Fighting Irish Alum Byers Returns Home as an Assistant Coach

NOTRE DAME, Ind. Former Notre Dame All-American and current U.S. Women's National Lacrosse Team member Jill Byers is returning home to the Golden Dome as an assistant coach, head coach Christine Halfpenny announced on Friday.

"I am thrilled to welcome Jill back home to Notre Dame," said Halfpenny. "She has established herself as one of the best young assistants in the country through her work ethic and ability to break down skill sets of the game, along with her positive attitude. Jill's passion for the sport of lacrosse and the University of Notre Dame are a unique combination that will be a major asset to our program as we compete for a conference and national title.

"Bringing an alum back to the sidelines is an incredible advantage for our staff and the student-athletes that she will mentor," Halfpenny continued. "We look forward to getting started with Jill and allowing her to put her fingerprint back on the Notre Dame women's lacrosse program."

Byers, who spent the last three seasons as an assistant at Yale, replaces Sarah Dalton, who left Notre Dame after one season to pursue other career opportunities.

"It's a privilege to come back to a place I called home for four years," said Byers. "I love Notre Dame and all that it represents as a world-class institution. The passion for excellence in the classroom and on the field is inspiring. As an Irish student-athlete, I had an experience that was second to none, and I am excited to work with the young women in this program to provide the same phenomenal experience. I am truly honored by this appointment and will do my best to contribute to the success of this program."

The Northport, N.Y., native comes to the Irish from the Bulldogs, where she helped in all of the day-to-day aspects of running the Ivy League program. Under Byers' tutelage, Yale scored 137 goals on the year, a 65 percent increase from 2011 and the most goals scored since 2008. In addition to her on-the-field responsibilities, Byers served as the recruiting coordinator and also dealt with equipment, meals, lodging and travel throughout the year when the Bulldogs went on the road.

In addition to her job with the Bulldogs, Byers is a four-year member of the U.S. Women's National Lacrosse Team. With Team USA, she competes with and plays against the best players in the world, participating in the Stars & Stripes Tournament and the Champions Challenge among others.

Arguably the best player ever to wear the Irish blue and gold, Byers still remains the Notre Dame career leader in all-time goals (262) and points (336). She also is second in draw controls (154), tied for second in games played (76), fifth in assists (74) and 10th in caused turnovers (61).

In looking at the NCAA Division I record books entering the 2012 season, Byers was fifth in goals (262), 10th in points (336), 15th in goals per game (3.45) and 19th in points per game (4.42) for a career.

Over her four years with Notre Dame, the Irish went 54-22. She also helped the program reach its lone Final Four in 2006 as a freshman and helped it secure its only Big East Tournament title in 2009 as a senior.

Byers' senior season was one for the record books as she found the back of the net 83 times, which sits 12th in NCAA history. For her efforts, Byers was runner-up for the Tewaaraton Trophy, given to the nation's best player, and the Honda Award Trophy. She also was selected as the Big East co-Attack Player of the Year and was named the Notre Dame National Monogram Club Most Valuable Player.

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2012-06-29



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