Jen Willis begins her seventh season as the head women's lacrosse coach at Albright College in 2018.
In 2017, the Lions finished with a 10-7 record while posting a 6-2 record in MAC Commonwealth play. Albright closed the regular season with a 14-3 win at crosstown rival Alvernia, its fourth consecutive win in the series. Albright qualified for the MAC Commonwealth tournament for the third straight season, losing to Stevenson in the semifinals. Willis coached freshman Devon Mela to MAC Commonwealth Rookie of the Year honors to highlight six selections to the All-MAC Commonwealth teams.
In 2016, Willis led the Lions to the best season in school history. Albright finished the season with an 11-7 overall record and a 5-3 mark in the MAC Commonwealth. The Lions earned a spot in the MAC Commonwealth tournament for the second consecutive season and hosted Lycoming, which marked Albright's first-ever home tournament contest. The Lions edged the Warriors 16-15 to notch the program's first MAC Commonwealth Tournament win in school history to advance to the semifinals.
Her first senior class was during the 2015 season and the Lions responded by rewarding that group with its first-ever MAC Commonwealth Tournament appearance. Albright finished the season with a 9-8 overall record to post the second winning season in school history.
image 42The Lions went 8-9 in 2014 with a more difficult schedule than the previous two seasons. Albright defeated Division II Colorado Mesa on the road and beat rival Alvernia 13-10, missing a Commonwealth Conference playoff spot by just one goal on tiebreakers.
The Lions totaled four All-Conference selections, while sophomore Amanda Smith added Academic All-MAC honors to her first team All-Commonwealth status. Rookie Giuliana Rizzotti was named Albright's Freshman Athlete of the Year and captain Meghan Wilson was presented with the MAC Giant Steps Award for her leadership and success following personal adversity.
In 2013, Albright went 10-6 in just its second varsity season. The Lions had three All-Commonwealth Conference selections, including the first player in program history selected to the first team (Smith).
As the program's first-ever head coach in 2012, Willis led the Lions to victory in their inaugural game- as Albright scored the third-fastest goal to start a contest in NCAA Division III history en route to a 16-7 win over Lancaster Bible. The Red and White also took their home opener that season as well.
Willis came to Albright after spending three seasons at Utica College, Utica, N.Y. As head coach, she is responsible for all facets of the new women’s lacrosse program, which was established as part of a $1 million gift from the John K. Roessner III Trust.
During her three seasons with the Pioneers, Willis’s duties included planning practice schedules, player evaluations, breakdown of game-day film, on-site scouting, and organizing game-day strategy. She was also in charge of player recruitment, arranging campus visits, and distributing recruiting newsletters.
As a student-athlete, Willis was one of the most decorated players to ever compete at SUNY Cortland in Cortland, N.Y. Among her many accolades, she was named a two-time Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaching Association (IWLCA) All-American (2007 and 2006). She was also a four-time First Team All-SUNYAC (State University of New York Athletic Conference) selection, and was named the SUNYAC Player of the Year in 2004 and 2006.
Willis sits third all-time in career points with 295, second in career assists with 117, 11th in single-season points with 82, 17th in single-season goals with 56, and is ranked second and third for most assists in a season.
From 2003-2007, Willis led the Red Dragons to a 65-13 overall record, four NCAA Tournament appearances, and four SUNYAC championships. In 2006, she played a major part in leading the Red Dragons to their first “final four” appearance in the national tournament.
Willis graduated from Cortland in December 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and English. She was named to the Dean’s List three times and maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.1. She earned her master’s of science in liberal studies from Utica.
On top of her coaching responsibilities, Willis also serves as the Senior Women Administrator in the athletics department and leads the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.