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Former BU coach Robertshaw (Strath Haven) named Executive Director of IWLCA

Thursday, 7th November 2019

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Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/6/19
From Press Release

Former college and U.S. national team coach Liz Robertshaw (Strath Haven alum) has been named the third full-time Executive Director of the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association, as announced by the IWLCA Board of Directors on Wednesday.

Robertshaw follows the impressive 12-year tenure of Gothard Lane, who led the IWLCA through a remarkable period of growth for both the sport and the association. On January 1, 2020, Robertshaw will take over for Lane, who announced his retirement in August.

Liz Robertshaw

“Our Board was unanimous in receiving the recommendation of our Search Committee regarding Liz,” said Kathy Taylor, IWLCA President and head coach at Colgate University. “We asked our Committee to bring us the best leader for our Association at this point in time for the sport, and they did exactly that. Everyone knows how much Liz loves the game and how committed she is to supporting and advocating for our coaches. It is an exciting time for the IWLCA to begin another chapter of growth and outreach for women’s lacrosse.”

Robertshaw brings an extensive resume in the sport to the Executive Director role. She spent 20 years coaching at the Division I collegiate level, including a 15-year tenure at Boston University, appearing in five consecutive Patriot League championship weekends and earning six America East Championships.

Robertshaw’s teams competed in the NCAA Tournament six times, advancing to the Quarterfinals on two occasions. This NCAA Tournament experience will enable Robertshaw to focus on improving the atmosphere and enhancing the exposure of the sport, a goal of the IWLCA Board of Directors. Women’s Lacrosse Championship bids for 2023-26 are due early next year.

In addition to collegiate coaching, from 2009-2017, Robertshaw served as an assistant for the U.S. Women’s National Team, winning two consecutive Federation of International Lacrosse World Cup gold medals. Robertshaw has sat on the US Lacrosse Board of Directors for the past two years as the IWLCA representative and worked closely with the newly formed US Lacrosse National Team Development Program which launched this past summer.

This experience in the international lacrosse arena, and alongside US Lacrosse, has given Robertshaw a broader perspective on issues facing lacrosse and will serve as a foundation for the continued work to be done with the national governing body of the sport.

“I would like to thank the IWLCA Board of Directors for this amazing opportunity to serve an organization, and a membership, that means so much to me” Robertshaw said. “We are currently witnessing one of the most electrifying and expansive times in the game of women’s lacrosse.

“I’m excited about working with the Board, and the entire coaching body, to build upon this growth and position the IWLCA for a long and healthy future. Women’s lacrosse coaches are bright, passionate, and driven individuals who have the privilege to help shape young women across the country through sport. Our coaches’ association will strive to be the source of empowerment for every coach to achieve the highest levels of success and feel supported, and celebrated, along the way.”

Robertshaw has spent the past year on the forefront of the game, working with the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL) and in particular running its WPLL Futures program. Robertshaw has also enjoyed broadcasting and analyst stints with Lax Sports Network (LSN) and ESPN3.

Robertshaw has a long history of service to the IWLCA including terms as President, Treasurer, chair of the Division I All-American committee, and member of the NCAA Division I Legislation Committee. Robertshaw was an integral part of the effort to stem early recruiting and the passage of the NCAA Division I September 1, junior year recruiting contact start date.

Most recently, Robertshaw served as the Clinic Coordinator for the inaugural collaboration between the IWLCA and the One Love Foundation – Lax with Love, bringing top notch lacrosse instruction with powerful healthy relationship training to middle school and high school students in six locations across the country. 61 IWLCA college coaches took part in this one-day clinic that reached over 380 young women and their families, with all proceeds going to support the One Love Foundation.

As a student-athlete at George Mason University, Robertshaw earned All-American honors in both her junior and senior year, a historic first for the George Mason women’s lacrosse program. During her playing career, Robertshaw was a two-time captain, three-time all-conference selection, a member of the Colonial Athletic Association’s Silver Anniversary Team, and received the 1998 Aimee Willard Award given to the best collegiate player at the US Lacrosse National Tournament.

The process to identify Lane’s successor began in late-summer, and was keyed by a Search Committee comprised of the following:

Celine Cunningham, Senior Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women’s Administrator, Bates College, former head women’s lacrosse coach and administrator at Stevens Institute of Technology
Ricky Fried, Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach, Georgetown University (IWLCA Executive Committee)
M.K. Geratowski, Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach/Senior Women’s Administrator, Randolph-Macon College (IWLCA Board of Directors)
Chris Sailer, Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach, Princeton University, former IWLCA President
Scott Tucker, Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach, Limestone College (IWLCA Board of Directors)
Samantha Ekstrand, IWLCA Legal Counsel, served as the staff liaison for the search. The group was additionally assisted by Rick Chryst, Senior Vice President/Of Counsel, with Dietz Sports & Entertainment. Chryst, who oversees the College Division of Dietz Sports, has over 30 years of experience at the NCAA Division I level, including positions as Assistant Commissioner of both the Southwest Conference (1989-1992) and Atlantic Coast Conference (1992-99), as well as Commissioner of the Mid-American Conference (1999-2009).

The final candidate pool included current and former athletics directors and senior athletics administrators, conference commissioners, non-profit professionals, media executives, and lacrosse industry veterans.

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