IWLCA Announces 2022 Division I Coaches of the Year
The IWLCA has announced the 2022 National and Regional Coaches of the Year in Division I. All winners will be honored at the IWLCA Convention scheduled for November 16-18, 2022 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas.
Jenny Levy, University of North Carolina
Jenny Levy led the Tar Heels to a storybook season in 2022, going 22-0 and winning North Carolina’s third NCAA championship. Carolina overcame an eight-goal deficit in the second half of the NCAA semifinal to beat Northwestern, then beat Boston College in a heart-stopping national title game. The Tar Heels made their 10th appearance at NCAA Championship Weekend in the last 13 years. Levy led UNC to her 13th Championship Weekend appearance, tied for most of any coach in history. Carolina posted the first undefeated season in program history and the first by any NCAA champion since 2017. Along the way, it won its sixth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament while extending its ACC Tournament win streak to 18 and its regular season win streak to 40. Levy won the ACC Coach of the Year award for the seventh time (and third year in a row).
Melissa Lehman, Rutgers University
Under Lehman’s guidance, Rutgers enjoyed its most successful season in school history with a program-record 16 victories, its second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, and the team’s first top-10 finish in the final IWLCA Coaches Poll (No. 10). The Scarlet Knights delivered wins over six ranked opponents during the 2022 campaign and advanced to their first-ever Big Ten Tournament title game with their victory over No. 4 Northwestern – the team’s first over the Wildcats and highest-ranked win in school history. Lehman was named 2022 Big Ten Coach of the Year after her team’s historic conference season, which included a school-record five All-Big Ten selections and the 2022 Big Ten Midfielder of the Year in Cassidy Spilis. RU advanced to the NCAA Tournament for just the third time in school history but for the second in three seasons with Lehman as head coach, as Rutgers muscled an opening-round victory over No. 23 Saint Joseph’s. Five Scarlet Knights earned All-America laurels, including three who landed on the IWLCA All-America squad. Rutgers also finished with four IWLCA All-Region picks for the second consecutive season and landed 26 student-athletes on the Academic All-Big Ten Team.
Sarah Dalton Graddock, University of Vermont
Sarah Dalton Graddock guided Vermont to the first America East Championship in program history, with a program-best 14 wins in 2022. The Catamounts were only the third team in program history to reach double-digit wins, and the first since 2015. Second-seeded UVM rallied back from a five-goal deficit in the conference title game to secure their first ever NCAA Tournament berth. Under Dalton Graddock’s guidance, Carolyn Carrera and Ava Vasile received ILWomen All-America Honorable Mention – the first Catamounts in program history to earn the recognition. Vermont had one of the top defenses in 2022, ranking fourth nationally in caused turnovers per game (11.89) with Carrera averaging the second-most caused turnovers per game (2.89) in the nation.
Jenny Levy, University of North Carolina
See bio above.
Liza Kelly, University of Denver
Liza Kelly led the Pioneers to an 18-3 overall record and a perfect 5-0 mark in Big East Conference play during the 2022 campaign. Denver has won 21 straight regular-season contests against conference foes dating back to 2018 and won its third-straight Big East regular-season championship last year. The Pioneers also captured their second-consecutive Big East Tournament title in 2022 (third such trophy in program history, MPSF 2014) and has now reached the NCAA Tournament in each of the past four seasons, making it to at least the second round each time. DU started the year on a six-game winning streak, the longest stretch in program history, and the Pioneers went 7-1 on the road during the year—with its only loss coming at No. 3 Boston College in the NCAA Tournament Second Round. Kelly, who leads the team’s defense, saw the Pioneers allow just 8.38 goals per game, the fifth-best mark in the NCAA during the season. In caused turnovers, Denver was first in the nation with 273, averaging 13.0 per game—second best in the country. DU also ranked fifth in the NCAA with 393 ground balls, with an 18.71 average per contest (15th). Denver was recognized with the 2022 Big East Coaching Staff of the Year Award, marking the second time that the Pioneers earned the honor. Overall, DU had two All-Americans and eight players named to the All-Big East Teams.