Jackie Dando, who won better than 62 percent of her games as head women’s lacrosse coach at Lebanon Valley over the previous seven seasons, was named the new head coach of the Bucknell women’s lacrosse program on Dec. 23, 2019.
Dando led the Bison to a 3-5 record during a 2020 campaign abbreviated due to the COVID-19 public health threat. She won her first two games at the helm of the program, as Bucknell dispatched Sacred Heart (18-9) and Binghamton (16-9) in commanding fashion.
Dando took over the Lebanon Valley women’s lacrosse program in 2013, just three years after it was reinstated as a varsity sport, and in the seven years since then the team compiled an 82-49 (.626) overall record and a 41-14 (.745) mark in the MAC Commonwealth Conference. The Dutchmen qualified for the conference tournament in each of those seven seasons, culminating with the program’s very first league championship in 2019. After beating Stevenson 10-5 in the MAC Commonwealth final, Dando’s squad then defeated Merchant Marine 13-11 in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament before falling to eventual runner-up Salisbury in the second round.
Dando was named MAC Commonwealth Coach of the Year in 2018, when her team went 13-5 overall, 7-1 in league play, and advanced to the tournament final for the first time. Her teams captured ECAC Division III Tournament titles in 2013 and 2014, and in her seven years at Lebanon Valley Dando coached three All-Americans, eight IWLCA All-Region selections, six IWLCA North-South All-Star Game participants, four conference players of the year, one conference rookie of the year, and 18 all-conference honorees.
Dando’s Lebanon Valley teams also excelled in the classroom. The Dutchmen were recognized as an IWLCA Academic Honor Roll Squad in each of the last seven years. In addition to her coaching duties, Dando was the advisor for Lebanon Valley’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and she coordinated the LVC Step UP program, which promotes bystander intervention.
A native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Dando graduated from Messiah College with a degree in journalism in 2009. She was a four-year starter and two-year captain on the Messiah lacrosse team, and she helped lead the squad to the first two MAC championships and NCAA Tournament appearances in school history. She was a two-time Academic All-American, and at the time of her graduation she ranked eighth in team history with 115 career goals, seventh with 44 assists, and eighth with 159 points. Dando also played one season of field hockey at Messiah and was part of a team that went all the way to the national championship game in 2005.
Dando got her start in coaching as an assistant at Haverford in 2010 and 2011. She helped guide the Fords to a school-record 13 wins in 2010 and the first two postseason appearances in team history. Dando was named interim head coach at Haverford in the summer of 2011 before departing for an assistant coach position at Villanova for the 2012 season.
Dando also has extensive club and international coaching experience. This past summer she traveled to Australia as a coach with the Beyond Sports Tour, and she has plans to go to Italy in the Summer of 2020 as a coach with the AIST Tour.
Dando served as head coach of the Xtreme Lacrosse Club from 2013-18 and of the Philly Blast Lacrosse Club in 2012. She was the director and host of the Summer Genesis Club Tournament in 2016, 2018 and 2019.