane Geppi-Aikens but I have become close friends with her daughter Melissa and I have to say that from what Melissa has turned out to be that Ms. Diane was a good lady. Melissa I know you check these every once in a while but i just want you to know that I love you and you mother must have been a good lady. If you ever need someone to talk to, you know Kim and I are always going to be here for you. I love you and hope you are doing good. Jill

  3. Melissa

    Hey my name is Melissa and i was Diane’s daughter.. i just wanted to thank all of you for all your nice thoughts about my mom… and even though someone put something not so nice on here.. im sure my mom hasnt let it get to her because she probably smiled and said im sorry she feels that way.. so thanks again you guys!
    Luv Always
    Melissa

  4. Lucy

    in my English class, we are learning about coach aikens.through her video:”‘grace under fire’–arete award for courage, persistence, and excellence”
    Diane’s personality traits we have learned were :selfless, confident, passionate, couragous, loved to teach, competitive,ambitious and stuff….
    she’s like a hero to us, cuase she was so enthusiastic and ambitious about her career.
    I came to this site, cause the homework was to look up on the internet about coach aikens
    ………………………………:D

  5. Anita

    Dear Melissa & Family-
    I just heard about your mom’s book through a good friend. I can’t wait to read it. My sister died on January 1, 2003 at 38 years old, of an inoperable brain tumor. She left behind three children; 12, 10 and 5 years of age. My sister was also very courageous and inspirational and was loved by everyone that passed through her life. She loved everyone unconditionally. And… she never, ever gave up her fight to live each day with grace, dignity, and gratitude.
    I’m sure you miss your mom very much, as do my nieces and nephew. Though life will never be the same without them, we are blessed to have had their love for the time we did. We are lucky to call them our family.
    Blessings,
    Anita
    sis of Carol

  6. emily

    well i new dianne midly. she was very nice and had the heart of a tiger. she inspires me everyday. i am currently on the jounior varsity team at my high school and my parents were good friends of your mom and her sister. im really glad that i got the chance to meet such a wonderful person.

  7. chelsey

    Melissa, we have been bestfriends for like over 2 years and I know how hard life is for you. Its nice yto watch your old family video’s of your mom and stuff, even though they leave us in tears. Nobody can really say they know how you feel or anything because when somebody loses somebody…nobody understands. I just think its so cool how of all the time knowing you, you dont take your moms death and act negatively upon it. You dont do dumb things, and your definitly not a bad kid. I just think you,Shannon,Mike,and Jess and mom mom and pop pop and K-9 BOB and everyone is so strong. Ive learned a lot from you. One day you will see your mom again..and thats gonna be a hell of a lacrosse game up in heaven! 🙂 ly Chelsey

  8. Ashley

    melissa,
    hey melissa we have become good friends this year at mercy i know you miss your mom and i can tell you got all your lax talent from her im sure she was a great coach and mom. you are a great friend and handled this well. i have read her book and it was so good she sounded like such a nice person good luck in school your a fun girl, ly Ashley (Lib)

  9. Al W. Pittman

    Well, I live in the midwest, didn’t know this Lady or about her untill viewing CSTV, but, her courage and love of life AND Lacross sure came across the screen, her refusal to give up is inspiring still, the genuine love between her team and family, still, is awesume. I wish I could have known this wonderful Lady, my life would have been enriched too. Al W Pittman

  10. melissa falen

    Diane was an inspiration professionally and personally. Her courage, humor, and boundless energy go beyond words. She was a class act and geniunely cared for others. She was not perfect as true “heroes” never are, but she was a hero and I miss her. Knowing that she is not there when I drive by the campus on the way to my campus, I am sad. Still, I am blessed for having known her and am proud to have been her friend.

  11. Maria Ford

    Today was one of those days that you think about Diane. I had the privledge to play for her for four years. I walked outside today and enjoyed the amazing weather and took it all in. Probably the best life lesson that I learned from Diane was not about lacrosse, it was about life and how each and every minute it so important. At the break of spring every year out on the truf she alwyas made us stop and smell the air, enjoy the warm sun and just take in spring. Today reminded me of her!!

  12. paige

    hi i am shannons best friend and ms diane was another mother 2 me i understand how much u guys will misss her and remember shes with you forever

  13. lisa kielek

    hello melissa
    i dont know if you remember me, you would probably remember my son better (bryan) you knew him from tiny tots, and you were his first real love:) we talk about you and your family often and my best friend she had read your moms book. i would to have a copy but cant find one. can you tell me where i can get one. your mom was one of my favorite people as were you. my sister is dying of cancer and doesn’t have long, i need your moms wisdom right now. could you please get back to me when you have a minute. bryan says hi and would love to hear from you too, thanks sweetie.

  14. John Condit

    Diane was my baby-sitter for many years, my team mate on co-ed volleyball teams, my wife’s team mate on women’s volleyball teams, and I was assistant coach with her for the Loyale women’s volleyball team for a couple of years. She was a remarkable person, and I think of her often. I can no longer play volleyball because of my knees, but I have decided to coach some women’s volleyball again, a large part due to my memories of Diane. I’m sure she will be up in Heaven laughing as I creak around the court and try to impart some experience to these young ladies.

  15. hitt

    at my lacrosse practice someone read from Coach Aikens book. The whole time i kept looking over to her daughter Shannon just to see her smiling. the whole time this book was read, i wanted to cry just thinking about how this amazing woman was taken away from her family. I then came home and googled Coach Aikens because i was interested. Coach Aikens was an amazing woman i would have wished to meet her. We all can learn threw her accomplishments known and unknown.

  16. Cecilia Morrison Kleiner

    It’s been years since I have looked up anything having to do with Loyola and was truly shocked to read about Diane’s death. I no longer live in the area so I had not heard of the years of courage it is evident she had fighting her cancer. I had the privilege of coaching Diane at Loyola in Volleyball. She was not only a player but a friend. Here impact on Lacrosse is evident but here impact on the volleyball team and her teammates was something I have always carried with me all these years. For those of us who knew Diane, we are the lucky ones to have had some one so special in our lives if only for a short time.

  17. olivia

    hi mrs. diane……this is olivia im the friend of shannons your younger daughter. i didnt no mrs. diane that well but she defently brought up the nicest sweetest kids that ive meet :). mrs. diane made loyola college lacrosse in the tops. her children miss her dearly and they know that shes always there right by their sides.
    with love
    olivia [friend of family]

  18. bryce

    hi my name is bryce and my class has to read the book lucky every day and it is a great book and she sounds like a great person i wish i could of met her
    from bryce

  19. Kristina Opheim

    My name is Kristina, or Kristy, as Coach Aikens would remember. I started playing lacrosse at Maryvale Prep in middle school and every summer I attended skills camp at Loyola College. As I started coming up in age and it was time to look for a college, I received several calls to play for Coach Aikens at Loyola. Unfortunately I turned the offer down and ended up changing my interests to Rugby and beer at Frostburg. I often look back on that decision as being one of my dumbest, and knowing that I never got to play for Coach Aikens eats me up sometimes. But I am just glad to have known her and benefitted from her expertise in coaching.

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