Butler University

Butler University Athletics
510 W. 49th Street Indianapolis, IN 46208
Division 1 Indiana Midwest
Private Small National competitor


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Cecil C. Pilson

Cecil C. Pilson was named the women’s lacrosse head coach at Butler University on Dec. 16, 2015. Pilson is the first coach in program history as the Bulldogs will begin competition with the 2016-17 academic year.

Over the past 11 seasons as the head coach at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., Pilson posted an impressive 133-57 overall record for a .700 winning percentage. His teams have been ranked in the Top 15 in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) final poll in seven of the past eight seasons. Pilson has successfully recruited and coached 11 IWLCA All-Americans, 21 IWLCA All-Region selections, and 35 All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) honorees during that time.

Pilson’s coaching philosophy of “Athletic Success through Academic Achievement” has exemplified itself with 99 PSAC Scholar-Athletes (cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher), 43 IWLCA Academic Honor Roll Athletes (cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher), and Mercyhurst posting the highest team GPA in the PSAC in each of the past three seasons. In 2015, his team was recognized as the IWLCA Merit Squad for having the top team GPA of all NCAA Division II programs.

Pilson’s Mercyhurst team finished the 2015 campaign ranked tenth in the country in the final IWLCA Division II poll. The Lakers had a 15-4 overall record and advanced to the PSAC Championship game for the second straight year, and third time in the last four seasons. Mercyhurst's 2015 record marked the tenth consecutive winning season for the program.

Before taking over at Mercyhurst, Pilson spent several seasons assisting head coach Janet Grubbs at Longwood University, a then-Division II institution located in Farmville, Va.

As a member of the staff, the Lancers posted a 75-17-1 (.806) record and reached the NCAA Division II Final Four in 2002 before advancing to the National Championship game in 2003. In both of those seasons, the Lancers were ranked in the top-10 and had 10 players combine for 19 All-America awards and three IWLCA Player of the Year honors.

Outside of coaching, Pilson spent eight years with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and served overseas with the Regimental Combat Team I during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

He played one year of lacrosse at Western New England College before transferring to Longwood, where he earned a degree in physical education with a concentration in exercise science and a minor in coaching in the spring of 2004.

Pilson and his wife, Katie, have two sons, Fletcher and Roderick.

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Nicole Kopyta

Nicole Kopyta joined the Butler women's lacrosse coaching staff as an assistant coach in June of 2018. Kopyta most recently was a member of the varsity lacrosse team at Rutgers University.

Kopyta was a four-year varsity letterwinner as an attacker for the Scarlet Knights from 2013-2018. She finished her career with 37 total goals and three assists for 40 total points. As a redshirt junior, Kopyta finished second on the team in goals with 24 and third in points with 25. She was also named the team's most improved player.

Off the field, Kopyta was an academic All-BIG EAST scholar in 2013 and a four-time academic All-Big Ten Scholar. She was also a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar in 2017. Kopyta earned a Bachelor of Arts in communication and media studies with minors in psychology and labor studies in May of 2017. She earned her Master's in communication and media with a focus in organizational communication in August of 2018.

Kopyta served as a head coach for Tri-State Club Lacrosse from 2014-2018, teaching lacrosse skills to youth players. Additionally, she served as a lacrosse coach at the Gladiator School from 2015-2018.

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