By Chris Goldberg
and from Press Release
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 12/2/15
Michele DeJuliiss, owner and founder of Ultimate Goal Lacrosse and Hall of Famer, has been named the first commissioner of the United Women’s Lacrosse League (UWLX).
The UWLX will be the first semi-professional post-collegiate women’s lacrosse league in the U.S. DeJuliis, a Penn State grad and U19 National assistant coach who formerly starred for the US National Team, will oversee a league that will have teams in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston and Long Island and will begin play in May.
A 2013 U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame inductee, DeJuliis continues to contribute to the growth and development of women’s lacrosse at all levels. As a four-time All-American and NCAA championship tournament competitor at Penn State University; two-time US national team assistant coach and a successful business woman committed to elevating the sport, DeJuliis brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role.
“I am honored to be named the leader of professional lacrosse in its inaugural season and very excited for all that lies ahead within the role,” said DeJuliis. “I want to thank Digit Murphy and Aronda Kirby (UWLC executives) for creating this amazing opportunity for women in our sport and for trusting me to help shape the future of the league. This is a great opportunity for enormous growth and visibility in our sport and I’m deeply committed to the journey ahead.”
DeJuliis was thrilled that women now have the chance to play at the highest level after graduating college.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for the sport and for its growth and visibility,” she said in an interview with Phillylacrosse.com. “It’s an amazing opportunity for women to play the next level of play.
“Obviously, we have the US team level and I’m hoping we have a good amount of players from the US team playing in the league. But now the top players from the college programs have somewhere to go and compete and play continuously.
“I know that I would have been thrilled to play in a league like this after graduating. Some of my colleagues are jealous but it’s about giving women the opportunity to compete at the professional level. They will get to represent a city and hekp grow the game.”
DeJuliis said the four teams will begin the process of drafting players in January and the rosters will probably be announced in April.
“There will be an open draft starting in January and it will continue until March,” she said. “When the draft closes we will announce the teams. And we’ll be looking at resumes and doing interviews for GM’s and coaches in Mid-December.
“We’ll release all of that before the beginning of January.”
DeJuliis said that the teams will have a 2-month season. The four franchises are located in four major hotbeds and she expects the teams to connect with the fan base to help build interest in the league.
“We are looking to gain new fans and really put the game out there for those that are not aware,” she said. “We can create some excitement for the sport within local regions. It will be exciting for women to be drafted.
“We want to create a buzz in each of the cities. The players will be great role models in their cities for younger players to look up to and learn from.”
Through its strategic partnerships with the Play It Forward Sport Foundation and STX, UWLX is dedicated to growing leadership opportunities for women in sports.
“This initiative creates more than 100 opportunities for women to work in pro sports and the UWLX is honored to have someone with Michele’s experience and commitment to the sport of women’s lacrosse on board as its first commissioner,” said Digit Murphy, CEO of UWLX. “We’re confident she will be an integral part of the success of our first season and of many to come.”