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Lehigh names former Penn State All-American O’Donnell (Henderson) as assistant coach

Tuesday, 11th June 2019

Categories College, Girl's/Women's, Posted 6/11/19
From Press Release

Lehigh head women’s lacrosse coach Jill Redfern announced on Tuesday the hiring of former two-time All-American midfielder Katie O’Donnell (Henderson) as assistant coach.

Katie O’Donnell

The 2018 Big Ten Midfielder of the Year, O’Donnell helped Penn State reach the Final Four in back-to-back seasons (2016 and 2017). O’Donnell, the 2014 Co-Player of the Year, joins Redfern and associate head coach Sammy Cermack on the Mountain Hawks’ staff.

“Katie is a very exciting addition to our athletic department and we are thrilled she has chosen to join our staff,” said Redfern. “She has a standout reputation as a player, teammate and student-athlete. Coach Sammy and I are excited about the talents and experiences she will offer our women and our program.”

Named a captain as a junior and senior at Penn State, O’Donnell was an IWLCA first team All-American as a senior, the same year she won Big Ten Midfielder of the Year. O’Donnell ended her career fourth in program history for career goals (203) and sixth in points (227). As a senior, she had 61 goals, six assists, 36 groundballs, 27 draw controls and 21 caused turnovers.

O’Donnell was also named a first team All-Region and second team All-American honoree as a junior. That year, she posted 65 goals and six assists, along with 33 groundballs, 16 draw controls and 21 caused turnovers. O’Donnell went on to be selected fourth overall in the 2018 WPLL (Women’s Professional Lacrosse League) Draft by the New England Command. She is also currently a member of the United States National Team.

“I am very excited to join the Lehigh Lacrosse family and work with a tremendous group of coaches and student-athletes,” said O’Donnell. “Lehigh has always been a top contender in the Patriot League and I look forward to continuing the tradition of success and moving the program forward in a positive direction. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work within Lehigh Athletics and the chance to help develop and grow our women’s lacrosse student-athletes, on and off the field.”

O’Donnell has extensive leadership experience at Penn State as well, serving as an active member of the Athletic Director’s Leadership Institute 360 program, participating in monthly forums discussing leadership strategies among peers. O’Donnell was part of Spiritus Leoninus, a Penn State Student-Athlete Honor Society recognizing student-athletes that have demonstrated exceptional leadership ability, community service outreach and strong performance on the field and in the classroom. O’Donnell was also a member of the Douglas A. Anderson Chapter of Kappa Tau Alpha, a National Honor Society recognizing the top 10 percent of graduating students from the College of Communications.

“Katie will have a leading role in all individual player development,” said Redfern. “Her experience as a midfielder provides terrific flexibility for her to support all of our position groups. We expect Katie will also help generate excitement for Lehigh in the recruitment of future Mountain Hawks.”

Lehigh ended the 2018 season winning four of its last five games. Standing 0-5 in the Patriot League, the Mountain Hawks fought back to win four straight and qualify for their sixth straight Patriot League Tournament, capped off by a dominant 20-3 win over American in the regular season finale.

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