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Arizona State University

Arizona State University Athletics
Carson Center PO Box 872505 Tempe, AZ 852872505
Division 1 Arizona
Public Very Large National competitor

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Taryn VanThof

Sun Devil Athletics hired Taryn VanThof as the new Lacrosse Head Coach, Vice President of University Athletics Ray Anderson announced on July 5.


VanThof comes to Arizona State after an extremely successful six-year stint as the Assistant Coach at national power Florida. There she served as the Offensive Coordinator, Goalie Coach, Draw Specialist, and Recruiting Coordinator for the Gators.


"Thank you to Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson and Senior Associate AD/SWA Christina Wombacher for this opportunity to lead the Sun Devil Lacrosse program," VanThof remarked. "I could not be more thrilled to coach at this extraordinary university."


Under the direction of VanThof and Head Coach Amanda O'Leary, Florida has emerged as one of the nation's premiere programs over the past six years. In 2022, the Gators made their fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament, earning a bid every year of VanThof's tenure. She arrives in Tempe coming off two straight appearances in the NCAA Quarterfinal Round (Elite Eight) with Florida.


"Taryn VanThof is a tremendous addition to the Sun Devil Family." Vice President of University Athletics Ray Anderson stated. "We identified her as the right person to lead this program on the rise because of her energy, passion, and desire to be at Arizona State."


Prior to launching a budding career in coaching, VanThof was a standout All-American midfielder at Loyola Maryland from 2011-15. She competed at the professional level as recently as the 2021 season in the Athletes Unlimited League.


"We could not be more excited to name Taryn VanThof the Head Coach of Sun Devil Lacrosse," Senior Associate AD/SWA Christina Wombacher exclaimed. "She is a dynamic recruiter, tireless worker, and fantastic leader that is ready for this next step in her career."


Arizona State is coming off a record-breaking 2022 campaign in which they set new highs for overall (11) and conference (7) wins while making the Pac-12 Lacrosse Tournament Championship for the first time. The potential of the up-and-coming program attracted VanThof to the job.


"Arizona State offers an exceptional experience for their student-athletes," VanThof added. "That is what made this such an easy decision and appealing situation. The program is in a great position with an excellent foundation. I look forward to being a Sun Devil!"


VanThof will take over a program that established itself on the national scene with several marquee wins last season. She will have plenty of talent to work with in Tempe, something she is very familiar with from her time in Gainesville.


While she was an assistant coach at Florida, the Gators combined to go an incredible 85-24 (78%) from 2017-22. That stretch included five NCAA Tournament appearances, six NCAA Tournament victories, all five possible Conference Tournament titles, and two of the three Elite Eight appearances in program history.


"I am grateful for my time at Florida," VanThof mentioned. "Especially the opportunity to be on Amanda O'Leary's staff, who I learned so much from over the past six years. Thank you to her and the rest of the Gators Lacrosse Family for all the support."


It would be an understatement to say VanThof coached several talented players with Florida. A total of 18 Gators were named All-Americans during the five counting seasons (none in 2020 due to COVID-19). That group includes 13 Big East/AAC Attackers of the Year, Midfielders of the Year, and Goalkeeper of the Year, all coached by VanThof. An astounding 39 players earned All-Conference honors during that same span, with VanThof helping assemble one of the nation's most talented rosters.


As the Offensive Coordinator, Goalie Coach, Draw Specialist, and Recruiting Coordinator, VanThof had an impact on all aspects of the program for the last six years. The Gators finished the season ranked in the Top-10 all but one of those seasons, proving to be one of the most consistent and well-coached teams in the country.


She began her coaching career at Rutgers in 2016, getting a taste of Big Ten action immediately following the completion of her collegiate career. During her only season in New Brunswick, she helped orchestrate a four-win improvement, with two Scarlet Knights named to the Big Ten All-Conference Team.


Before becoming one of the nation's most well-respected assistant coaches, VanThof was a standout midfielder at Loyola Maryland. A decorated athlete with the Greyhounds, VanThof earned IWLCA Third Team All-America honors in each of her final three seasons from 2013-15.


The two-way star racked up 160 points (108 goals and 52 assists) in her career, while also accumulating 127 ground balls and an astounding 318 draw controls. VanThof is second to her sister Taylor in Loyola Maryland history in single-season (122) and career (318) draw controls.


A three-time All-Conference selection, VanThof helped Loyola to the NCAA Quarterfinals in 2015. In her final season, VanThof tallied a career-best 53 points (30 goals/23 assists), including two game-winning goals. The Greyhounds advanced to at least the second round of the NCAA Tournament in all four years of VanThof's playing career, also making a quarterfinal run during her redshirt season in 2012. She was coached by three-time IWLCA Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year, Jen Adams, another major influence on her entering the coaching profession.


She played at the professional level as recently as last season in the Athletes Unlimited League, teaming up with her sister Taylor. Taryn finished the campaign with seven goals and four assists while adding 17 draw controls, 10 caused turnovers, and seven draw controls. This is not her first stint with a professional league. VanThof was a part of history when she was drafted to the Long Island Sound (UWLX), helping pave the way as the Sound captured the inaugural UWLX Championship Trophy in 2016. She accomplished a similar feat during her time with the New England Command, leading them to the first and only WPLL Championship in 2018.


In 2017, she was selected as a U.S. Women's National Team Member, representing the United States at the Championship Challenge and several other international competitions. She previously made the 38-player cut back in 2014 and 2015, competing in exhibition games.


The signs of what VanThof was bound to do for a career were showing early, as she dedicated her time on the coaching front throughout college. While with the Greyhounds, the Livonia, N.Y., native spent time as a coach and player coach with Seven Lacrosse Training (Baltimore, Md.), Lady Roc Lacrosse Inc. (East Rochester, N.Y.), and Maximum Exposure Lacrosse Company.


VanThof was selected by the Greyhounds' coaching staff to represent the program on the Jeff Jansen Leadership Academy, where she honed her leadership skills with a variety of training sessions and activities.


In previous summers dating back to 2015, she has been a coach at the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy, working alongside some of the most iconic females in sports. There she has participated in community outreach while instructing aspiring youth lacrosse players in technical skills.


VanThof received her Master's Degree in Sports Management from Florida this summer. Prior to that, she graduated from Loyola University Maryland in 2015 with a Bachelor's in Business Administration, earning a double specialization in Management and Marketing.


She arrives in Tempe with her fiancé, Travis, and their Great Dane, Myko.

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Haley Warden

TEMPE, Ariz. – Sun Devil Lacrosse Head Coach Taryn VanThof announced the addition of former James Madison assistant coach and 2018 National Champion Haley Warden to the coaching staff on Thursday.


Warden comes to Arizona State after spending the past three seasons at James Madison, where she served as the offensive coordinator for her Alma Mater. She brings an impressive resume with her to Tempe, having found success at the highest level as both a coach and player.


"I am excited to welcome Coach Warden to the Sun Devil Lacrosse family," Head Coach Taryn VanThof exclaimed. "Haley brings international and professional playing experience, is a great leader and communicator, and continues to blossom as a coach. She understands what it takes to be the best."


Over the course of a brilliant four-year run with the Dukes, Warden established herself as one of the best to ever wear the purple and gold. She capped her playing career in the ultimate fashion, captaining the 2018 team to the NCAA Championship, the first in program history. Warden was named the Most Outstanding Player of the National Championship Game after delivering a four-goal performance in the 16-15 win over Boston College.


"I am honored and humbled to be named assistant coach at Arizona State University," Haley Warden remarked. "I would like to thank Coach VanThof and Sr. Associate AD/SWA Christina Wombacher for this amazing opportunity."


During her three years as part of the coaching staff at James Madison, she assisted in all areas of the women's lacrosse program, including recruiting, coaching, and developing student-athletes. She specifically worked with the draw takers and offensive personnel in skill development, game planning, and overall team concepts.


"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Shelley Klaes and am forever grateful for all that she has done for me," Warden mentioned. "James Madison and Dukes Lacrosse will always hold a special in my heart."


Throughout her three year stint as the offensive coordinator, James Madison maintained the standard set by Warden and the 2018 National Championship team. The Dukes compiled a 31-11 record during that time, appearing and securing victories in the past two NCAA Tournaments.


One of the biggest wins in program history came this past season, with James Madison picking up a monumental victory over No. 3 Maryland on the road. Warden's offense and draw control unit were extremely effective in the 13-8 win, just the fourth victory by the Dukes in the 46-game history of the rivalry.


James Madison won the 2021 CAA Tournament Championship, becoming the first team in conference history to win four-straight titles, with Warden patrolling the sidelines as a coach after winning two of the titles as a player.


A member of the James Madison roster was named an All-American eight times during Warden's tenure, highlighted 2022 Tewaaraton Nominee Isabella Peterson and fellow 2022 All-Americans Mairead Durkin and Molly Dougherty. The Dukes were consistently one of the top teams in the CAA in both draw controls and scoring over the past three seasons. In 2020, Warden's draw control unit thrived, finishing ninth nationally in draw control percentage.


Warden has parlayed a standout playing career into success in coaching as well as opportunities to play at the professional and international levels. Her experience in all of these areas made her the ideal candidate for the role.


"Coach Warden offers the entire package," Coach VanThof observed. "She is coming off winning a Gold Medal with Team USA this summer, competing with the best players in the World. She knows how to get to the professional level. She has also coached and developed some of the top draw specialists and offensive threats in the NCAA. I can't wait to see her hit the ground running in Tempe!"


This summer, Warden was selected as an alternate for Team USA, serving as a member of the training team ahead of the 2022 Women's Lacrosse World Championships. Team USA won the Gold Medal, defeating Team Canada to become the first country to win on home turf.


Before she was representing her country, Warden was a two-time All-American at James Madison. She finished her four-year career with 245 draw controls, which is still a program record. Warden is also second all-time at JMU in career (119) and single-season (47) caused turnovers. She was named the 2017 CAA Player of the Year and followed that up by being selected as the 2018 CAA Co-Defensive Player of the Year.


While her defense was a focus, she was equally as effective on the offense end, emerging as one of the nation's best two-way players. During an incredible senior season in 2018, Warden was a Tewaaraton Top-25 Nominee after putting up insane numbers. She finished with 46 goals and 11 assists (57 points) while adding 46 ground balls, 45 caused turnovers, and 108 draw controls.


Warden cemented herself as one of the all-time greats at James Madison during the 2018 National Championship run, delivering one of the most unforgettable performances in recent memory. In helping the Dukes take down No. 2 North Carolina in the NCAA Semifinals, Warden scored five goals while also collecting ten draw controls. She wasn't done coming through in the clutch, putting together a four-goal performance two days later to lead James Madison to the 2018 NCAA Title. Her goal with 1:05 left proved to be the difference in the 16-15 victory, leading to her being named the Most Outstanding Player.


She received her B.B.A in Computer Information Systems from James Madison in 2018 and immediately pursued a professional career. Warden was drafted by the WPLL Pride, competing in the inaugural season for the league in 2018. She was recently a part of another groundbreaking league, playing with Athletes Unlimited during the 2021 season. Warden served as a captain during the five-week season and finished seventh in overall stat points.


Warden will be joined in Tempe by her dog, Charlie.

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Caroline Wakefield

Sun Devil Lacrosse Head Coach Taryn VanThof completed her first staff on July 28 with the addition of Caroline Wakefield, who will serve as an Assistant Coach at Arizona State.


One of the winningest players in the history of the storied North Carolina Women's Lacrosse program will be patrolling the sidelines in Tempe next season. Former All-American Caroline Wakefield joins Haley Warden, who accepted a role on the staff last week, to make up an extremely decorated assistant coach duo.


"We are thrilled to have Caroline Wakefield join our staff," Head Coach Taryn VanThof remarked. "She has an exceptional ability to connect and build relationships with student-athletes. I can't wait to get to work with her."


"Thank you to Taryn VanThof and Christina Wombacher for having the trust and confidence to give me the opportunity with Sun Devil Lacrosse," Caroline Wakefield reflected. "I am excited to get to know the team and be a part of this amazing coaching staff."


As part of her over 14 years of hands-on experience in the sport of lacrosse, Wakefield has been the Head Coach of Team91 Carolina since 2018. In this role, she developed Team91's program to reach their maximum performance. She most recently served as a Director of Operations for the travel teams she helped establish, coordinating all travel and logistics.


"Arizona State is a unique place to play lacrosse and offers an extraordinary student-athlete experience," Wakefield observed. "I am looking forward to being a part of something special in Tempe."


Wakefield currently competes in the Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse League, recently beginning her second season in the professional ranks. She has played in three games this season, collecting four ground balls and causing three turnovers. During a standout 2021 debut campaign, she collected 1,124 leaderboard points with seven games of 100 or more points. She finished second in the league with 34 ground balls.


During an illustrious career as a defender with the Tar Heels, Wakefield left Chapel Hill as one of the most successful players in program history. She is one of the winningest players in UNC Women's Lacrosse, having been a part of a dominant run from 2016-2021. The highlight of her career came in 2016 when she was on the team that won the program's second National Championship.


"Caroline is a winner and brings more championship experience to our staff," Head Coach Taryn VanThof explained. "She is a natural leader and tireless worker who is hungry to prove herself in the industry."


Caroline was the first Carolina player to win 5 ACC championships in a career, with the defender making major contributions throughout the five-year streak. She left Chapel Hill as the only ACC player to ever win five championships. Wakefield also received several individual honors during her career in addition to her countless accomplishments with her team.


Her final season in Carolina Blue was a memorable one, as she was the 2021 UNC Breakthrough Athlete of the Year and Team "Hard Hat" on a team that went 20-1 and finished as the National runner-up. She was named an IWLCA Third Team All-American after starting all 21 games on defense, collecting 33 ground balls and causing 27 turnovers. She received the UNC "Hard Hat" Award, identified as one of the hardest working and toughest in the program. The ACC All-Tournament Team selection also received IWLCA Second Team All-South Region honors in 2021.Caroline holds the UNC record for 5 caused turnovers and 5 ground balls in a single game.


The 2020 season was shortened by COVID-19 with Wakefield and company sitting at 7-0 and No. 1 in the national rankings. Wakefield was off to a great start, leading the team in caused turnovers.


Wakefield's resurgence came in 2019, when she battled back from an injury that caused her to miss the 2018 season.. She started the final ten games of the season, helping the Tar Heels win the ACC Championship and make a run to the NCAA Semifinals. Wakefield compiled 20 ground balls and 13 caused turnovers in 20 games.


She showed her versatility during the 2017 campaign, seeing action and producing on the offensive side of the field. Wakefield appeared in 20 games, scoring nine goals and dishing out three assists, adapting to a temporary new role.


The highly touted Class of 2015 recruit wasted no time making an impact at one of the nation's premier programs. She started ten and played in 13 games as a true freshman on North Carolina's 2016 NCAA Title team. Wakefield got a first-hand look at what it takes to win a championship, appearing in the final victory over No. 1 Maryland.


"I will never forget the time I spent in Chapel Hill as a Tar Heel," Wakefield remarked. "Thank you to Coach Levy and the entire North Carolina Lacrosse family for all the support."


Wakefield graduated from the University of North Carolina, receiving a B.A. in Communication Studies in 2021. She minored in coaching, entrepreneurship, and history. Wakefield is also a 2020 graduate of the Carolina Leadership Program.


She comes from an athletic family, as her father played football at James Madison University and her aunt was a two-time All-America soccer player at William & Mary.

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