Meltzer Named 2023 Diane Geppi-Aikens Memorial Award Recipient
The Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) named Mary Ann Meltzer, former head coach at Lawrence Technological University, as its 2023 Diane Geppi-Aikens Memorial Award recipient. Meltzer will be honored during the 2023 IWLCA Honors Dinner and Hall of Fame Induction on the evening of November 16 at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront.
The Diane Geppi-Aikens Memorial Award is named in honor of the legendary Loyola coach whose courageous battle with cancer inspired the nation and recognizes lifetime achievements to the women’s college game.
“I am so honored to be selected by the IWLCA as the 2023 Diane Geppi Aiken Memorial Award recipient,” stated Meltzer when notified about her selection. “I had the utmost respect for Diane, having played against her teams in college. She was a tremendous ambassador for our game and to be honored with an award that bears her name is truly humbling.”
Danie Caro, IWLCA Director of Internal Operations and Programming, who will be one of the award presenters for Meltzer, praised her record of service to both the association and the sport. “I can’t say enough about Mary Ann’s commitment to serving the game and the IWLCA. She has always been one of our best volunteers, selflessly giving her time and energy to different aspects of the association that would impact our membership the most. She also served in volunteer leadership roles with USA Lacrosse, and the NAIA, and impacted countless lacrosse players, coaches, and administrators through her efforts on behalf of those organizations. Her legacy off the field is just as impressive as what she accomplished on the field.”
Meltzer retired from the sidelines and moved into the role of Athletic Director at Lawrence Tech shortly after claiming her first National title at the helm of the LTU Blue Devils last spring. The most successful coach in LTU women’s lacrosse history, Meltzer ended her career in dramatic fashion, leading her squad to an overtime victory in the 2023 NAIA Championship. The Blue Devil’s lacrosse program has been a perennial national tournament contender for the last eight years under her direction, amassing a 104-30 overall record and six NAIA playoff appearances. She was named the 2022 NAIA Coach of the Year after finishing the year 17-1 and 9-0 in conference play, capturing the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) regular season and tournament titles, and finishing the season as NAIA Runner-Ups. Meltzer is also a three-time WHAC Coach of the Year.
Before taking over at LTU, Meltzer coached for three years at Olivet College (NCAA Division III), where she took the team from last in the conference to a conference semifinals appearance in three seasons. Before that, she was the first NCAA Division I women's lacrosse head coach in Michigan when she started the University of Detroit Mercy women’s lacrosse program. Meltzer then navigated the collegiate coaching ranks as the head coach of the University of Michigan’s highly successful women’s lacrosse club team for five years, amassing a record of 93-22 (.809 winning percentage). At Michigan, her teams advanced to the WDIA National Tournament every year, going to the national semifinals three times and the national championship game once. Meltzer’s coaching prowess is an extension of her success as a player. A two-time All-American at the University of Maryland, Meltzer was the National Offensive Player of the Year as a senior in 1990, when she led the Terps to a spot in the National Championship game. She also spent five years as a member of the US Lacrosse National Squad. In 2002, Meltzer was named a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 50th Anniversary Team.
“Mary Ann has served our sport at virtually every level imaginable, working youth camps throughout her coaching career, moving to the high school and college club level before starting an NCAA Division I program and coaching a Division III team, before finding the ideal place for her, leading an NAIA program, and making a positive impact at each stop," said Meghan McDonogh, head coach at Catholic University, and one of the IWLCA members that nominated Meltzer for the award. "More impressively she has helped the sport grow at all levels as a coach and official in non-traditional lacrosse areas while also serving on local and USA Lacrosse Boards, and as an IWLCA Board of Directors member. There are so many great things about MA, but one that stands out is her humility - you would literally never know she was an All-American, Player of the Year, and national team player, while also winning countless coach of the year awards and a national championship in her final season of coaching.”