Bowdoin College women’s lacrosse coach Liz Grote has been elected the new president of the International Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association, the IWLCA said Tuesday.
Five vacancies were contested in this election cycle, including two for executive committee positions and three for NCAA divisional representatives. All new board members will begin their three-year terms of service July 1.
“We’re very excited about our newly elected board members,” outgoing IWLCA president Kathy Taylor said. “Each has a strong track record of experience in the sport and service to our association that will serve them well in their roles. We are (in) unprecedented times and we will need strong leadership to help navigate the obstacles to come.”
Grote (Simsbury, Conn.) is currently in her 18th year as the head coach at Bowdoin. Over the course of her tenure, she has won more than 65 percent of her games and led the Polar Bears to two NESCAC championship games and five NCAA Division 3 tournaments.
A 1994 graduate of the University of Vermont, she guided Bowdoin to the most wins in school history (18) in 2011, the program’s first trip to the Division 3 final four and national runner-up finish.
The IWLCA is a membership-led, non-profit, professional association representing the nation’s intercollegiate women’s lacrosse coaches within Division 1, 2 and 3 of the NCAA and NAIA. Currently there are over 550 institutional members and over 1,200 coaches.
“I am honored, humbled and look forward to serving all of our member coaches as the IWLCA president,” said Grote. “I am passionate about coaching women’s lacrosse and even more so about helping facilitate the personal growth of our coaches.
“I want to make sure we strive for excellence in everything we do, and to continue to grow our game while respecting the mission of our organization: ‘To cultivate the growth of and to promote excellence in intercollegiate women’s lacrosse.’ The vision of our organization is clear, and the role of our board is to make sure we empower our coaches through education while providing them resources and encouraging them to support each other.”
With four returning All-Americans this season — Kara Finnerty (Hopkinton, Mass.) and junior Eliza Denious (Wilton, Conn.) in the midfield, senior defender Caroline Maxwell (Boxborough, Mass.) and junior attack Katie Miller — the Polar Bears were poised to make a jump in the NESCAC after finishing 5-5, 6-4 and 5-5 in league play the last three seasons.
When the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Bowdoin was 3-1 (2-1 NESCAC). It was ranked No. 13 in the final IWLCA coaches poll.
Grote previously served the IWLCA as both secretary and as a Division 3 representative to the board. She is a member of the Division 3 All-American committee and serves as the chair of the Pilgrim region.
The other members of the executive committee are Ricky Fried of Georgetown (vice president), Kelly Gallagher of Tampa (secretary) and Melissa Lehman of Rutgers (treasurer).