Tracy Coyne coached the Notre Dame women's lacrosse team for 15 seasons, leading the Fighting Irish to a 147-98 (.600) record including six NCAA tournament berths and a spot in the 2006 national semifinals.

Tracy Coyne Will Not Return As Fighting Irish Women's Lacrosse Coach

June 6, 2011

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Tracy Coyne will not return as University of Notre Dame women’s lacrosse head coach after 15 seasons directing the Fighting Irish.

Notre Dame vice president and director of athletics Jack Swarbrick announced today that Coyne’s contract would not be renewed.

The only coach in the team’s Division I history (1997-2011), Coyne oversaw the Notre Dame program as it made the jump from a club team, advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 2006 and claimed a BIG EAST Championships crown in 2009. Her Irish squads earned NCAA Championships invitations six times in the last 10 years, including three straight appearances from 2008 to 2010.

“We appreciate all that Tracy has done to put Notre Dame women’s lacrosse on the map. She and her staff and players put the bricks in place in building the foundation for the program, and we thank her for those efforts,” said Swarbrick. “We now will turn our attention to identifying a successor who can help take the program to the next level.”

Since 2006 when the team became fully funded, Coyne’s teams put together a 75-38 record (.664), and her 15-season mark with the Irish was 147-98 (.600). In that span, the Irish have appeared in all five BIG EAST Championships, advancing to the title game two of the last three seasons.

In 2006, she helped the Irish engineer the biggest turnaround in NCAA women’s lacrosse history, going from a 3-12 record in 2005 to 15-4 in ’06 – highlighted by NCAA wins over 10th-ranked Cornell and fourth-rated Georgetown. A 10-9 mark in 2011 included a runner-up finish in the BIG EAST Championships. In 24 seasons as a head coach, her lacrosse teams have a combined 261-124 record (.678) and won 10-plus games in 18 of those seasons. Her 261 career wins rank her ninth all-time among NCAA women’s lacrosse coaches and eighth among active coaches.

Coyne earned BIG EAST Coach-of-the-Year accolades in 2004, 2006 and 2008 — and the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association named her the national coach of the year in 2006. Her ’04 squad achieved a program-best number-two national ranking. Coyne developed Irish first-team IWLCA All-Americans Jackie Doherty in 2010 and 2011, Jillian Byers in 2009, Shannon Burke in 2009, Caitlin McKinney in 2008, Crysti Foote in 2006 and Meredith Simon in 2004 — among 14 Irish players who received All-America honors a combined 23 times. Foote was the IWLCA national attack player of the year in 2006, while Byers is currently the 10th all-time leading scorer (fourth among goal-scorers) in NCAA history.

During her 15 seasons at Notre Dame, Coyne developed two Tewaaraton Trophy finalists (Byers in 2009 and Foote in 2006) while having six players named to the annual watch list since 2004. Coyne coached three BIG EAST attack players of the year (Byers in 2009, Foote in 2006 and Simon in 2004) and three BIG EAST midfielders of the year (McKinney in 2008, Abby Owen in 2004 and Danielle Shearer in 2002).

Nine of Coyne’s former players are now involved in coaching at the high school and Division I level, including Meredith Simon (Black) who was named the first head coach of Marquette University’s new program that will begin this fall.

An active participant in all aspects of women’s college lacrosse, Coyne has served as chairman of the IWLCA All-American Committee as well as the NCAA West/Midwest Regional Advisory Committee and as Division I representative to the IWLCA Board of Directors. She also was chairman of the Brine Division III national coaches poll and the Division III All-American Committee.

Hired at Notre Dame in July 1996, the Pittsburgh, Pa., native also spent seven years (1999-05) as the head coach of the Canadian women’s lacrosse team, guiding Canada to fourth-place finishes in the World Cup in 2001 and 2005. Coyne served as an assistant coach for the United States women’s lacrosse team in 1992 and has been a selector for that squad on three occasions.

Prior to coming to Notre Dame, Coyne spent seven years as head coach at Roanoke College (1990-96) and two seasons at Denison College (1988-89).

At Roanoke, Coyne served as head coach of both the women’s lacrosse and field hockey teams, compiling a 91-21 record (.813) in lacrosse. She led squads to the NCAA Division III Championships five times, with her 1992 and 1990 teams earning appearances in the national semifinals. Under Coyne, the 1990 Division III Coach of the Year, the Maroons won five Old Dominion Athletic Conference championships. She claimed ODAC coach-of-the-year honors in 1990 and 1995.

In two seasons combined at Denison her lacrosse teams finished 23-5 and won back-to-back North Coast Athletic Conference titles. In her first season at Denison in `88, she guided the squad to a 13-3 mark and a berth in the NCAA Division III Championships. Her efforts earned her NCAC coach-of-the-year accolades.

A 1983 graduate of Ohio University, Coyne received her Bachelor of Science degree in organizational communications. A letter-winner in both lacrosse and field hockey, Coyne helped the lacrosse squad to the 1982 Midwest Regional championship as well as an eighth-place finish at the AIAW National Lacrosse Championships. In 1981, she led her field hockey team to a share of the Mid-American Conference title. Coyne then attended graduate school at St. Thomas University (Fla.), receiving a Master of Science degree in sports administration in May 1985. After graduating, Coyne was an administrative assistant in the University of Pittsburgh athletic department and an assistant lacrosse and field hockey coach at Sewickley Academy in Sewickley, Pa.

Tracy Coyne’s Head Coaching Record

  • At Denison (2 years, 1988-89): 23-5 (.821)/1 NCAA appearance/2 conference titles
  • At Roanoke (7 years, 1990-96): 91-21 (.813)/5 NCAA appearances/5 conference titles
  • At Notre Dame (15 years, 1997-2011): 147-98 (.600)/6 NCAA appearances/1 conference title
  • Totals: 261-124 (.678)/12 NCAA appearances/8 conference titles

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