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Followup: Remembering Hall of Famer Margery ‘Marge’ Watson, 90, launched Ursinus program

Monday, 14th December 2020

Categories College, Girl's/Women's  
 

Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 12/14/20 – From US Lacrosse Press Release

Note: Hall of Famer Marge Watson passed away Dec. 5. A press release through Ursinus College was posted Saturday evening

Margery ‘Marge’ Watson, the legendary coach who launched the women’s lacrosse program at Ursinus (Pa.) College and was instrumental in the creation of the Philadelphia Colleges Women’s Lacrosse Association, passed away December 5 at the age of 90. 

In recognition of her significant contributions to the sport of lacrosse, Watson was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2014. She is also one of 11 IWLCA Trailblazers recognized around the walking path, Chris Sailer Trail, at US Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks, Md.

Under her leadership, Ursinus became a national power in women’s lacrosse, with seven undefeated seasons and runner-up finishes in both the 1979 USWLA National Tournament and the 1981 AIAW National Championship. Watson amassed a record of 199-19-9 as the coach from 1957-81, ranking second in NCAA women’s history with a career winning percentage of .896

Along the way, she developed many outstanding players, an accomplishment she joked about that during her Hall of Fame induction in 2014.

“I have a lot of former players, nine of them, that are in the Hall of Fame, so that means I’m a lot older than they are,” she quipped. “I appreciate being selected and I’m thankful.”

Chad Watson, one of Marge’s five children, served as her Hall of Fame presenter and noted one of the keys to his mother’s success – her ultra-competitive spirit.

“If you keep score, she wants to win,” Chad said. “We always had a very competitive environment in our household.”

Chad shared a story about his mother’s Ursinus team playing against West Chester one year, which was led in scoring by Marge’s daughter, Brooke.

“Mom double-teamed my sister and shut her off the entire game,” he said. “Ursinus won that game (10-1) and Brooke didn’t score any goals. I don’t know if that’s child abuse or not, but lacrosse is very special to our family.”

In addition to coaching, Watson was a pioneer in the women’s lacrosse camp business, starting the American Lacrosse Camp in St. Petersburg, Florida and piloting the family-run business for over four decades. 

Aside from lacrosse, Watson was also part of one of the most historic field hockey events in United States history. She served as an assistant coach on the team that won the bronze medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, the first Olympic medal ever won by the United States women’s field hockey team.

In total, Watson was a member of five halls of fame, and was the inaugural recipient of the IWLCA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. 

“Marge’s secret to success was that she understood people and cared about people,” said fellow Hall of Fame member Sue Stahl, who served as an assistant coach at Ursinus under Watson’s leadership for a decade. “She wanted you to be successful, and it wasn’t all about her. I think if you look at all great coaches, that’s a common thread.”

“I love the game,” Watson said during a 2017 interview. “I am lacrosse. It’s part of me, it’s part of my life. It’s what I am.”

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