The 2018 Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Annual Meetings, presented by Nike Lacrosse, took place November 14 -16, 2018 at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort. The meeting’s opening event was the annual Coaches Clinic, and featured a strong lineup of speakers, including four head coaches who won national championships in 2018.
Carlee Buck, head coach at Lenoir-Rhyne University, said, “I look forward to the annual meetings every year, and one of the highlights for me specifically are the coaching clinics. I’m always eager to listen to some of the best minds in the business and this year again feel grateful for the opportunity to soak up lessons in lacrosse, life, and leadership.”
Kathy Taylor, the head coach at Le Moyne College, serves as the IWLCA President and opened the meetings on Wednesday afternoon following the IWLCA Honors Banquet. The first business session was mainly comprised of reports on IWLCA committee activities from the past year. One of the highlights of this opening session was the Kristina Quigley Scholarship presentation. Bloomsburg University head coach Shannon Hertz and her family were presented with the scholarship by Taylor after the membership watched a tribute video.
Wednesday night featured a keynote speech by Dr. Izzy Justice, a sports neuropsychologist whose has authored seven books on the topic of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). His presentation, “Achieving High Performance with Emotional Intelligence,” was well received by the coaches in attendance. “Dr. Justice provided us with the space for meaningful discourse on the importance and practice of emotional intelligence for optimal performance and well-being,” said Paige Messersmith, assistant coach at Dickinson College. “He challenged us to not only be mindful of our emotions to make the best decision but to position ourselves differently and give greater attention to the multiple possibilities that surround us.”
Thursday’s schedule provided opportunities for coaches to meet with their divisional peers, hear from the NCAA Rules Committee and secretary rules editor, and attend professional development sessions. The consensus among coaches were that both the playing rules implemented in for the 2018 season, and the new Division I recruiting contact rule were both very well received and achieved their intent.
The topics for professional development included a round table session conducted by Dr. Justice and Lyndsey Boswell, head coach at High Point, designed to help coaches integrate EQ into lacrosse training as a follow-up to Wednesday’s keynote presentation. The CWLOA conducted a session to help improve communications between coaches and officials’ assignors, and Emily Lloyd from the One Love Foundation presented on relationship education in sport. The final professional development session was panel discussion on Mental Health of the Student-Athlete. Panelists included Dr. Sheriece Sadberry, a sports psychologist who works with the University of Tampa, Dr. Lee Dorpfeld, the Behavioral Health Coordinator at University of South Florida, Kelcey Holcomb, Assistant Athletic Trainer at Stetson University, Celine Cunningham, Senior Woman Administrator at Bates College, Liza Kelly, head coach at University of Denver, and Adair Milmoe, head coach at Cazenovia College.
“I believe that the Mental Health panel was a very beneficial conversation that needs to be happening more often,” said Ana Heneberry, assistant coach at the University of Michigan. “Coaches all around the country have young women on their teams that need support and the panel members shared tools and resources that coaches can use to serve in that role. We as a sports community have a long way to go in breaking the stigma attached to mental health, but the open discussion we had was a very large step in the right direction.”
The 2018 IWLCA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Thursday evening saw Pat Genovese, Gillian Rattray, and Sue Tyler welcomed into the fold by Navy head coach Cindy Timchal, a member of the inaugural Hall of Fame class. Celine Cunningham, an emeritus member of the hall of Fame selection committee, served as the master of ceremonies for the event.
The meetings wrapped up on Friday with another breakout session, followed by the presentation of the Annual Meeting Scholarship recipients during the general session. An update on the national teams’ program was provided by Jenny Levy, head coach at North Carolina, and head coach of the U.S. Senior Women’s team. Alice Lee, head coach at Williams College, and chair of the Officials Recruitment and Development committee, announced the creation of the “Trina Mangano new officials’ scholarship” program to support current and recent college graduates in their efforts to enter the umpiring ranks.
“This year’s meeting went extremely well, thanks to the behind the scenes efforts of our Annual Meeting Planning Committee,” said Taylor. “We are fortunate to have a very committed group in leadership positions that ensured we were efficient and effective in conducting IWLCA business.”
The 2019 IWLCA Annual Meetings will be held from November 20-22, 2019 at the Hilton West Palm Beach and Palm County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.