PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Lake Erie College Director of Athletics Griz Zimmermann officially introduced Jillian Howley as the school's new women's lacrosse coach on Thursday, August 4. Howley, an assistant lacrosse and field hockey coach at Bloomsburg University, becomes the second head coach in Storm history.
"Jillian impressed everyone on the search committee with her passion for lacrosse and her commitment to building a great program here at Lake Erie College," Zimmermann said. "Throughout her career as a player and as a coach, Jillian has been part of winning programs. She is clearly a rising star in the lacrosse community and we feel she'll be a great fit with our student-athletes, staff and the entire campus community."
In her only season at Bloomsburg, Howley helped the Huskies to a 10-7 overall record, a number-14 national ranking and quarterfinal appearance in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Tournament. The field hockey team went 19-3 and advanced to the NCAA Division II national semifinals.
"I am very grateful to Griz Zimmermann, President Michael T. Victor and everyone at Lake Erie College for the opportunity to be the head coach of this growing program," Howley said. "Storm lacrosse has had a strong start and I am looking forward to continuing moving the program forward. Plus, I was really attracted to the College and the relationships within the Athletic Department and throughout the campus community. I'm very excited to be here and honored with the opportunity."
Prior to coaching at Bloomsburg, Howley served as a graduate assistant coach with the lacrosse team at Mercyhurst College. During her time there, the Lakers posted a 16-2 mark and reached the quarterfinals of PSAC Tournament in 2010.
Howley was a four-year letter-winner in both lacrosse and field hockey at Robert Morris University. She played in all 66 games in her lacrosse career, making 61 starts, and is fifth on the school's all-time scoring list (72 goals, 89 points). Howley was a freshman during the Colonials' second year and helped the team post a winning record by her senior year. During her final year, she received the team's Colonial Award and was a team captain in field hockey.
"Having been part of a new program at Robert Morris, I understand the hard work that has gone into getting this team to the point it's at and the foundation that is already established here," Howley said. "It's a great opportunity to again be a part of something that is still young and new and start a new tradition of success."
A native of East Northport, N.Y., Howley has also worked as a coach with several girls lacrosse clubs in Pittsburgh and on Long Island.
A 2009 graduate of Robert Morris with a bachelor's degree in sport management, the Suffolk, N.Y. native is currently pursuing her MBA.
The 2012 season will be Lake Erie's third as a varsity program. The Storm is a member of the highly competitive East Coast Conference (ECC).
"There are definitely some powerhouse teams in the ECC," Howley noted. "There are tough matchups each week, but we'll work very hard as coaches and players to be competitive, both on and off the field."
Howley takes over for Laura Maness who resigned in June to accept the head coaching position at the University of Detroit-Mercy.