By Juliana Blatt
“My goodness!” That was the reaction of Meghan McNamara, the Women’s Lacrosse Coach after she received word that she would be honored in the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League Legends’ Celebration and Legends Game at US Lacrosse Headquarters in Sparks, Md.
It’s a deserving honor for someone who first picked up the game because “her sister needed someone to play with.”
From family games to being honored for winning four National Championships at the University of Maryland, leaving with an 83-4 record, McNamara truly took to lacrosse and has helped “a really, really, fun sport” grow.
As the head coach, McNamara has stats that NFL legendary coach Bill Belichick would envy. There have been 40 consecutive wins, back-to-back championships, three consecutive “Coach of the Year” honors, and something that even Belichick can’t match; a perfect season. (Interestingly, the Holy Cross college women’s lacrosse coach is Amanda Belichick, Bill’s daughter.)
For McNamara, coaching has changed from her college days, as McNamara puts a greater emphasis on running, but the values and concepts have remained the same. Beyond McNamara’s win-loss record, her players provide a more important recommendation.
To Alyssa Mallery, a sophomore on the team, “Coach McNamara is always there when you need her. She is a selfless woman who you can always go to for advice, whether it is for school, lacrosse or anything.” It should come as no surprise that if she wasn’t involved in the world of lacrosse, McNamara believes she might likely have been a teacher.
Coaching, McNamara said, is “crazy,” and she provided a long list of her duties that included long hours in the office, recruiting, preparing for practice, lifting, studying opponents, and making sure players are doing well academically. It is no surprise that one of her secrets to success is “preparation, it’s all about prep.”
For all her preparation, McNamara’s legendary designation caught her off-guard. “No, not in a million years, not ever in my lifetime I never thought I’d be considered that, so it is a fantastic honor. It is a surprise just to be amongst all these amazing coaches and women that really are true trailblazers for our sport. It’s neat, it’s really neat.”
The upcoming debut of the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League is built on a foundation established by trailblazers like Meghan McNamara.