The IWLCA has announced the 2018 Divisional Assistant Coaches of the Year. Alex Frank (University of Colorado), Brian Smith (Lindenwood University), and Maddie Coleman (Denison University) will be recognized at the IWLCA Honors Banquet on November 14 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. The Assistant Coach of the Year award recognizes an assistant coach from each Division who has made a distinct impact on the success of their program through hard work, commitment, dedication, and sportsmanship.
Alex Frank, University of Colorado
Alex Frank helped lead Colorado to a 14-6 record in 2018 and claimed the inaugural Pac-12 regular season Championship. The Buffaloes picked up a first round NCAA tournament victory and went on to finish the season ranked 14th in the final IWLCA Coaches Poll. “I want to thank the IWLCA for honoring Alex with this award. Last season was a particularly difficult one for our program, players and staff included. Through it all, Alex was a backbone for us and kept our team prepared and focused daily on the field,” praised Ann Elliott Whidden, head coach. “Alex plays an integral role in all aspects of our program, including offensive play calling, draws, skill development and scouting. She works tirelessly with our players on and off the field to make sure we are prepared to compete each week. The team and individual awards we earned last year are a direct result of her hard work and commitment to our program.”
Frank, who works mostly with the offense and draw specialists, is in her fourth year with the program. “I am incredibly honored and humbled to be receiving this award from the IWLCA. I am fortunate to work with Ann Elliott Whidden at an incredible school,” said Frank. “The University of Colorado Boulder's athletic department gives us the opportunity to be successful on and off the field and I am very thankful for their support. I am thankful for the opportunity to coach an amazing group of young women alongside the best coaches in the game.”
Brian Smith, Lindenwood University
Brian Smith has been part of the Lindenwood staff for ten years and serves as the offensive coordinator. The Lions posted a 19-1 record in 2018 and ranked fifth in Division II for scoring offense (17.80 goals per game). “I am thankful for the dedication that Brian has shown to our program for over a decade now. Brian is the type of assistant that a head coach could only dream about having. He is loyal, passionate, knowledgeable, and truly cares about the student-athletes. The lacrosse program at Lindenwood University is better because of Brian Smith and his efforts,” said head coach Jack Cribbin.
Smith is involved in all aspects of the program at Lindenwood and Cribbin cited his efforts as one reason the team earned the top spot in the IWLCA Division II Coaches poll for the first time in program history on May 7, 2018. “It’s a great honor to be acknowledged by my peers for this award. A recognition such as this is not an individual achievement,” said Smith. “It’s an extension of the Lindenwood coaching staff, administration and the players in our program. So, I humbly accept this on their behalf.”
Maddie Coleman, Denison University
Maddie Coleman has served as the assistant at Denison for the past six years and works primarily with the defense and goalkeepers. The Big Red went 17-3 in 2018 and Coleman coached four All-Conference players and the Conference Defensive Player of the Year. According to Denison head coach Amanda Daniels, “Maddie is an incredible coach, friend and role model who is an extremely deserving recipient of this honor. Maddie has been instrumental in the progression and successes the program has achieved since 2013. While her on the field impact is undeniable, her ability to build meaningful relationships with our student-athletes and provide an elite-level of mentorship is what sets Maddie apart. She effortlessly connects with each athlete, building a level of trust and respect that allows her to both uplift and push them toward their true potential.”
Coleman was an integral part of the program’s success in 2018, as the Big Red advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament before losing to Salisbury. “I am honored to receive this award, but it represents a lot more than just me. It certainly reflects our team’s hard work and commitment to lacrosse and each other,” said Coleman. “I’m thrilled to be coaching this team at Denison. A big thank you to my Head Coach Amanda Daniels and every single Big Red Women’s Lacrosse student-athlete I’ve had the privilege of coaching. I am very fortunate to enjoy where I work and do what I love.”
The IWLCA Honors Banquet will take place at 12:30 pm on November 14 in conjunction with the IWLCA’s Annual Meetings.