23rd Year Overall
If excellence is a measure of accomplishment, her eight titles at Maryland speak volumes.
If excellence is a measure of character, the lives she touches and the student-athletes she molds represent an immeasurable impact on the people around her.
If excellence is a way to describe those who are admired by their athletes, revered by their peers, and respected by their community, then Maryland head women's lacrosse coach Cindy Timchal celebrates nothing less than 13 years of excellence at the University of Maryland.
When Timchal arrived in College Park, the Maryland women's lacrosse program stood at a 201-69-3 (a .736 winning percentage) all-time. Under Timchal's guidance, the Terps have taken what was already a strong program and elevated it to one that has since notched an astounding record of 221-26 (.895), turning Maryland into the winningest Division I women's lacrosse team ever. The Terps are now 422-95-3 (.814) in 30 years of lacrosse.
Beyond the numbers, though, Timchal has done her part to revolutionize the sport of women's lacrosse. In recent years, Timchal has brought some of the most influential names in lacrosse through College Park, including former assistant Gary Gait, and more recently, former Terp stars Cathy Nelson and Jen Adams. Nine years ago, she added another dimension to the learning process at Maryland as she brought aboard the wisdom of California-based spiritual advisor and author Dr. Jerry Lynch to enrich the minds of her student-athletes. That decision has complemented the already high level of physical training it takes to excel at the Division I level and is a trend that has caught on throughout the world of sports.
In only two seasons since her arrival has Timchal lost more than three games in any one season and included in the mix are the spectacular undefeated seasons of 1995 (17-0), 1996 (19-0), 1999 (21-0) and 2001 (23-0). She has taken her Terrapin teams to the NCAA finals in 11 of the past 14 years at one point winning an unprecedented seven-straight national titles.
In winning their seventh-straight national title under Timchal's watch in 2001, the Terps posted what currently stands as the third-longest championship streak in NCAA history. In addition, it puts Timchal in the company of coaching legends like UCLA's John Wooden who won seven straight titles with the UCLA men's basketball program from 1967-73.
While the 2001 season marked the start of her second decade of coaching at Maryland, Timchal's coaching career got its start at Northwestern in 1982. During her nine-year tenure with the Wildcats, she compiled a 76-40 record (.655) and took her team to five NCAA appearances. While at Northwestern, Timchal made it as far as the quarterfinals, earning appearances in the NCAA Tournament in 1984, '86, '87 and '88. In 1991, she came to the College Park to continue the already long-standing tradition of Terrapin lacrosse.
Prior to '91, the Terrapins' last title had come in 1986 under head coach Sue Tyler, but the Maryland dynasty began to re-emerge almost immediately under Timchal's guidance. Timchal's first year saw a 14-3 record and a trip to the NCAA finals. By 1992, the lacrosse world knew something big was about to happen at Maryland. Despite being at a place with a rich history in both men's and women's lacrosse, few could have predicted that a dynasty so powerful was on the horizon. With a 14-1 record, the Terrapins took the 1992 national title -- just the third time in Maryland school history.
The 1993 season would bring a heartbreaking 7-6 loss to the Princeton Tigers in the NCAA semifinals. The following year led to further frustration with the Tigers, as a 10-7 decision left the Terrapins just one win away from hoisting the trophy again. In 1995, however, Timchal and the Terps would turn the tables on the competition.
After the three-goal loss to Princeton in 1994, the Terps would go on to win 50 straight games. Timchal led the 1995 squad to a 17-0 run ending in a 13-5 defeat of Princeton for the NCAA title. Maryland would go undefeated again in 1996, finishing with a 19-0 record and a 10-5 decision over ACC rival Virginia to take home the hardware.
The 1997 season would begin with Timchal's squad wearing the label of back-to-back NCAA champions. A 21-1 record would see the Terps begin '98 as the three-time defending national champions, and come one goal short of putting together their third consecutive undefeated season.
The dynasty continued throughout the 1998 season despite an 0-2 start following losses to Duke and North Carolina. That season finished the same way as the previous three, however, with Timchal's Terrapins being crowned the NCAA champions once again, this time behind an 11-5 win over Virginia.
In 1999, the Terrapins were no less than the personification of a finely-tuned program from top to bottom. Timchal led Maryland to a 21-0 season and the team's fifth-straight title. The 2000 season saw Maryland stumble momentarily out of the gate with an overtime loss at North Carolina, but the "machine" could not be stopped as the Terps went on to win their final 20 en route to their sixth title in a row.
The 2001 season may have been Timchal's finest of all her seasons as a head coach. The Terrapins played one of -- if not the - toughest schedule in women's lacrosse and were every team's target as the one to beat. Despite the attention, the Terps again ran through the schedule without a blemish and ultimately beat Georgetown in a gut-wrenching title game to finish 23-0. The 23 wins are most ever by a team in a single season.
Now looking to start a new streak of championships, Timchal will enter 2004 with some of the most impressive coaching numbers already under her belt. Her .818 career winning percentage places her fifth on the list of all-time women's lacrosse coaches. She enters this season just three wins shy of 300 for her career and is the all-time winningest coach in women's lacrosse history.
Individually, her athletes have earned countless accolades and awards. Last season, Maryland had three first team All-Americans making it 19 in the last six years, as well as Midfielder of the Year Kelly Coppedge and Goalkeeper of the Year Alexis Venechanos. Current assistant Jen Adams set the all-time collegiate scoring mark while leading the NCAA in that category. Adams also became the first-ever winner of the Tewaaraton Trophy, which recognizes the top collegiate men's and women's player in the country. In 1996, Kelly Amonte became the Terps' first four-time All-American, including first-team honors in 1995 and 1996.
A total of 66 Terrapins have earned All-American recognition under Timchal including Amonte's four, (1993-96), and three each for Betsy Elder (1992-94), Sarah Forbes (1995-97), Laura Harmon (1993-95), Sascha Newmarch (1996-98) and Adams (1999-2001). Adams' third-consecutive selection as Player of the Year in 2000 marked the 10th time one of Timchal's players have earned National Player of the Year honors, including Amonte, who was named the 1996 NCAA Division I Most Valuable Player. Nationally, 15 of Timchal's players have played on the U.S. Developmental team and eight were members of the most recent championship World Cup team, a total that made up half of the 2001 team's roster.
Timchal not only produces champions on the field, but also in the classroom. Last season, Julie Shank was named Scholar Athlete of the Year. Adams was named GTE/CoSida Academic All-American of the Year (2000). In 1998, Newmarch earned GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-American. Elder was a two-time Academic All-American in 1993-94, while Theresa Ingram and Jamie Brodsky earned honors in 1994 and 1996, respectively.
As impressive as the honors under Timchal are, the most telling of all her accomplishments as a coach may be what has become of some of her former players. Timchal has created somewhat of a legacy of creating coaches indirectly through her coaching. Among the former players who have gone on to coach at the collegiate level are Kelly Amonte-Hiller (1996 grad; current head coach at Northwestern), Missy Holmes (1997 grad; current Towson head coach), Randall Goldsborough-Flynn (1996 grad; current head coach at Bucknell), Theresa Ingram (1994 grad; current coach at Brown), Kerstin Kimel (1993 grad; current head coach at Duke), Courtney Martinez-Conner (2001 grad; current Mount Saint Mary's head coach), Karen MacCrate (1996 grad; coach of 2001 NCAA D-II Champion C.W. Post), Cathy Nelson Reese (1998 grad; current Denver head coach), and Michelle Uhlfelder (1991 grad; current Stanford head coach). Timchal also mentored Dartmouth head coach Amy Patton at Unionville (Pa.) High School and has several former players serving as assistants at other schools including Quinn Carney (Stanford), Meg McNamara (Stony Brook), Alex Kahoe (Delaware) and Alexis Venechanos (Northwestern).
Timchal attended West Chester (Pa.) University where she lettered in lacrosse, tennis and track & field. Following her graduation, she became an assistant coach at Unionville (Pa.) High School where she coached field hockey, lacrosse and basketball. In 1979, she joined the collegiate ranks, becoming an assistant lacrosse and field hockey coach at the University of Pennsylvania.