Honors & Accomplishments
• 2002 IWLCA National Coach of the Year.
• Three-time IWLCA Northeast Coach of the Year (2002, 2006, 2016).
• All-time winningest coach in Cornell women’s lacrosse history.
• Has guided the program to two Ivy League regular season (2006, 2017) and one Ivy League Tournament (2016) championships as well as five NCAA Tournament appearances (2000, 2001, 2006, 2016, 2017).
• Coached 97 All-Ivy, 55 IWLCA All-Region, 18 IWLCA All-America, four Ivy League Player of the Year, three CoSIDA Academic All-America and one national Player of the Year finalist selections.
• Her 2002 NCAA Tournament semifinal team was the first women’s squad to reach an NCAA Final Four in any sport in school history.
• Head Coach, Cornell University (1998-present)
• Head Coach, George Mason University (1994-98)
• Graduate Assistant Coach, Penn State University (1990-93)
• Cornell University (1982-86)
• Two-sport athlete (field hockey, lacrosse)
• Earned eight varsity letters
• Brine Regional All-American in lacrosse (1986)
• Second-team All-Ivy League in field hockey
• Philadelphia Club (USWLA) – 1991-93
• Team Ripple (Vail Lacrosse Shootout) – 1992-97, ’99, 2004
• B.A., Apparel Design and Textiles, Cornell University (1986)
• M.S., Exercise and Sport Science, Penn State University (1993)
Jenny Graap returned to Cornell in 1997 with one goal in mind: to build the Big Red women’s lacrosse team into a championship contender. With the only two Ivy League regular titles in school history, an appearance in the NCAA Final Four, five NCAA appearances, eight Ivy Tournament appearances and a title in 2016 and two ECAC crowns, she only continues to build on a legacy of more than two decades on the sideline at her alma mater.
Now entering her 23rd year at the helm in 2018-19, Graap has been honored as the 2002 Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Coach of the Year, the 2006 Inside Lacrosse Magazine Northeast Coach of the Year, the 2017 Ivy League Coach of the Year and a three-time IWLCA Northeast Coach of the Year (2002, 2006, 2016), while developing the Big Red women’s lacrosse program into one of the most successful in the nation.
Graap, who accumulated 21 wins in four years at George Mason before taking the reigns at Cornell, has built an Ivy League and national title contender in her first two decades. She has posted a 208-142 record at Cornell and a 229-186 mark in 26 years as a head coach. She reached her 200th career win in dramatic fashion, defeating Penn, 11-10, on May 8, 2016, to win the Big Red's first-ever Ivy League Tournament Championship and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
In her tenure at Cornell, Graap has had 97 All-Ivy selections, 55 IWLCA All-Region selections, 18 IWLCA national All-Americans, three CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, four Ivy League Players of the Year and one national player of the year finalist. Her teams have reached postseason play 11 times since she returned to Cornell and have won at least 10 games nine times as well.
Notable Student-Athletes Under Coach Graap
• Sarah Averson '13 - A prolific scorer for Cornell in her four-year career, Averson graduated second second in team history with career goals (138) and tied for second in free position goals (28). The two-time All-American (first-team in 2003, second team in 2002) tied for fifth in team history with 176 career points and eighth all-time with 90 draw controls. She was 10th in Cornell history with 38 assists. Her 47 goals in the 2003 season was the second-highest total in team history, and her 61 points that year were sixth in Big Red history. She was the MVP of the ECAC championship game in both 2000 and 2003. Averson was a two-time first-team IWLCA all-region and All-Ivy selection.As a senior, Averson was one of four winners of the Charles H. Moore Outstanding Senior Varsity Athlete Award. Averson became the first Cornell women's lacrosse player to earn an invitation to the U.S. Development camp (2002-03).
• Courtney Farrell '18 - Capped off an outstanding career for the Cornell women's lacrosse program by being named to the IWLCA/US Lacrosse All-America third team in 2008. Farrell, a Tewaaraton Trophy watch list selection and two-year member of the junior national team, led the Big Red in points (54), assists (26), game-winning goals (3) and ground balls (25) en route to first-team All-Ivy and IWLCA All-Northeast District honors in 2008. The two-time Ivy League Player of the Week graduated as the school's all-time leader in points (213) and assists (91). The first-team IWLCA all-region pick in 2007 also held school records for season assists (34) and assists in a game (6), which she has reached twice. Farrell set an NCAA record for fastest goal to start a game (8 seconds) in a 2007 win at Loyola (MD). She ended her career by registering at least one point in her final 53 games, the third-longest streak in the country.
• Maggie Fava '06 - Became the second Big Red Ivy League Player of the Year, capturing IWLCA third-team All-America honors in the process as a senior. Later in 2006, she joined four teammates on the All-Ivy first team as well as the IWLCA Regional All-America first team. Fava is one of the only two Cornell goalkeepers to earn first-team All-Ivy honors in program history and ended her senior campaign ranking fifth in the nation in goals against average (7.62) and ninth in save percentage (.522) in helping the Big Red rank fifth nationally in scoring defense. Fava helped Cornell to a share of its first-ever title with a 6-1 mark before being named the conference co-Player of the Year. Her 23 career victories in goal ranked second in school history, while her 363 saves was third.
• Carrie Giancola '02 - Was a three-time All-Ivy League selection, a two-time first-team pick and a second-team IWLCA All-American as a senior. The three-year starter broke school record for saves in a career (471) and ranked in the top 10 in saves in a season, goals-against average in a season and career and for career save percentage. She was in net for an ECAC title as a sophomore, the program's first NCAA tournament appearance as a junior and the school's first women's team to reach the NCAA Final Four as a senior. She posted a 41-12 record as a starter and her 7.47 career goals-against average ranked eighth in NCAA history when she graduated. One of her best efforts came in the Big Red's NCAA tournament win over seven-time defending national champion Maryland in 2002 to send Cornell to the NCAA semifinals when she posted 12 saves against just four goals in a 14-4 win. Giancola was given the school's Ronald Lynch Senior Spirit Award following her senior campaign for her leadership on and off the field.
• Cari Hills '98 - Was an All-American in both field hockey and lacrosse and graduated as the school's career leader in scoring in both sports. Hills was a two-time third-team All-American (1996, 1998) in lacrosse and a second-team All-American in field hockey (1995) during her four-year career. She was Cornell's first-ever All-American in field hockey. Hills was the Cornell Sun Athlete of the Year in 1998 and was the Richie Moran Award Winner in 1997. She earned first-team All-Ivy honors as a senior and was a second-team pick as a sophomore and junior. She captured first-team IWLCA all-region honors in her final three seasons and was a second-team all-region pick as a freshman. Hills graduated as the school's career leader in points (180), goals (131), ground balls (154) and draw controls (110).
• Erica Holveck '04 - A two-time IWLCA All-American, Holveck was part of the most successful era in Cornell women's lacrosse history, and her impact on the team can still be seen today in its record books. Holveck has the second-most caused turnovers in program history (96) and the third-most ground balls (152). A second-team All-American in 2002, she was a third-team pick in 2003. She was a first-team IWLCA all-region pick in 2002 and 2003 and was a first-team All-Ivy selection as a senior after earning second team honors in her junior campaign. She was part of 49 victories in her Big Red career, the highest win total over a four-year span in team history.
• Jaimee Reynolds '02 - The first four-time All-American in women’s lacrosse and the third in any sport at Cornell, Reynolds was one of three finalists for national player of the year as a senior. The 2002 Ivy League Player of the Year graduated with 11 school records, including season and career points, goals scored, ground balls, draw controls and caused turnovers. She was twice named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America first team, was a three-time Academic All-District pick and earned Academic All-Ivy accolades three times. Reynolds was a four-time first-team all-region pick, eventually earning a spot on the All-America third team in each of her first three seasons before capturing first-team accolades as a senior. Reynolds was the NCAA New York Woman of the Year and one of 10 finalists for NCAA Woman of the Year in 2002 and was a Honda Award finalist that same season. She helped the 2002 squad to a spot in the NCAA Final Four, becoming the first women’s team sport to reach a national semifinal at Cornell. Reynolds scored a then-NCAA Tournament record seven goals to help Cornell upset Maryland to reach the semifinals and end the Terrapins’ streak of seven consecutive national titles. She was named the Charles H. Moore Outstanding Senior Varsity Athlete, the Cornell Daily Sun and Ithaca Journal Female Athlete of the Year and took home the Richie Moran Red Key Leadership Award.
• Katherine Simmons '08 - Simmons was a three-time first-team All-Ivy selection and a four-time all-league honoree. She captured IWLCA third-team All-America and first-team All-Northeast District first team accolades as a senior. The two-year captain matched an NCAA record for fastest goal to begin a game by scoring just eight seconds after the opening whistle in a win over Brown. She was named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week (April 14) once, and her 128 career goals ranked fourth in school history, while her 152 points stood seventh all-time. Simmons, who earned the department's George Boiardi Award, was previously a second-team all-region pick in both 2006 and 2007. In 2007, Simmons was also the honored recipient of the Richie Moran Award, and was an IWLCA Scholastic All-American a year later in 2008.
• Catie Smith '17 - A two-time All-American, she finished her career at Cornell as one of the best defenders in women's lacrosse program history. A 2017 Tewaraaton Award candidate as a senior and an IWLCA first-team All-American, Smith finished as the Big Red's leading take-away defender for three consecutive years. As a senior, she set Cornell's single-season caused turnover record and led the Ivy League in that category for the second straight year (42). Smith was named the 2017 Ivy League Defender of the Year and the ECAC 2017 Co-Defensive Player of the Year after leading the conference in caused turnovers.Becamwthe second player in program history to reach 100 career caused turnovers and finished second all-time with 105. Smith was named first-team All-Ivy in 2016 and 2017 and was named to the 2017 Ivy League All-Tournament team. Smith helped Cornell to two consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and consecutive Ivy League Tournament Championship games, helping the Big Red win the program's first-ever title in 2016. She was also named Academic All-Ivy in 2016 and earned four Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week honors during her career.
Prior to Cornell
Graap is used to meeting challenges that are presented to her. Prior to returning to Cornell, she had been the head lacrosse coach at George Mason for four years. In 1994, the first year the Patriots sponsored the sport, the team went 3-12. Under Graap’s tutelage, they improved to 6-10 in 1997 with a significantly stronger schedule.
A 1986 graduate of Cornell’s College of Human Ecology, Graap was an assistant women’s lacrosse coach at Penn State from 1990-93 while completing a master’s degree in exercise and sport science. During her time with the Nittany Lions, they made three NCAA tournament appearances. Graap was also a field hockey and lacrosse intern at William Smith College from 1989-90. She received her first coaching experience as the head lacrosse mentor at the Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child in Summit, N.J., in 1989.
During her undergraduate days, Graap captained both the field hockey and lacrosse teams as a junior and senior, and earned a total of eight varsity letters in the two sports. She was second-team All-Ivy in field hockey as a senior, and is tied for 14th on the Cornell all-time career list with 24 points on 11 goals and two assists. Her 11 goals in field hockey tied her for 12th place on the Big Red’s list for career goals at the time.
In 1986, Graap was named to the Brine Regional All-America lacrosse team and ranks among the top 15 on the all-time school points list with 91 (61 goals, 30 assists). She is still ranked on the career goals and career assists lists with the Big Red women laxers. While at Cornell, she also served as secretary of the Red Key Athletic Honorary Society. She joined her younger sister, Ellen, on both the field hockey and lacrosse teams during the 1985-86 seasons. Ellen was inducted into Cornell’s Athletic Hall of Fame in November 2000.
From 1991-93, Graap remained active as a player, representing the Philadelphia Club at the USWLA national tournament. She also participated in the Vail Lacrosse Shoot-Out as a Team Ripple player from 1992-97, 1999 and 2004.
Graap has served the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches’ Association in several different roles throughout her career. She was a former IWLCA Division I vice president, has chaired the Northeast All Region committee, has served on both the All-American committee and the Coach of the Year committee, and is a new member on the Rules Administration and Game Management Committee. She was responsible for the design and launch of the IWLCA’s web site (www.iwlca.org).
Graap has also worked with the NCAA lacrosse championships, assisting with the national selection committee as a NCAA South regional representative and serving as a NCAA representative at the Division III championships. She served as a clinician for the NCAA’s Youth Education in Sport (YES) program in 1996, 1997, 2000 and 2005.
A native of West Chester, Pa., Graap attended East HS, where she lettered three times in basketball and played on the state runner-up field hockey team, in addition to the undefeated Chesmont lacrosse championship squad.
Graap and her husband, Dan Allen, reside in Ithaca.