October 17, 2011

W&M Hires Brooke Ireland as New Coach

from staff reports

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- The William and Mary Athletics Department has announced the hiring of Brooke Ireland as the head women's lacrosse coach.

Ireland, the seventh head coach in W&M's 42-year varsity history, replaces Chris Halfpenny, who resigned in July after five seasons at the helm of the Tribe program to take the same job at Notre Dame.

"I am honored to become part of the Tribe family and look forward to building upon the strength and depth that the program has built over the years," Ireland said. "William and Mary is rich with history and tradition, and I feel that the Tribe Lacrosse team has been a huge part of that history. I am excited to continue to build upon the success of the program and work with these incredibly talented young women."

Ireland comes to the College with an extensive coaching background that includes serving as the head coach atVirginia Tech. During her tenure leading the Hokies from 1998-01, she guided the team to its best single-season record in school history and garnered a top-20 national ranking. Additionally, she led VT to a conference championship and was honored as the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year in 1999.

"We were looking for a coach who was going to be compatible with both the current team and one we could build a future around," said Steve Cole, the College's Associate Athletics Director for Internal Operations, and the chair of the search committee. "In Brooke, I believe we have identified the ideal candidate to achieve our goals. She brings an established record of leadership and has a diverse set of experiences, as she has coached regionally, collegiately and has been exposed to the international game, as well."

Prior to taking over the headcoaching duties at Virginia Tech, Ireland served as the head coach for Victoria's junior and senior state teams in Australia. She led both squads to runner-up finishes in the Australian National Championships while combining to post an impressive 10-2 record.

In addition to her international and collegiate coaching experience, Ireland has served as an assistant coach at Collegiate School (Richmond, Va.) for the past 10 years while also coaching the Geronimo Lacrosse League Elite Team since 2003.

An outstanding collegiate player, Ireland set numerous defensive records at Virginia Tech and captained the squad in 1995 and 1996. After graduating with a bachelor's of science degree in exercise science in 1996, she trained with the Australian National LacrosseTeam and competed for the Williamstown Lacrosse Club.

Ireland is married to former Virginia All-American goalie, James Ireland, and the couple has three children, Jack (8), Briggs (6) and Bowan (3). They reside in Richmond, Va.


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