Albion Appoints Shanta Loecker as Head Lacrosse Coach

Shanta Loecker, who led one of the nation's premier WCLA programs at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), has been appointed head coach of the varsity women's lacrosse program at Albion College.

Under Loecker's guidance, the Bruins competed in the Women's Collegiate Lacrosse Associates (WCLA) Division 1 National Championship in 2011 and 2012. UCLA defeated the University of Michigan, the top-ranked University of Colorado, and Santa Clara University to reach the WCLA tournament championship match in 2011.

Led by four WCLA All-Americans, Loecker's 2012 squad posted a 7-1 record in the Western Women's Lacrosse League (WWLL) and it compiled a 2-2 record in the WCLA tournament. She was named the WWLL's Division 1 Coach of the Year.

In her three seasons as head coach, the Bruins amassed an overall record of 37-23 and eight student-athletes were WCLA All-Americans and 12 were all-WWLL selections.

"Coach Loecker is a true student of the game who has competed on the highest stage," Albion Athletic Director Matt Arend said. "The Briton women's lacrosse program will thrive thanks to her recruiting and coaching experience and understanding of the Division III mission of developing the overall student-athlete."

A mass communication studies major at UCLA, Loecker started at attack for the Bruins' "A" Team from 2003-2006. The captain and team president, she was awarded first team all-league status her senior year.

Loecker launched her career in the coaching profession shortly after graduation, joining the UCLA staff as head coach of the "B" Team. In her second season as "B" Team head coach, she was named the WWLL's Division 2 Coach of the Year. She was promoted to assistant coach of the "A" Team after the 2008 campaign, focusing primarily on coaching the defense, and advanced to head coach in the fall of 2009.

In addition to coaching at UCLA, Loecker has coached for the Starz lacrosse club and West LA Lacrosse, as well assisted with clinics and camps throughout California. She currently serves on both the WWLL Executive Council and U.S. Lacrosse WCLA Executive Council. She spoke at the 2012 U.S. Lacrosse National Convention representing both the perspective of a WCLA coach and council member.

Loecker began her lacrosse career in the Midwest, where she played four years at Evanston (Ill.) Township High School. A four-year varsity starter, she was placed on the All-State second team her junior year, and the All-State first team while serving as captain her senior year. Loecker played with Team Illinois at various national tournaments, including the All-Star Express, Vail Shoot-Out, and USL Women's Division National Tournament.

She also was a member of the basketball and cross country squads at ETHS.

"I am impressed by the way Albion incorporates athletics as an important part of the overall student experience and I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the women's lacrosse program," Loecker said. "My ultimate goal is to put Albion lacrosse on the map at the national level.

"Lacrosse will become more prominent in the state of Michigan over the next three to four years with the addition of programs in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association," she added.

2012-07-19



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