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Eastern University names Gillespie (Ocean City HS, Rowan) as women’s head coach

Thursday, 15th September 2022

Categories College, Girl's/Women's, Posted 9/15/22 – From Press Release

Eastern University Athletic Director Eric McNelley has announced that Mikala Gillespie will join the Eastern University Athletics staff as the Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach. She becomes the eighth head coach in the 32 year history of the program.

Gillespie comes to Eastern after successful stints as an assistant coach at Quincy University and the University of Scranton.

Originally from Ocean City, N.J., Gillespie was a standout student-athlete at Ocean City HS and Rowan University.  She served as a member of the Outstanding Women’s Leadership organization and finished her four-year career with 39 goals and 29 assists. Her point totals increased in each of her seasons and the Profs earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in 2018.

“Mikala rose to the top of our list almost instantly,” McNelley said. “In searching for candidates, she came with glowing recommendations from many different sources. In the interview process, it was easy to see her passion for leadership and lacrosse. With her enthusiastic personality and commitment to recruit, she will build our program into a team that competes with the top teams in the MAC Commonwealth.”

In her one season in Scranton, Gillespie helped the Royals to a 13-6 mark. All six Scranton losses came to teams ranked in the IWLCA top 20. The Royals reached the Landmark Conference final before falling in an 11-10 heartbreaker to No. 17 Catholic.

Her first coaching experience came in helping to start the program at Division II Quincy. The Hawks saw their inaugural season stopped short with the pandemic. While focusing on the attack, Gillespie helped the Hawks to produce a conference attacker of the week and to score over eight goals a game in that first year.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to lead the Women’s Lacrosse program here at Eastern and to take the program to new heights,” Gillespie said. “The support and passion shown by the athletic department and community create a special opportunity for this program to flourish. I want to thank Eric McNelley and the rest of the administration for their support in trusting me in this role. I am very grateful for this role and intend to lead with passion and energy. The future for Eastern Women’s Lacrosse is bright.”



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