By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/5/10
Radnor’s Phyllis Kilgour has been selected as the Girls’ Team Coach of the Year for 2010 by Phillylacrosse.com.
Kilgour, who retired following the season, capped her 32-year career as head coach by guiding the Red Raiders to a 26-1 season and their second straight Pennsylvania Interscholastic
Athletic Association (PIAA) championship.
Radnor, which also won the District 1 crown and tied with two teams for the Central League title, finished with a National ranking of No. 3 by Lacrosse Magazine and No. 5 by MaxPreps and LaxPower.
Kilgour, who coached for 44 years at Radnor schools, led her Red Raiders to seven District 1 championships and 574 wins.
There was no doubt that Radnor had the talent to win another state crown this year. The team had six Division I recruits and returned all but three starters from a squad that went 25-1 and cruised to a 10-goal win in the state finals the year before.
One of the returnees was midfielder Kelyn Freedman, generally considered to be one of the top players in the nation and the MaxPreps National Player of the Year. Freedman and three others, midfielder Allie Martin, defender Alyssa Dunlap and goalie Annie Woehling were named All-Americans in 2010.
Clearly, Kilgour has had the luxury of a standout middle school and youth program to feed her talent. But coaches agree that her ability to teach and coach made her one of the most revered lacrosse minds in the state and beyond.
“She had a lot of great athletes come into high school, but what she does is make everyone work and make everyone have a good work ethic,” Freedman said. “She makes every practice meaningful.
“A lot of it was the legacy. All the players knew what they had to do. She knows the game. It has changed, but she knows it.”
Keith Broome, the coach at Springfield-Delco, has gone head-to-head against Kilgour for more than a decade for Central League and District 1 championships as well as state honors the past two years. He said that Kilgour’s team had the most skills from year to year and were respected by all coaches for their execution and teamwork.
“I coached against her for 13 or 14 years and every year Radnor was one of the top teams,” Broome said. “Their skill and stickwork is by far better than all the teams. She knows the game and she knows the players.
“When you sit and talk to her, you see she knows every good player in PA; their weakness and strengths. I was upset when I heard she had retired. We always had great games with them and they usually beat us – but they were always competitive. It was a good rivalry and there was never animosity.”
Kilgour leaves behind a legacy in Pennsylvania girls’ lacrosse that may never be matched. She won District 1 crowns in 1986, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2008 before the PIAA began to sanction a state tournament in 2009. Until then, the District 1 champions were considered my most to be state champions.
Radnor defeated Springfield-Delco, 14-7, for its second PIAA title in June. Kilgour’s teams went 75-2 the past three years and an incredible 231-24-1 since 2000. Dozens of her players have been All-Americans and gone on to excel at the college level and some eventually became college coaches.
Kilgour has done much more than just win games. She has served as Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association (PASLA) National Tournament Chair, PASLA Treasurer, PASLA League Representative, All-American Committee, and on the US U-19 Team selection committee. In addition, she has helped organized and coach the U-17 and U-19 teams from the area competing in the annual Vail Shootout in Colorado, all of which have represented Pennsylvania extremely well.
She was elected to the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2005. A graduate of J.P. McCaskey, Kilgour graduated from Indiana University and began playing lacrosse only after college. She began her coaching career at Radnor Middle School in the late 1960s.