University of Maryland athletics announced on August 22 that Cathy Nelson Reese and Jen Adams will assume the duties of Head Coach and Associate Head Coach, respectively, for the women's lacrosse program. The tandem comes to the Terps from the University of Denver, which just completed its most successful season in program history.
"I'm honored and excited to return to my alma mater, a place with great women's lacrosse tradition, to serve as head coach," said Nelson Reese. "I want to thank (Athletic Director) Deborah (A. Yow) for her faith and confidence in myself and Jen to continue to lead the Terp program to national prominence. I look forward to working with the talented student-athletes, administration, and support staff and leading the program into the next chapter."
Reese served as the head coach of the Pioneers for three seasons and Adams has worked as the top assistant coach for two years. Denver had its best season ever in 2006, posting a 15-5 record and advancing to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) finals.
"Associate Athletic Director Randy Eaton and his committee have hired two exceptionally talented individuals, coaches of integrity, and character," said Yow. "They have an excellent work ethic and have a great passion for the University of Maryland and our Terrapin women's lacrosse program. They will hit the ground running."
Reese was tabbed the MPSF Coach of the Year and guided a pair of her student-athletes to conference accolades last season. Kristie Leggio was named the MPSF Player of the Year and also became the first Pioneer to earn regional first team All-America honors. In addition, Kelly O'Connell was named to the second team and Karen Morton garnered the MPSF Newcomer of the Year award.
Reese's and Adam's 2006 recruiting class is nationally regarded and features three All-Americans, including a pair from Colorado and one from Maryland.
Both Reese and Adams previously served as assistant coaches at Maryland before heading to Denver. Reese spent five seasons on the staff in College Park and helped guide the Terps to three national championships. Adams spent two years as an assistant coach at Maryland when the Terps reached the semifinals and quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
Reese and Adams also spent time in uniform at Maryland. Reese led the Terps to four national championships in her career from 1995-98. She was tabbed the 1998 NCAA Tournament Most Valuable Player. She ranks eighth on the Maryland career assists list with 77 and is 10th on the single-season assists ledger with 32 in 1997.
Adams was one of 12 collegiate student-athletes named to the NCAA Division I Women's Lacrosse 25th Anniversary Team earlier this year. She won four national championships and was a three-time All-America selection. Adams earned national player of the year three times, twice as the Honda National Lacrosse Player of the Year and once as the winner of the Tewaaraton Trophy in its inaugural year. Adams is the all-time NCAA record holder with 445 points and 178 assists. She also holds Maryland records in career goals (267), single-season goals (88), single-season assists (60), and single-season points (148). In the single-game record book, her 12 points against Johns Hopkins in 2001 is a Terps record.
"I couldn't be more excited to be given the opportunity to return to Maryland," said Adams. "It is an amazing opportunity to come back and work with the incredible student-athletes and staff, and to a place that I love and admire. I thank everyone at Maryland for this opportunity."
Reese and Adams have combined for seven national championships as student-athletes and seven years of coaching experience at Maryland, including three national titles.
"Cathy and Jen are considered to be the best up-and-coming coaching duo in women's lacrosse nationally," said Eaton. "We are delighted they will be returning home to the Terps with the goal of reestablishing women's lacrosse as the preeminent women's lacrosse program first in the ACC, and then the nation.