William Smith College Director of Athletics Deb Steward has named Anne Phillips the head coach of the Heron lacrosse team. She is just the third coach to lead the William Smith lacrosse program.
“Together with our Heron lacrosse student-athletes and coaching staff who assisted with our interview process, we are excited to have Coach Phillips lead our lacrosse program. She is an outstanding recruiter, a tremendous educator-coach, and will be a great teammate in our department. As a veteran coach, she has great respect for our William Smith lacrosse history. She is driven to succeed and our lacrosse team is ready for Coach Phillips to lead them into this new era of Heron lacrosse,” said Steward.
“I would like to thank Director of Athletics Deb Steward for giving me the opportunity to continue the great tradition that is William Smith Lacrosse. Her vision of where we can take this program was compelling. I am honored to follow Hall of Fame Coach Pat Genovese, who built a program that enjoyed such great success and had the reputation of doing it the right way. I also want to thank Coach Brighde Dougherty ’04 for her encouragement and for demonstrating to me how important the Heron lacrosse program is to all who have worn the green and white. I am committed to upholding the William Smith tradition of excellence. These extraordinary women make William Smith such a special place to be,” said Phillips.
Phillips spent the past seven seasons as the head coach of the Yale lacrosse team. Under Phillips, the Bulldogs posted some of the best defensive numbers in the country, ranking 13th in the nation in scoring defense in 2014 and 18th in 2015. Phillips mentored 19 All-Ivy League selections at Yale, including four in each of the past two years. Her teams also earned IWLCA Academic squad honors in 2010, 2011 and 2014.
Prior to Yale, Phillips served as the head coach at Franklin & Marshall for six seasons. She posted a 93-24 record (.795), making her the school’s all-time leader in wins. Phillips led the Diplomats to Centennial Conference Championships in 2007 and 2008 and three straight NCAA tournament appearances from 2006-2008. In 2007, she guided the team to an undefeated season that culminated in winning the NCAA Division III National Championship which was hosted by William Smith on McCooey Field. The Diplomats defeated conference rival Gettysburg 13-7 in the national semifinals and then topped Salisbury 11-8 to capture the program’s first national title.
In 2007, Phillips was tabbed the IWLCA Division III National Coach of the Year. At F&M, Phillips coached 18 IWLCA All-Americans and six of the Diplomats’ top 10 all-time leading scorers. Franklin & Marshall was ranked in the top 10 nationally in each of Phillips’ years as coach.
A native of West Chester, Pa., and a graduate of Franklin & Marshall, Phillips helped found the Diplomat women’s lacrosse program. She played on the school’s first team in 1977. She scored 99 goals and logged 46 assists in two seasons before her career was cut short due to injury.
Phillips is the chair of the US Lacrosse National and U19 Team Coach Selection Committee. She helped select the U.S. rosters that won the World Cup in 2009 and 2013, serving as the chair of the U.S. Lacrosse National Team Selection Committee from 2008-2013. Phillips has been a member of the National All-American Selection Committee since 2003 and has been a member of the United States Lacrosse Coaches Council since 2006.
Phillips follows in the footsteps of Brighde Dougherty ’04 and US Lacrosse Hall of Fame coach Pat Genovese. Dougherty stepped down from the William Smith head coaching position in June after leading the program for three years to pursue a career as an adventure therapist. Genovese, who retired in June after serving the Colleges for nearly 44 years, coached the Herons from the program’s inception in 1972 through the 2012 season, accumulating a 385-158-1 (.709) record, 16 tournament appearances and five NCAA Championship game appearances.
“Coach Phillips is able to clearly articulate the value of a William Smith education and will serve as a tremendous mentor to our student-athletes,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Robb Flowers. “She has great respect for the history of Heron lacrosse and will make our Heron lacrosse alumnae proud.”
The Herons finished 2015 with a 7-9 overall record and a 5-4 mark in Liberty League play. William Smith was tied for fourth in the conference standings but lost the head-to-head tiebreaker with Rochester due to the Yellowjackets’ win over the Herons during the regular season. William Smith returns 21 of 25 players from the 2015 team.