Jennifer Ulehla Named GW Lacrosse Head Coach
WASHINGTON – Jennifer Ulehla, who has experience coaching at the highest level collegiately and internationally, has been named GW Lacrosse Head Coach, Director of Athletics and Recreation Tanya Vogel announced on Monday.
Ulehla comes to GW after two years as a respected lacrosse consultant, following a six-year stint as the head coach at Michigan, where she started the program from infancy and transformed it into a competitive Division I team.
"It is with great excitement and gratitude that I accept this coaching position at George Washington University," said Ulehla. "I am honored to continue the work and dedication of the coaches and many alums that have come before me. We will work hard with the discipline of champions to build character, confidence, and pride throughout our program. We will attack challenges, learn from failures and celebrate successes. It will be a privilege preparing these inspiring student-athletes to excel in the classroom, on the field and most importantly in life. I want to express my sincere appreciation to Director of Athletics and Recreation, Tanya Vogel for her vision, energy and leadership as well as Associate Athletics Director, John Square for his enthusiasm and dedication. I am eager to begin this journey; together we will Raise High."
"I am extremely excited to welcome Coach Ulehla to the GW Athletics family," said Vogel. "Jenny has achieved a high level of success as a head and assistant coach, including at a pair of institutions where she had the opportunity to pioneer the programs from the ground up. She is a driven competitor who will build a sustainable culture of determination, commitment and respect within our program as we strive to achieve excellence on and off the field."
Ulehla worked tirelessly to build a championship culture at Michigan after being named the first head coach in program history in 2011. In her six seasons at the helm, Ulehla coached four Wolverines to All-Conference honors in the Big Ten and two in the American Lacrosse Conference.
"Jenny is completely responsible for starting a tradition and a nationally competitive Division I lacrosse program that is now achieving great things," said former Director of Athletics at Michigan and current Domino's Chairman of the Board, Dave Brandon. "She achieved that by recruiting, her interpersonal skills and coaching abilities."
Prior to her time in Ann Arbor, Ulehla gained valuable experience in the development of a new program as an assistant coach for the Florida Gators (2008-10). She played an integral role in the initial phases of that program, including her collaborative involvement in the recruitment of UF's first three recruiting classes. In their inaugural season in 2010, Ulehla helped lead the Gators to an impressive 10-8 record.
"Jennifer was a great asset to our staff during her time as a Gator," noted Florida AD Emeritus, Jeremy Foley. "Her wealth of experience at both the international and national levels of the game served as a tremendous benefit during the early years of Florida's program. Jennifer was an excellent recruiter for Florida, helping to build the one of the best collegiate programs in the nation. She is truly a player's coach and strives for the success of her athletes both on and off the field."
Before entering the coaching ranks, Ulehla had a successful international playing career, competing for the U.S. National Lacrosse team from 1990-95. Her crowning achievement came in 1993 when Team USA won the World Cup in Scotland.
Ulehla has been involved with U.S. Lacrosse since her playing days and is one of the few competitors who have won a World Cup title as both a player and assistant coach. As the defensive coordinator for the U.S. National Elite Team (2006-09), Ulehla played a critical role in the selection, preparation and training of a team that won the 2008 Prague Cup Championship and a gold medal at the 2009 World Cup the following summer in the Czech Republic.
Ulehla held two prior collegiate head coaching positions, one with roots in the Atlantic 10 at Temple University (2004-06). Under her direction, the Owls shared the Atlantic 10 title in 2005 and finished as the tournament runner-up in 2006.
The bulk of Ulehla's head coaching experience occurred at James Madison (1994-2002), where she led the program to three Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) championships, six NCAA Tournament appearances and the program's lone NCAA Final Four showing in 2000. Ulehla produced 13 All-Americans, including five First Team honorees, one National Midfield Player of the Year, a Honda Broderick Award nominee and a Tewaaraton Trophy Award Top 5 finalist. She was named the CAA conference coach of the year in 1995 and 2000.
Ulehla earned a Bachelor's of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Maryland in 1991. She was a two-time All-American with the Terrapins (1990-91) and was named to the All-Tournament Team at the NCAA Final Four in 1990. In 2002, Ulehla had the honor of being named to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) 50th Anniversary Team, which recognized the 50 most significant women's lacrosse players in the conference's history.
Ulehla inherits a team which went 5-12 (3-6 A-10) last season and is eligible to return its entire 2019 roster.