The 2017 Coach of the Year was hotly contested amongst BCI writers, as both the lacrosse and women’s ice hockey teams made it to the NCAA Championships. Neither team was expected to be a championship contender in 2017, as both rosters were thought to be in “rebuilding mode.” Coach Crowley and the women’s hockey team won more trophies this season, but Coach Walker’s impressive feat of coaching the lacrosse team to their first ever Final Four and NCAA Championship Game ultimately earned her the 2017 BCI Coach of the Year Award.
Coach Walker is in her 5th season as the head coach of BC lacrosse. Last season, she became the fastest coach in program history to earn 50 career wins, doing so in 74 games. The Eagles have made the NCAA Tournament every year under Coach Walker’s direction, despite only ever having made it once before she took over. Despite this, they had never made the Final Four, let alone the Championship Game, until this season. The unseeded Eagles were the Cinderella story of the tournament, scoring over 20 goals in each of their first 3 Tournament games and the defeating Navy, another underdog, by 1 goal to make the finals.
Coach Walker’s team showed a lot of heart this season, never giving up on a game and fighting until the last seconds. That type of attitude starts at the top, and despite a wealth of talent, the Eagles would not have made it as far as they did this year without fantastic coaching. With a number of star players returning next year, look for Coach Walker and the lacrosse team to continue to succeed.