June 4, 2010
Newark, Del. – The University of Delaware has turned to a familiar face to take over the reigns of the Blue Hen women’s lacrosse program.
Kateri Linville, a three-year letterwinner who played midfield for the Blue Hens in 2000-03 and most recently served as an assistant coach at Notre Dame, was introduced as the sixth head coach in Delaware’s 33-year history Thursday by UD Director of Athletics and Recreation Services Bernard Muir.
Linville, whose first name is pronounced “kate-ur-ree”, takes over for Kim Ciarrocca, who announced her retirement prior to the 2010 season and led the Blue Hens to a six-year record of 51-50, including a 2009 Colonial Athletic Association Tournament runner-up finish.
“We are excited to welcome back Kateri to her alma mater,” said Muir. “She is a rising star in the collegiate coaching ranks and played a key role in leading two of the nation’s premier Division I programs to national prominence. She was known as a hard worker and true team leader during her playing career with the Blue Hens and we know she will carry on those characteristics in leading our program to the next level.”
Delaware, which has captured three national titles (1981-82-83) and advanced to the national tournament seven times in school history, made four CAA Tournament appearances in the last five seasons. The Hens last won a conference title in 1999 and most recently advanced to the NCAA Tournament in Linville’s freshman year in 2000.
Linville, a native of Moorestown, N.J., graduated with honors from Delaware in 2003 with a degree in health and exercise science (fitness and exercise science major with a minor in coaching and psychology) and earned her master’s of education degree in sport and exercise psychology from the University of Virginia in 2007.
“It is an honor to return to Delaware to lead the Fightin’ Blue Hens women’s lacrosse program,” said Linville. “I am impressed with Mr. Muir’s vision for Delaware athletics and his commitment to the lacrosse programs. I look forward to elevating Delaware’s level of play to national prominence and to positioning the program to claim our first CAA championship.”
Linville returns to Delaware with nine years of coaching experience at the high school, international, and NCAA Division I levels, most recently completing a five-year tenure as assistant coach at Notre Dame under head coach Tracy Coyne.
While at Notre Dame, she helped lead the Irish to four straight Big East Conference Tournaments and three straight – four total – NCAA Tournament appearances while working closely with the defensive unit. This spring the Irish went 11-7, advancing to the NCAA Tournament before falling to defending national champion and eventual 2010 national runner-up Northwestern in the opening round.
Notre Dame advanced to the NCAA semifinals during the 2006 season, earning a No. 7 national ranking, and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals during the 2009 campaign when the Irish were ranked as high as No. 6 nationally by the IWLCA.
“We are so pleased that Kateri has been named as the new head coach at her alma mater, the University of Delaware,” said Coyne. “She has distinguished herself as one of the top young coaches in the game. Delaware has chosen the right person to bring its program back to national prominence. Kateri is enthusiastic, passionate, and committed to excellence. She will tap into these characteristics to inspire her players to compete at the highest level. We thank Kateri for all she has given to the Notre Dame program and wish her well. Under her leadership, I fully expect Delaware to win a CAA championship in the near future.”
Linville gained her first coaching experience in the summer of 2002 when she served as a camp director and clinician for the German Club Lacrosse team and then served as a volunteer coach at her high school alma mater, Moorestown (N.J.) High School in 2003, leading the team to a state title and No. 2 national high school rankings.
She joined the college coaching ranks at the University of Virginia in 2003-04 where she served for two seasons as a volunteer assistant for the national power Cavaliers under head coach Julie Myers while earning her master’s degree. During her two years on the staff at Virginia, the Cavaliers claimed an ACC and NCAA Championship in 2004 and returned to the national title game in 2005.
“Kateri is such a class act and I’m so happy and proud to see her have the opportunity to become a head coach,” said Myers. “She is conscientious, a great communicator, and a great coach. I know she has an amazing passion for the University of Delaware and that, combined with her experiences at Virginia and Notre Dame, make her an outstanding choice to lead their program.”
In addition to her role at Notre Dame, Linville assumed the position of assistant coach for the Canadian Lacrosse Association Under 19 National Team in 2009 and will lead the squad into the 2011 Federation of International Lacrosse in Hanover, Germany.
While at Delaware, Linville was noted as a tireless worker and intelligent player who was a three-year letter winner at midfield for head coach Denise Wescott. She was a freshman in 2000 when the Hens advanced to the NCAA Tournament and was a member of squads that finished as the America East Conference runners-up in both 2000 and 2001.
She played in 46 career games, served as the team’s co-captain as a senior in 2003, and was honored on the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association national Academic Honor Roll.