Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/27/21 – From Press Release
Villanova University Vice President & Director of Athletics Mark Jackson Saturday night announced the hiring of Jill Batcheller (Archbishop Carroll) as the head coach of the Wildcats women’s lacrosse program.
Batcheller, who took Drexel to the NCAA tournament and a top-10 national ranking this year, was identified during a national search that attracted many highly qualified candidates and she is set to become the eighth head coach in program history. In hiring Batcheller the Wildcats move the program forward with an experienced collegiate coach with a proven track record of success.
She replaces Julie Young,who resigned in early June after leading the Villanova program for the past 10 seasons.
“Following a national search that included some of the top lacrosse coaches in the country, Jill kept surfacing to the top of our process,” said Jackson. “As an elite student-athlete at Syracuse and with two head coaching tenures at Bryant and Drexel that brought unprecedented success to those programs, Jill brings a depth of knowledge and experience that few could match.
“Her competitive spirit and familiarity with the lacrosse talent hot-bed here in Philadelphia and beyond will bring excitement and energy to our campus and community.”
“I am beyond excited to be named the head women’s lacrosse coach at Villanova University. I want to thank University President Father Peter Donohue, Athletic Director Mark Jackson, his staff for their trust and belief in me to lead this program,” said Batcheller. “Growing up two miles from campus, Villanova has always felt like home. I am so proud to have the opportunity to represent a university not only known for its competitive greatness, but also for its faith.
“I am looking forward to building off the program’s foundation to create an amazing student-athlete experience with a passion for championship success. I want to thank my family, especially my husband and kids, for their continued support to achieve my dreams. I would also like to thank Drexel University, especially Nick Gannon, assistant coaches, and team members for all of the memories over these last three seasons.”
Batcheller arrives at Villanova after spending the previous three seasons at Drexel where she led the Dragons to a 24-15 overall record. This past spring Batcheller guided the Dragons to a 13-3 overall mark, a berth in the CAA championship game, an at large bid to the NCAA Tournament and the program’s first-ever top-10 national ranking. This year marked Drexel’s first-ever appearance in both the conference title game and the NCAA Tournament.
For her efforts during the 2021 season Batcheller became the first Drexel women’s lacrosse coach to earn CAA Coach of the Year honors. She was also instrumental in helping Karson Harris garner CAA Player of the Year distinction and Zoe Bennett earn CAA Goalkeeper of the Year accolades. A total of nine dragons earned All-CAA honors for their on-field performances in 2021. In addition, Harris and Colleen Grady were named to the IWLCA All-American second and third teams becoming the first Drexel players to claim All-America honors in the same year.
Prior to her stint at Drexel, Batcheller spent six years as the head coach at Bryant University from 2013-18 where she led the Bulldogs to three NEC conference championships, five straight NEC regular season titles from 2014-18 and an overall record of 77-33 (.600).
She began her coaching career at Saint Joseph’s University as an assistant from 2008-09 before moving on to Brown University as the top assistant from 2010-12.
Batcheller – a high school All-American at Carroll in 2003 – is a 2007 graduate of Syracuse University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management and was a four-year starting midfielder for the Orange. She became the eighth player in school history to reach 100 career points, leading the program to its first Big East championship in 2007. Batcheller went on to receive a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Saint Joseph’s in 2009.