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IWLCA Announces 2018 Division I Coaches of the Year

By IWLCA Admin, 07/19/18, 1:00PM EDT


IWLCA Names 2018 Coaches of the Year in Division I

4 Mentors Recognized

The IWLCA has named the 2018 National and Regional Coaches of the Year in Division I. The Regional and National Coaches of the Year for all three Divisions will be honored at the IWLCA Honors Banquet held on November 14 during the IWLCA Annual Meetings at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Florida.

Division I National Coach of the Year

Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe, James Madison University
James Madison’s 2018 season was one for the record books, as Head Coach Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe led the Dukes to the top of the lacrosse mountain, capturing the program’s first NCAA Division I national championship with a school-record 22-1 overall mark. The Dukes won their second straight Colonial Athletic Association championship and earned the No. 3 overall seed for the NCAA Championship – a program best. After notching wins at home against Virginia and sixth-seeded Florida, JMU upended second-seeded North Carolina before holding off fourth-seeded Boston College to win the national title. After the regular season, in which the Dukes won the CAA outright for the second straight year, she was named CAA Coach of the Year for the third straight season, as the Dukes held a 16-1 record – the most wins in any JMU regular season. She coached four players to All-America status, including Tewaaraton Award finalist Kristen Gaudian, who was an IL Media First Team All-America after being voted CAA Player of the Year. Tewaaraton nominee Haley Warden was a Second Team All-American and the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. Elena Romesburg earned Third Team All-America honors and Rebecca Tooker was an Honorable Mention selection. JMU finished 2018 setting program records in scoring (362), assists (156), points (518), free-position goals (73) and draw controls (330).

Division I Regional Coaches of the Year

Mid Atlantic Region

Joe Spallina – Stony Brook University

Joe Spallina led Stony Brook to its second-straight 20 win season this past year, guiding the Seawolves to their sixth consecutive America East championship and NCAA Tournament appearance. The Seawolves earned the first No. 1 national ranking in program history in 2018, staying atop all three major lacrosse polls for 11 straight weeks heading into postseason play. Stony Brook finished the year leading the nation in six major Division I categories: points per game (29.28), scoring margin (+10.80), assists per game (11.23), shot percentage (.547), turnovers per game (12.00), and team defense (7.09 goals-allowed per contest). Spallina led his program to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinal round once again in 2018. He now owns a 123-21 overall mark at the helm of the Seawolves’ program. Stony Brook has now won 33-straight games at home (Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium).

Northeast Region

Acacia Walker-Weinstein, Boston College

The 2018 season at the helm turned into the most successful season in program history. Walker-Weinstein led BC to a perfect regular season (17-0) and the ACC’s Regular Season Championship. The Eagles advanced to the final of the ACC Tournament, advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth consecutive season, including playing in the NCAA final for the second consecutive season. The team won a program-high 22 games, was 12th in the country in scoring offense (15.71), 13th in scoring defense (9.67) and sixth in draw controls per game (16.38). Individually, Walker-Weinstein coached her first Tewaaraton winner as junior Sam Apuzzo dominated the women’s game. She was third in the country in points scored (129), sixth in points per game (5.38), 10th 9th in goals per game (3.67) and 2nd overall in total draw controls (163). Apuzzo owns the single season record for goals scored (88), points scored (129), and shattered the old single season record for draw controls when she finished the season with 163. Walker-Weinstein was also named ACC Coach of the Year.

South Region

Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe, James Madison

See bio above.

West/Midwest Region

Ann Elliott - University of Colorado

Colorado head coach Ann Elliott recorded her second straight conference coach of the year honor this season as she was named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year after guiding the Buffaloes to the inaugural Pac-12 regular season title with a 9-1 record. In just its fifth year of existence, Colorado recorded a 14-6 record after starting the campaign off with a 1-2 mark. She helped the team overcome the loss of a teammate, Julia Sarcona, who died in a single-car accident in January prior to the start of the season, and saw her team advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history after defeating Jacksonville for their first ever NCAA Tournament win. CU earned top 15 rankings in all three polls this season after losing its inaugural class which contained several top attackers and its four-year starting goalkeeper. The Buffs showed they were reloaded as their offense averaged 14.00 goals per game, which was 26th in the NCAA. Defensively CU allowed 9.90 goals per game and recorded a 0.482 save percentage (both 17th in the NCAA). The Buffs also had a scoring margin of +4.10 (19th in the NCAA).