In June, Clemson announced it would add women’s lacrosse to its list of athletics, and it made known the program’s first-ever head coach on Monday: Allison Kwolek.
“Clemson offers the unique opportunity to build a program from the ground up and implement my vision and culture from day one,” Allison Kwolek said in a release. “The ACC in the pinnacle of college lacrosse, and it is a tremendous opportunity to begin a program at a school so committed to the success of the student-athlete. The commitment was everywhere I looked on my visit to campus and I am excited to start building the program immediately.”
Clemson lacrosse is expected to begin play in the spring of 2023.
The Tigers will begin their foray into lacrosse with the former Richmond women’s lacrosse head coach, who led the Spiders since 2013. During her tenure in Richmond, Allison Kwolek compiled a 64-16 (.800) record and 27-5 conference mark, plus two conference tournament titles and two regular season conference championships in the last five seasons. Under Kwolek, the Spiders played in two of the last three NCAA Tournaments, excluding the 2020 season in which the team was 7-0 with a win over No. 6 Virginia before COVID-19 ended the campaign early.
“Obviously, I really enjoyed my time at Richmond and appreciate the opportunity to coach there,” Allison Kwolek told John O’Connor of The Richmond Times-Dispatch. “I’m really proud of where the program is and the direction it’s heading in. This opportunity when it came around, obviously to build a program in the ACC, compete at the highest level, was just incredible. It was the right time for my family and I. So thankful that I’m in this position to build a program.”
Allison Kwolek played college lacrosse at William & Mary in the early 2000s, helping led the Tribe to the 2001 NCAA Tournament. She is one of the best lacrosse players in program history and was induced into the William & Mary Hall of Fame in 2020.
After her playing days, Kwolek began a coaching career in 2008 by returning to William & Mary as an assistant, aiding in the Tribe’s top-20 ranking and CAA regular-season title in 2009. She also had assistant coaching stops at Columbia, where she earned a master’s in sports management in 2012, and Dartmouth, where she helped the program to the 2012 Ivy League crown and two NCAA Tournament berths.
In 2016, Allison Kwolek also took an assistant coaching position with the Boston Storm of the United Women’s Lacrosse League. The Storm reached the league’s championship game that season.
“We are delighted to welcome Allison and her family to Clemson,” Clemson Athletic Director Dan Radakovich said in a statement. “Allison brings tremendous knowledge of the game, and proved to be a great fit as we looked to identify our first head coach. The response from the community has been overwhelming for Clemson women’s lacrosse, and we’ll lean on Allison’s expertise and vision to build this program the right way.”
Clemson will become the ninth women’s lacrosse program in the ACC when it begins play, joining Boston College, Duke, Louisville, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Virginia, and Virginia Tech in the league.
Now for the other lacrosse news from the week of July 27-Aug. 2, 2021.
Last Week in Lacrosse
John Zulberti, a two-time NCAA champion in 1988 and 1989 and winner of the Lt. Col. Jack Turnbull Award at Syracuse, died Monday. He was 54.
Ryan Powell was named Christian Brothers Academy boy’s lacrosse head coach, taking over for Ric Beardsley, who stepped down in the middle of last season.
Chris Hogan is heading back to the NFL. He agreed to a deal with the New Orleans Saints to fill the hole left by Michael Thomas’s June ankle surgery, ending Hogan’s short time in the PLL.
The NLL and Tewaaraton Lacrosse League have partnered to host a player showcase, attended by NLL coaches, GMs, and scouts, ahead of the 2021 NLL Entry Draft.
Box lacrosse returned to Ontario after a long pandemic-induced hiatus. Both the Ontario Junior A Lacrosse League and Major Series Lacrosse launched their seasons over the weekend, a welcome sight for box lacrosse lovers everywhere but especially in the province.
Most of the PLL has locked up their playoff spots at this point, with only the final berth up for grabs. Cannons and Chrome will play next weekend, with the winner staying alive and the loser starting its offseason early.
Last week, a deadly car crash on Long Island resulted in five deaths and one in critical condition, with four lacrosse players included in the causalities. Farhan Zahid, 32, of Bay Shore, was the driver of the Uber that was hit head-on in the crash and died. Zahid’s wife set up a GoFundMe to help her family deal with the loss of the father of three. More than $400,000 has already been raised for the Zahid family.
Get Caught Up on LAS Content
Miss out on what we did last week? Here’s a recap of some of our top content from the last seven days.
Five Things a Lacrosse Recruit Should Know
Check out these five things long-time coach Ryan Kuhn says all lacrosse recruits should know.
Hopkins Throws Down Gauntlet Schedule for 2022
Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse threw down an absolute gauntlet of a non-conference schedule for 2022, and it was one of the main topics of conversation for the Going Offsides podcast.
Building the Ultimate Midfielder
Using current PLL players only, Nick Zoroya put together the ultimate lacrosse midfielder, pulling different traits from various players to build this superhuman middie.
Building Leadership From Within a Lacrosse Team
How do you build leadership from within a lacrosse team? Ryan Kuhn explains how he’s done it in the teams he’s coached.
How to Convince Your Friends to Play Lacrosse
Ever try to introduce someone to lacrosse but they were too stubborn to give it a chance? Try using these reasons next time, and you’ll surely be successful.
Why Jeff Teat Is Making His Case for PLL MVP
Josh Russell explains how and why Jeff Teat is making a serious case for PLL MVP in his rookie season.