skip navigation

2017-18 IWLCA Award Winners Honored

By IWLCA Admin, 11/14/18, 4:00PM EST


The Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) held its 2018 Honors Banquet today at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. The event kicked off the organization’s 2018 Annual Meetings, providing the membership with the opportunity to honor those that have contributed to the women’s collegiate game during the past year. The event was hosted by Halley Quillinan Griggs, Women’s Director at ILWomen, who served as the master of ceremonies.

"The Honors Banquet celebrates the achievements of our members over the past year and is the perfect event to kick off the Annual Meetings." said Kathy Taylor, head coach at Le Moyne College and IWLCA President. "Our membership is incredibly talented, and having the opportunity to gather to commemorate the successes of our peers supports our mission of promoting excellence in the sport."

The first honorees were those earning Victory Club recognition for achieving milestone victories during the 2018 season. Five coaches were recognized for their 100th career victory, while two coaches were celebrated for achieving their 200th career win, and another three reached the 300-win milestone. The College of New Jersey’s Sharon Pfluger and Navy’s Cindy Timchal became the first members of the 500 Career Win Victory Club.

100 Career Wins
Corinne Desrosiers – Florida Institute of Technology
Sonia Lamonica – Towson University
Mindy Richmond, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Rick Terrio. Fitchburg State University
Katie Woods – University of Connecticut

200 Career Wins
Mike Faith – Franklin & Marshall College
Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe – James Madison University

300 Career Wins
Ginny Martino – West Chester University
Mandee O’Leary – University of Florida

500 Career Wins
Sharon Pfluger – The College of New Jersey
Cindy Timchal – United States Naval Academy

Three assistant coaches were honored with the Assistant Coach of the Year Award (previously announced on November 1, 2018). The University of Colorado’s Alex Frank (Division I), Lindenwood University’s Brian Smith (Division II), and Maddie Coleman from Denison University (Division III) were presented with their awards by their head coaches.

The next award was the Team Community Awareness Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions by one team from each division on their campus and in their local community. This year, teams from James Madison University (Division I), Long Island University Post (Division II), and Alma College (Division III) were honored.

Long Island University Post Head Coach Meghan McNamara was presented with the IWLCA Service Award, which honors an individual for their contributions to the IWLCA during the previous academic year. McNamara was presented her award by Danie Caro, IWLCA Director of Communications and Membership Operations, who worked closely with the committee McNamara is involved with. “I am incredibly humbled to be recognized for my service to the IWLCA. I have been fortunate to have many mentors in this profession that demonstrated the importance of giving back to the IWLCA and the larger coaching community,” McNamara said. “Committee service has been very rewarding for me because it provided an opportunity to work with many inspiring colleagues to have a positive impact on the sport and those who play it.”

The President’s Cup Award is presented to a member of the lacrosse community who has exhibited distinguished contributions to the collegiate women’s lacrosse scene during the previous academic year. The IWLCA recognized the 2017 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Rules Committee for their work devising and implementing a myriad of changes during the last rules change cycle to make the game even faster, more fun to play, more strategic to coach and more fan-friendly to watch. The members of the Rules Committee honored were committee chair Jen Adams (Loyola), Ann Elliott (Colorado), Alicia Groveston (Grand Valley State), Abigail Jackson (Union), Kate McAfee (New Hampshire), Scott Musa (Shenandoah), Chris O’Connor (Sacred Heart), April Pollock (Arcadia), Secretary Rules-Editor Stefanie Sparks Smith, and National Coordinator of Officials Melissa Coyne.

The Rules Committee was presented with the award by IWLCA Legal Counsel Samantha Ekstrand.  “This is a tremendous honor for the Rules Committee,” said Smith. “We love this sport and are proud of our efforts to help grow the women’s game. The support from the IWLCA and its members has been integral to the successful implementation of the rules changes. Thank you for your recognition of our efforts and for celebrating the evolution of the game.”

The 2018 IWLCA Regional and National Coaches of the Year for all three divisions (previously announced on July 19, 2018) received their awards. Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe (James Madison University), Kathy Taylor (Le Moyne College), and Carol Cantele (Gettysburg College) were honored as the Division I, II, and III National Coaches of the Year respectively.

Regional Coaches of the Year – Division I
Joe Spallina – Stony Brook University
Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe – James Madison University
Ann Elliott Whidden – University of Colorado
Acacia Walker – Boston College

Regional Coaches of the Year – Division II
Xeni Barakos Yoder – East Stroudsburg University
Kathy Taylor – Le Moyne College
James Delaney – University of Indianapolis
Kara Reber – Florida Southern University

Regional Coaches of the Year – Division III
Chris Paradis – Amherst College 
Sharon Pfluger – The College of New Jersey
Jim Nestor – Salisbury University
Karrie Moore – Ithaca College
Lindsey Kellar – Illinois Wesleyan University
Carol Cantele – Gettysburg College
Kate Livesay – Middlebury College
Lauren Uhr – Claremont-Mudd Scripps

The final award presented was the IWLCA’s marquee honor, the Diane Geppi-Aikens Memorial Award. The award is named in honor of the legendary Loyola coach whose courageous battle with cancer inspired the nation and recognizes lifetime achievement to the women’s college game. Celine Cunningham, former head coach at Stevens Institute of Technology was presented with the award by current Stevens’ head coach Karen Shaddock. Cunningham retired from coaching at the conclusion of the 2018 season and was recently named the senior associate director of athletics at Bates College. She concluded her coaching career at Stevens by guiding the Ducks to their third NCAA Tournament appearance. Cunningham compiled 202 victories over 16 seasons and won Empire 8 Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2009, 2011 and 2017. A chair of both the NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Committee and the Women's Lacrosse Rules Committee, Cunningham has served the IWLCA in several capacities, including the Division III All-American Committee and Chair of the Ethics Committee; she is currently an Emeritus member of the Hall of Fame Committee.

“I’m honored to be chosen to receive the Diane Geppi Aikens Memorial Award,” Cunningham said. “I am incredibly humbled to be selected for an award that honors a woman whose ideas, passion and values I’ve always aspired to. To be included among the past recipients of the award that have made such a tremendous impact on our sport is extremely rewarding.”