JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A prominent figure in the Jacksonville and Northeast Florida lacrosse communities will continue to roam the sidelines as Jacksonville University women’s lacrosse head coach Mindy McCord has agreed to a five-year contract extension, as announced by JU Athletic Director Alex Ricker-Gilbert Wednesday afternoon.
“Five years ago I was excited to receive the first contract extension granted by President Tim Cost; five years later I am extremely fortunate to earn a second extension from a person I look up to as a leader and mentor,” stated McCord. “I’d like to thank Athletic Director Alex Ricker-Gilbert for his support and commitment to me and our program. When he stepped in to lead JU Athletics three years ago, it was evident he had a vision for the future and success of JU Lacrosse.”
“Coach Mindy McCord has had a hugely positive impact on this department for the last 10 years. Our women’s lacrosse program has served as a model within the department,” stated Ricker-Gilbert. “We graduate phenomenal student-athletes who go on to do great things in the community all while consistently winning championships on the field. Mindy has created a championship culture and I am thrilled to announce a new, long-term agreement for Coach McCord to continue to lead our program long into the future.”
Under McCord’s leadership, the Dolphins have been one of the most successful programs in school history, amassing seven regular season conference titles, six conference tournament crowns, and five bids to the NCAA Tournament during her nine-year tenure. The Dolphins hold 15 NCAA Annual Statistical records and have set the NCAA scoring record twice – first in 2012 and most recently in 2018.
One of the most prominent additions to the program during McCord’s tenure has been the fundraising, planning, and implementation of the 8,600-square-foot Jacksonville Lacrosse Center, or JLC – the only Division I lacrosse-only facility not shared with any other sport – completed this fall.
“Things have really come together over the past three years with men’s lacrosse head coach John Galloway and his steadfast commitment in helping to build the Jacksonville Lacrosse Center (JLC) and working together to grow the sport of lacrosse,” added McCord. “With all of these upgrades and the support of the JU community, including our commitment to service and academic achievement, we truly can say that JU is the best place to play lacrosse.”
One of the pillars of McCord’s success has been the dedication and commitment to academic and civic responsibility. For eight straight seasons, McCord’s squads have earned IWLCA Academic Honor Squad status, and in 2013 achieved the second highest team GPA in Division I women’s lacrosse. Along with their success in the classroom, the Dolphins routinely dedicate their time during the off season to community service and inclusion, teaming up with members of Team IMPACT and other charitable organizations.
“Being able to retain such a visionary as Coach Mindy McCord is instrumental in the success of the Jacksonville University women’s lacrosse program,” expressed Deputy Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator Lauren Cevis. “Her knowledge, passion, and dedication to not only the program, but also to the sport, are unparalleled. Coach McCord is a pleasure to work with both on and off the field, and I look forward the many successes that are ahead,”
With a penchant for bringing the Dolphins to national prominence, three of McCord’s players were drafted in the United Women’s Lacrosse League’s (UWLX) 2018 College Draft (Ashtyn Hiron ’18, Emily Poelma ’18, and Emily Barton ’18) – marking the first time in program history that a trio of Dolphins were selected in a professional draft. McCord’s protégées continued to break barriers as assistant coach and former JU standout Brittney Orashen ’14 made her professional debut with the Baltimore Ride of the UWLX in the summer of 2018.
“It’s hard to call what I do a job because I love it so much. I truly love mentoring and coaching the student-athletes in our lacrosse program and helping them to grow as a person during their time at JU. We’ve recruited some amazing players, students, and families,” added McCord. “My staff has been together now for over seven years. I’ve seen the program transform in all ways from when I started it 10 years ago, and I look forward to our continued progress and growth over the next 10 years.”
The Dolphins open the 10th season in program history at home on D.B. Milne Field when they square up against UC Davis on Friday, Feb. 15 at 3 p.m.