Updated August 23, 2017: Ricky Fried will now lead the Philadelphia Fire, as Cindy Timchal steps down due to scheduling conflict. Timchal will remain on the WPLL Board.
Women’s Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL) founder Michele DeJuliis and commissioner Jen Adams are thrilled to announce the league’s inaugural coaching lineup for the upcoming summer 2018 season.
“We are excited to name such a high caliber lineup of coaches for the five inaugural WPLL teams,” says Adams. “Each coach brings a wealth of knowledge and a creative style that mirrors the brand of lacrosse that the league will have on display. Moreover, these coaches are extremely committed to the growth of our sport at all levels. We are fortunate to have such strong, motivated leadership across the league and I look forward to working with each of them as we take the WPLL into the future.”
The Baltimore Brave will be led by Towson University’s Sonia LaMonica. LaMonica guided Towson to a 12-7 mark in 2017, earning an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. Through seven seasons under LaMonica’s guidance, Towson has made five NCAA Tournament berths and has captured multiple CAA championships. A former All-American and national champion out of the University of Maryland, LaMonica has also represented Team Australia internationally making multiple World Cup appearances. In 2005, she helped the Aussies strike gold for the first time in world history before picking up a silver in 2009 and bronze in 2013.
The New England Command will be led by former Dartmouth coach Amy Patton. Having spent 24 years on the Dartmouth sidelines as the Big Green’s head coach, Patton guided the Ivy power to 13 NCAA Tournament appearances – making four Final Four trips, including a berth into the 2006 national championship game. Internationally, she spent five years with the U.S. national teams program (2005-09). Patton was also the coach of the UWLX’s Boston Storm a season ago. A graduate of the University of Maryland, Patton was a two-sport athlete and earned All-American honors with the lacrosse program having captured the 1986 national championship.
The New York Fight will be led by Hofstra University’s Shannon Smith. Smith, a three-time first-team All-American out of Northwestern University, helped guide the Wildcats to three national championships and captured the Tewaaraton Trophy in 2011. Last spring marked Smith’s fifth season at the helm of the Pride, as Hofstra finished 8-8. Under Smith, the Pride have made three CAA Tournament appearances. Smith served as the UWLX’s Long Island Sound head coach in 2016, leading them to the league’s inaugural championship.
The Philadelphia Fire will be led by the Naval Academy’s Cindy Timchal. Arguably the most decorated coach in the history of the game, Timchal is coming off her tenth season at the helm of the Midshipmen (18-5) – a team that made a remarkable run to the NCAA semifinals for the first time in program history, and picked up a Patriot League championship along the way.
Through 35 seasons as a head coach, Timchal is the NCAA’s Division I leader in career wins (491). Timchal began her coaching career at Northwestern, where in the span of nine seasons she led the Wildcats to five NCAA Tournament appearances. In 1991, Timchal made the move to College Park where she led the University of Maryland to eight national championships. Her seven consecutive NCAA championships (1995-2001) are tied for seventh most in any sport in NCAA Division I history. Guiding All-Americans the likes of Jen Adams, Kelly Amonte Hiller, Cathy Reese to greatness in the sport, Timchal is the only coach in NCAA history to lead three different teams to the NCAA Tournament.
Lastly, the Upstate Pride will be led by Wagner’s Katie Rowan. Rowan, a three-time first-team All-American out of Syracuse, became the Orange’s first Tewaaraton Finalist in 2009 and captured back-to-back world championships with the U.S. women’s national team in 2009 and 2013. Rowan is Syracuse’s (396) and Team USA’s (67) all-time leader in points. In her first year at the helm of Wagner in 2016, Rowan led the Seahawks to their first NEC Tournament championship and NCAA berth – marking Rowan’s 10th consecutive season being a part of the NCAA Tournament as either a player or a coach. Prior to Wagner, Rowan served as an assistant coach at Syracuse (2010, 2013-15) and Albany (2011-12).
“The WPLL is proud to have such an accomplished, talented and passionate group of coaches who value the growth and development of our game and players,” says DeJuliis. “As the excitement builds around this league our goal is to provide great leadership and mentoring to our current and next generation of players that will experience the WPLL programming and its mission. These coaches are dedicated to this mission and excited to get to work.”