2022-23 IWLCA Award Winners and Hall of Fame Inductees Honored
The Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) announced its 2022-23 award winners at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront during the 2023 IWLCA Convention. The Community Awareness, Victory Club, Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year, National Coaching Staffs of the Year, and the Kristina Quigley Scholarship awards were presented during an awards ceremony on Wednesday, November 15. Along with inducting the Class of 2023 Hall of Famers, the IWLCA recognized the Outstanding Assistant Coaches of the Year, Service Award, Tina Sloan Green Award, and the Diane Geppi Aikens Memorial Award at the 2023 IWLCA Hall of Fame and Honors Banquet Dinner held on Thursday, November 16.
"It is always such a thrill to see our member coaches celebrate and applaud one another on their accomplishments," said IWLCA President Kelly Gallagher, and University of Tampa head coach. "Our support of one another shows the strength of our membership and I am proud of how we come together and enjoy these moments as a whole.”
Wednesday’s event led off with Victory Club recognitions as many coaches achieved milestone victories during the 2023 season. Fourteen coaches earned 100 career victories, while six coaches amassed 200 career wins. Liza Kelly hit the 300-mile marker, while Jenny Levy entered the 400-win arena.
The 2023 National Coaching Staffs of the Year for all three divisions and the NAIA were then given their awards. Coaches from Northwestern University, Pace University, Middlebury College and SCAD were presented with their awards in front of their peers. The Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year honorees were also presented their awards during the event.
To cap off the first night of awards, the Kristina Quigley Scholarship Recipient Meg Decker (Xavier University Head Coach) was joined by her husband, son, and parents on stage to share her gratitude to the membership for the opportunity.
The Hall of Fame Banquet and Honors program was jump-started by a celebration of our 2023 Outstanding Assistant Coaches of the Year. Kateri Linville (James Madison University), Sue Bermester (West Chester University), and Kelsey Howard (Colgate University) were honored as the Division I, II, and III and Outstanding Assistant Coaches of the Year respectively. This group of honorees was previously announced back in June.
In attendance, Megan Smith, Interim Head Coach at Lee University, was then presented the IWLCA Service Award and celebrated for her efforts as the Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting Planning Committee (AMPC). She has earned this award twice in the last three years. Unable to attend, Colgate University Associate Head Coach Jessica Becker, who also serves as the Co-Chair of the AMPC, was also recognized for her Service Award honor by presenter Liz Robertshaw, IWLCA Executive Director.
The Tina Sloan Green Award was created to recognize those individuals or teams that have actively worked to promote equity and inclusion in the lacrosse community in a given academic year. Receiving this award this year was Alexis Joseph, assistant coach at Howard University. Joseph began coaching at Howard University in 2022 after a successful playing career at Duke. Joseph’s award was presented to her by Howard University Head Coach Karen Healy-Silcott.
Since joining the Bisons, Joseph has spearheaded efforts for inclusivity including organizing youth group attendance at Bison games, mentoring within the Serve Your City/Mutual Aid Organization, and coaching for the Montgomery County Recreation program. “Receiving this award means the world to me,” stated Joseph in her acceptance speech. “Women like Tina Slone Greene are so important to this sport and to girls that look like me. She showed up as herself, pushed for change and excelled in so many ways. I am extremely thankful to her and the many Black women who have paved the way in the lacrosse community. Without you all, I would not be here.”
The IWLCA’s marquee honor, the Diane Geppi-Aikens Memorial Award, was presented to former Lawrence Technological University head coach Mary Ann Meltzer by Gallagher, IWLCA Director of Internal Operations Danie Caro, and Catholic University of America head coach Megan McDonogh. The award is named in honor of the legendary Loyola coach whose courageous battle with cancer inspired the nation and recognizes lifetime achievement in the women’s college game.
The IWLCA concluded with the induction of three coaches into the Hall of Fame. The class of 2023 included former coaches Chris Paradis (Amherst College), Chris Mason (Williams College) and Northwestern University’s current head coach, Kelly Amonte Hiller.
“This group of honorees are truly legends of the game and have inspired many coaches to have the longevity they have had in the game. We are proud to have had the opportunity to witness their successes over the years and we are thrilled to be honoring them as this year’s induction class,” said Gallagher.
Mason stated in her acceptance speech, “It takes a village to be successful in the coaching world. And a village is exactly what I had. I’m extremely thankful for each and every one of you.”
Several former players, coaching colleagues, and family members celebrated the honorees. Abi Jackson served as the master of ceremonies for the event.
IWLCA Award Winners and Hall of Fame Inductees
Community Awareness Award
Division I: East Carolina University
Division II: Lee University
Division III: Wilkes University
NAIA: Warner University
The team and individual honorees were previously announced in July.
Victory Club Milestones
Fourteen coaches earned 100 career victories, while six coaches amassed 200 career wins. Liza Kelly hit the 300-mile marker, while Jenny Levy entered the 400-win arena.
100 Career Wins
Xeni Barakos-Yoder, East Stroudsburg University
Erica Brown, Tiffin University
Kelly Buikus, University of the Cumberlands
Ann Elliott Whidden, University of Colorado
Laura Field, Fairfield University
Elizabeth Ghilardi, Skidmore College
Caitlin Hansen, Saint Leo University
Rob Harris, Davenport University
Karrie Moore, Ithaca College
Kelly Nangle, Liberty University
Michelle Smith, Babson College
Katy Szymanski, Trinity College
Kim Williams, Wesleyan University
Jen Willis, Albright College
200 Career Wins
Jen Adams, Loyola University
Sue Behme, Coast Guard Academy
Heather McKay, Messiah University
Jen Muston, York College (PA)
Carly Ritchlin, SUNY Geneseo
Dennis Short, Rollins College
300 Career Wins
Liza Kelly, University of Denver
400 Career Wins
Jenny Levy, University of North Carolina
Division I Coaching Staff of the Year
Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year – Division I
Mid-Atlantic Region: Loyola University
Northeast Region: Boston College
South Region: James Madison University
West/Midwest Region: University of Denver
Division II Coaching Staff of the Year
Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year – Division II
Atlantic Region: West Chester University
East Region: Pace University
Midwest Region: Maryville University
South Region: Florida Southern College
Division III Coaching Staff of the Year
Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year – Division III
Berkshire Region: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Boardwalk Region: The College of New Jersey
Chesapeake Region: Washington and Lee University
Empire Region: William Smith College
Great Lakes Region: Kenyon College
Metro Region: Franklin & Marshall College
Pilgrim Region: Middlebury College
West Region: Pomona-Pitzer Colleges
NAIA Coaching Staff of the Year
Savannah College of Arts and Design
Hall of Fame Inductees
With a career coaching record of 321-123 (.723), Chris Paradis molded Amherst College Women’s Lacrosse into one of the most successful teams in the nation. Her 321 wins rank her in the top ten all-time in NCAA Division III. Paradis was named the NESCAC and Berkshire Region Coach of the Year twice (2014, 2018) and brought one National Championship trophy back to Amherst in 2003, for which she was named the IWLCA Division III Coach of the Year. The Mammoths claimed back-to-back NESCAC Championships in 1997 and 1998, made 10 trips to the NCAA Elite Eight, six Final Four appearances, and three National Championship appearances (1999, 2001, 2003). Paradis led Amherst to a 27-13 (.675) record in 14 trips to the NCAA tournament. Paradis, who competed for the US National team in the World Cup, also coached field hockey at Amherst, leading the team to eight straight postseason appearances, including three NCAA Tournament berths (1996, 1999, 2000) and a trip to the National Championship game in 1999.
Chris Mason won 303 games as the head coach at Williams College over the course of a 33-year career. The Ephs posted undefeated records in 1989 and 1996, placed second in the NCAA Championship in 1998 and 2000 and won a NESCAC title in 2010. Her undefeated 1996 team was inducted into the International Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame in 2003. She is also a member of the 2019 Western Massachusetts Hall of Fame Induction Class. Williams earned six NCAA Tournament bids under Mason, and she coached 34 All-Americans, including one National Offensive Player of the Year (Alana Teutonico Brock, ‘98) and one National Defensive Player of the Year (Alyse Clayman, ’96). Mason also coached Field Hockey at Williams for 19 years and won a bronze medal playing for the US National Team at the 1984 Olympic Games.
Kelly Amonte Hiller currently holds a career coaching record of 351-88, winning .799 percent of the games she has coached, ranking fourth all-time in NCAA Division I history. In 2005, Amonte Hiller guided the Wildcats to an undefeated season and a NCAA Championship, the first of seven national titles. Amonte Hiller led the Wildcats to the national semifinals 10 years in a row (2005 to 2014) and tied an NCAA record with eight consecutive title game appearances in the process. Since 2004, Northwestern has gone 53-11 (.828) in the NCAA Tournament, making Amonte Hiller the winningest coach in Tournament history. She has produced six Tewaaraton winners and eight Honda recipients. Amonte Hiller has coached 68 IWLCA All-Americans and won a total of 12 IWLCA positional Player of the Year awards. Additionally, Amonte Hiller previously led the U.S. women’s U19 team to a world championship in 2019 in Peterborough, Ontario, becoming the only person to win gold as a player and head coach with the U.S. national team program.