October 21, 2010

Poll: LM's Women's Lax Coach of Year

by Paul Ohanian | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

2010 Awards: Coach (M) | Coach (W) | Upset | Performance (M) | Performance (W)| Player (M) | Player (W) | Game | Comeback

Thank you for voting. This poll has closed. Check out the fans' and LM's picks in the December issue.

On first glance, it seems pretty easy to identify the most deserving candidates for this award. Find the teams that won championships and nominate those coaches. After all, if the team hoisted a trophy, the coach must have done something right, right?

But is it more impressive to lead a prohibitive favorite to a presumed title, or to guide an unexpected underdog to the top? And how worthy is a coach who turns around a moribund program? Or a coach who helps his or her team overcome some extreme hardship, even if it doesn't end with a championship? All food for thought as we consider some of 2010's top candidates.

Lacrosse Magazine will run its year-end superlatives in the December issue, but do you have a preference? Vote in our fan poll (at right) or leave a comment (below) to join the conversation.

Diane Chapman, Garden City (N.Y.)
Chapman led her team to its fifth straight state championship while finishing with a 21-0 record and No. 2 spot in Lacrosse Magazine's 2010 final ranking. Chapman's Trojans have an incredible 118-8 record over the past six seasons, including four seasons of 20 or more wins during their championship run.

Jim Nestor, Salisbury
After three national runner-up finishes in the previous five seasons, Nestor's team finally broke through in 2010, winning its first NCAA Division III championship. Appearing in its fourth straight final four, Salisbury raised the trophy following a 7-6 victory over Hamilton in the final. The Sea Gulls finished 21-1 overall, and they have a 157-20 record with eight NCAA tournament appearances and eight conference titles in Nestor's nine seasons at his alma mater.

Cathy Reese, Maryland
In her fourth year at her alma mater, Reese did something many observers were starting to think might never happen: she ended Northwestern's dynasty. Despite trailing 6-0 early in the national championship game against the five-time defending champ, Reese found a way to keep her players loose and guided them to a 13-11 victory to secure Maryland's first NCAA title since 2001. The Terps finished 22-1 overall, while Reese pushed her four-year UM record to 78-9.

Joe Spallina, Adelphi
Spallina became the first coach in NCAA Division II history to capture back-to-back national titles, as the Panthers blitzed West Chester in the championship game, 17-7. AU finished with a 19-1 record in 2010, and has compiled a 51-2 mark over the past three seasons under Spallina. He has also guided Adelphi to three straight final four appearances. His 2010 team swept the Northeast-10 Conference postseason awards, including Coach of the Year, and ranked first in five NCAA statistical categories.

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