IWLCA National and Regional Lacrosse Coaches of the Year

Rollins College's Dennis Short was hired in March 2007 to start a Division II varsity women's lacrosse program at Rollins– the first intercollegiate program in the state of Florida. In just five short years, he has built the Tars into a national powerhouse. Rollins reached new heights in 2012, posting a record of 15-2 and advancing to the semifinals of the NCAA Division II National Championship as the No. 1 seed in the South Region. The Tars won 15 straight games to start the season and were the last undefeated team in the nation. They were ranked as high as No. 3 in the IWLCA Division II poll and finished ranked fifth. Short coached the Tars to the second-best scoring offense in the nation, putting up nearly 18 goals a game. Led by goalie Elyse De Lisle, the defense allowed a NCAA fourth-best 8.5 goals a game as Rollins outscored opponents by nearly 10 goals a game during the season. Short mentored five IWLCA All-America selections in 2012, including two first team honorees. In his career at Rollins, Short has guided eight All-Americans.

In Division I, Northwestern's Kelly Amonte Hiller once again found a way to have her team play its best lacrosse in the NCAA Tournament, capturing the program's seventh national championship in the last eight years with a pair of two-goal wins in the NCAA semifinal and title games. The team finished 21-2 overall, with 11 wins over opponents ranked in the top-10 and a 5-1 mark in games decided by two goals or fewer. The 2012 Wildcats ranked second nationally in scoring defense (7.48 GAA) and held all four of their NCAA Tournament opponents to seven goals or fewer. After losing the draw control battle to Florida, 18-5, in the ALC Championship game, Amonte Hiller's Wildcats went on to win the draw in their ensuing four NCAA Tournament games by an average margin of 13.0-5.8. Amonte Hiller this year became the winningest coach in NCAA Tournament history with 32 career tournament wins compared to just two losses.

Three other Division I coaches were honored as Regional Coaches of the Year. Jen Adams turned what could have been a rebuilding year for Loyola into one of the most successful seasons for the Greyhounds. Despite losing 73 percent of its scoring from a year ago, Adams led Loyola to its second straight Big East title – knocking off No. 6 Notre Dame and No. 2 Syracuse in the conference tournament – and an appearance in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships. The 13-7 win over Syracuse in the Big East title game marked the highest-ranked opponent the Greyhounds have defeated under Adams, and she also picked up her 50th career win in the regular season finale at UConn. Adams led Loyola to a school record 7-1 mark in Big East play, with the Greyhounds' only loss being a 13-12 decision at Syracuse. Under her guidance, Loyola claimed Big East Defender and Midfielder of the Year honors, while seven Greyhounds earned All-Big East honors, including a school record six being first-team honorees and three being freshmen. Adams also saw Loyola earn its first pair of first-team IWLCA All-Americans since 2003. On the field, Adams turned her freshman class into one of the most potent offenses in the nation, with the group combining to contribute more than 50-percent of the team's goals and points and rank 27th nationally in scoring offense.

Gary Gait led Syracuse to its most successful season in school history in 2012. The Orange won a school-record 19 games and made its first appearance in the national championship game. Syracuse won a program-best 15 consecutive games at one point and climbed to No. 2 in the polls, its highest ranking in school history. Gait, the 2012 Big East Coach of the Year, led SU to three wins against teams ranked in the top five and seven against top 10 teams. The Orange earned a program-best No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the national semifinals for the third time in the last five years. Syracuse posted the second-largest comeback in NCAA Championship history against Florida in the semifinals for the program's first win against a No. 1-ranked team. In addition, Syracuse went undefeated in Big East play (8-0) for the second time since joining the league in 2001. Under Gait's tutelage, the Orange finished fourth in the nation in points (476), seventh in scoring margin (5.57) and eighth in scoring offense (14.57). Syracuse had the nation's leading scorer and several players ranked in the top 10 in numerous categories.

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2012-10-02



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