After wrapping up her fifth season in 2015 as the head coach of the University of Delaware women’s lacrosse program, Kateri Linville has led the Blue Hens to three consecutive winning seasons while guiding her alma mater to 44 victories and a 51.8 winning percentage to date.
This past season, Linville and the Hens continued their recent successes as Delaware made its second straight appearance in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament while posting the most wins (11) since the 2008 campaign.
The Blue Hens kicked off 2015 with fireworks by defeating No. 16 Georgetown, 17-5, in the opener before exploding for a 22-2 victory at Lafayette. Delaware also defeated No. 11 Princeton, 12-10, on the road to collect two wins over nationally ranked opponents for the first time since 2005. The Hens received their own votes on the IWLCA Division I Weekly Poll throughout the majority of the season and were ranked as high as No. 19 in mid-March.
Delaware continues to improve statistically under Linville’s tutelage as the Hens finished fourth in NCAA Division I rankings with a scoring defense of 7.0 while placing 16th with 9.57 caused turnovers and 19th with a 3.89 scoring margin. The Blue Hens offense posted 264 points in back-to-back years, the most since 2008.
The 2015 squad was led by senior standout Caitlin McCartney, who was named the recipient of the University of Delaware Most Outstanding Female Athlete Award. The honor marked the first time since 1998 that a women’s lacrosse player was recognized for the award. McCartney joined junior Casey Lyons for the second straight season by leading the Hens with a combined 77 goals and 31 assists for 108 points.
The pair, alongside junior Erin Wein, was also IWLCA All-Region and All-CAA First Team selections in back-to-back seasons. The CAA also honored sophomore Jamie Schwartz, freshman Becky Gohsler and junior Elyse Andrews as Second Team, All-Rookie Team and All-Academic Team awardees, respectively. McCartney, Kierstan Smith and Alex Zaugra represented Delaware during the 2015 IWLCA North-South Senior All-Star game.
Off of the field, Andrews set an example for her fellow Blue Hens by receiving the IWLCA Community Service Award while being named a Yeardley Love Reynolds One Love Foundation Unsung Hero Finalist. As a team, Delaware recorded more than 900 community service hours and raised more than $9,000 for non-profit organizations.
During the 2014 campaign, Linville and the Hens returned to the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament for the first time in five years following a season where UD went 10-7 overall and 3-2 in conference action.
The Blue Hens opened the season with their best start since the 2007 and 2008 campaigns with a 7-3 record. Additionally, Delaware posted a six-game winning streak, a feat that had not occurred since Linville was a freshman on the 2000 squad that began the year with eight straight victories. The Hens also posted an impressive nine-game winning streak at Delaware Stadium from March 31, 2013 to April 11, 2014.
Delaware’s offense continued to rise under Linville by posting 187 goals and 77 assists for 264 total points, the most by the Blue Hens since 2008. Defensively, UD placed 20th in the NCAA Division I rankings with 9.29 caused turnovers per game, 24th a scoring defense of 8.76, and 30th with a scoring margin of 2.24.
The offensive was strong thanks in part to McCartney and Lyons, who combined for 75 goals and 31 assists for 106 points. Joined by Wein, the duo earned All-CAA First Team and IWLCA Regional All-American honors. The CAA also recognized Lizzie Duffey (All-CAA Second Team), Kirsten Hale (All-Rookie Team) and Andrews (All-Academic Team) during the post-season banquet while Alex Alois and Tori Zorovich represented Delaware during the 2014 IWLCA North-South Senior All-Star game.
In 2013, Delaware completed its most successful season in recent years after finishing with a 10-6 record including three wins over NCAA Tournament teams. Additionally, the team posted a 4-3 mark in league play resulting in a three-way tie for third and fourth place in the CAA and missed a bid to the conference tournament based on secondary criteria.
Linville guided the 2013 Hens to their most significant victory in over a decade on March 13 as Delaware defeated No. 11 Loyola, 10-9. The win was the first for UD over a ranked opponent since 2009 and against the highest ranked opponent since 2000.
The Blue Hens also picked up a win over Denver at Delaware Stadium, a squad that finished 18-3 overall, 8-1 on the road and with an overall ranking of No. 13 following a NCAA Tournament victory in 2013.
Linville’s coaching philosophy includes the belief that to be the best, you have to play and beat the best. Following this philosophy, Delaware is getting better on the field by competing against some of the best competition in the country including powerhouses Denver, Duke, Georgetown, Loyola, Penn, Princeton and the 2013 national champion, University of North Carolina.
Linville believes developing players on and off the field is critical to building a championship program and to attracting and committing talent.
To date, she and her staff have demonstrated a positive trend in player development and academic success as well as recruiting talent to play for the Blue Hens.
In Linville’s first five seasons, Delaware has garnered four All-Region players (Angela Biciocchi, Casey Lyons, Caitlin McCartney and Erin Wein), 17 All-Conference players (Biciocchi, McCartney, Lyons, Kalyn McDonough, Shannon Burns, Julianna Jeffers, Morgan Leonard, Allison Hahn, Bridget Burns, Alex Alois, Kara Dattellas, Erin Wein, Elyse Andrews, Lizzie Duffey, Kirsten Hale, Becky Gohsler, Jamie Schwartz), one CAA Rookie of the Year (McCartney), who was also named the 2013 CAA Break Out Player of the Year, and one CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year (McDonough). Furthermore, Andrews (2014, 2015) and Alex Zaugra (2013) were named finalists for the Yeardley Reynolds Love Unsung Hero Award.
Linville continues to add to the program’s momentum as she has signed 42 highly talented recruits and transfers from as far North as Canada and as far south as North Carolina.
Off the field, Linville helped guide the team to a 3.3 team grade point average, which is the best in program history. When the Hens were not on the field or hitting the books, they were out in the community.
Under Linville, Delaware women’s lacrosse became the first athletic team to adopt a B+ Hero in Abby Supplee. Abby is a 13-year-old who is in remission after battling leukemia. The Hens have made Abby an honorary team member, which includes having her own locker. Together, the Blue Hens and Abby participated in UDANCE, the largest student-run philanthropic project at Delaware, which helps raise money and awareness for childhood cancer.
In total, Delaware women’s lacrosse has dedicated nearly 2000 hours to service efforts and has raised more than $15,000 to support the B+ Foundation, A.I. DuPont Hospital/Pediatric Cancer, Special Olympics, Delaware Humane Association, Alzheimer’s Association and One Love Foundation. Additionally, the team volunteers with incoming freshmen, technology dependency, food bank, Habitat for Humanity and other community organization.
Linville is also working diligently to serve her team and fellow alumni. In 2011, she established an Alumni Board in order to connect the past and present. The board has helped to create an alumni mentoring program and varsity online store. As a result, many alumni have reconnected with the program, promoted Delaware lacrosse by sporting their varsity gear and give back to the program and the current team members. Additionally, the team sends out a seasonal newsletter and holds a networking event through its annual spring alumnae and friends reception. With this added engagement, there has been a 298 percent increase in giving to the program while the team hosted its largest alumnae and friends event to date in 2015.
A native of Moorestown, N.J., Linville graduated with honors from Delaware in 2003 with a degree in health and exercise science. Additionally, she earned her master’s of education degree in sport and exercise psychology from the University of Virginia in 2007.
While at Delaware, Linville was noted as a tireless worker and intelligent player who was a three-year letter winner at midfield for head coach Denise Wescott. She was a freshman in 2000 when the Hens advanced to the NCAA Tournament and was a member of squads that finished as the America East Conference runners-up in both 2000 and 2001. Linville served as the team's co-captain in 2003, and was honored on the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association national Academic Honor Roll.
Linville returned to Delaware in 2010 with seven years of coaching experience at the high school, international and NCAA Division I levels. She most recently completed a five-year tenure as an assistant coach at Notre Dame under head coach Tracy Coyne.
While at Notre Dame, Linville helped lead the Irish to four straight Big East Conference Tournaments and three straight - four total - NCAA Tournament appearances while working closely with the defensive unit. Notre Dame advanced to the NCAA semifinals during the 2006 season, earning a No. 7 national ranking, and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals during the 2009 campaign when the Irish claimed their first ever Big East conference title and were ranked as high as No. 6 nationally by the IWLCA.
Known for her ability to build teams and develop individual talent, Linville is credited with developing the Irish’s first two defensive players to be named first team IWLCA All-American in back-to-back years, Shannon Burke in 2009, and Jackie Doherty in 2010. In her five seasons at Notre Dame, eight players received post-season honors.
As the recruiting coordinator at Notre Dame, Linville helped to sign some of the top talent in the nation in the 2009 and 2010 classes. The 2009 class had a pair named to Inside Lacrosse Top 25 Rising Freshmen in Jenny Granger and Betsy Mastropieri while the 2010 Top 10 Young Guns Rising Seniors included this year’s Break Out Player in the Big East, Margaret Smith.
In addition to her role at Notre Dame, Linville served as an assistant coach for the Canadian Lacrosse Association Under 19 National Team from 2009 to 2011 when the squad won a bronze medal at the Federation of International Lacrosse in Hanover, Germany.
Linville gained her first coaching experience in the summer of 2002 when she served as a camp director and clinician for the German Club Lacrosse team and then served as a volunteer coach at her high school alma mater, Moorestown (N.J.) High School in 2003. The team earned a state title and No. 2 spot in the national high school rankings.
Linville joined the collegiate coaching ranks at the University of Virginia in 2003-04 where she served for two seasons as a volunteer assistant for the Cavaliers under head coach Julie Myers while earning her master's degree. During her two years on the staff at Virginia, the Cavaliers claimed an ACC and NCAA Championship in 2004 and returned to the national title game in 2005.
In 2011, Linville established Around the World Lacrosse, LLC, which runs the Delaware Exposure Camp, a high school showcase camp held annually at the University to help grow the game of lacrosse in the state of Delaware.
She served as a NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse regional advisory committee member and IWLCA Regional All-American committee member from 2011-14. Linville has also served U.S. Lacrosse as a developer and editor of the Coaches Education Program, a co-author for “Go to Drills: Developing the Complete Lacrosse Player and Building a Winning Women’s Lacrosse Team,” and was a speaker at the U. S. Lacrosse National Conference in 2007, 2009 and 2011.
Linville is one of six University of Delaware alumni to currently serve as a Blue Hen head coach joining Chris Hincker (men’s tennis), Scott Grzenda (women's soccer), Mike Keogh (golf), Jim Sherman (baseball) and Laura Travis (women's tennis).