Carol Cantele ’83 is entering her 27th season as the head coach of the Gettysburg women’s lacrosse program in 2019. Cantele is the program’s all-time leader in wins, amassing a record of 399-107 (.789 winning percentage) and claiming 11 Centennial Conference titles and three national titles.
Cantele has led Gettysburg to back-to-back national titles. After going 21-3 and topping top-ranked TCNJ 6-5 in the 2017 title game, the Bullets made it back to the big stage and topped No. 4 Middlebury College 11-9 in 2018. Gettysburg became just the fourth Division III program to win back-to-back titles.
The Bullets tied the program record for wins with a mark of 21-2 last spring with 10 of those wins coming against teams ranked in the final top 25. Gettysburg also claimed the Centennial Conference crown with a 15-7 win over No. 7 Franklin & Marshall College in the league playoffs. The team set a new program standard by earning the top spot in the national poll for seven consecutive weeks. Cantele was named the IWLCA Division III Coach of the Year for the fourth time following the season.
Cantele also joined elite company in the pantheon of lacrosse coaches with her 400th career win as the Bullets defeated Salisbury University 10-2 in the regional championship in 2017. Cantele is one of just four coaches in NCAA history to reach the milestone and she has compiled a record of 423-130 (.765) in 30 seasons. She ranks third all-time in total victories.
Over the last 19 seasons, Cantele has led the Bullets to unprecedented heights. The team has competed in the NCAA Division III Tournament 18 times and has advanced to the national semifinals seven times in the last 13 years.
In 2011, Cantele led Gettysburg to the first NCAA team title in school history. The Bullets knocked off Bowdoin College 16-5 in the national championship game and finished with a season record of 19-4. Cantele was named NCAA Division III Coach of the Year.
Cantele has coached Gettysburg each year the school has competed in the Centennial Conference. Over the last 24 years, the Bullets have turned in an impressive record of 200-35 (.851) in conference play. The team won its league record 11th title in 2018.
Gettysburg has received 54 All-America citations from the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) in Cantele’s 26 years at the helm. Additionally, seven Bullets have been named IWLCA Division III Player of the Year at their respective positions. In 2018, Steph Colson ’18 was lauded as the inaugural NCAA Division III Player of the Year. Cantele has also coached 100 all-region selections, 141 all-conference honorees, one Academic All-American, and two Elite 89 Award winners.
Cantele’s success has been recognized often by her peers. She has been named NCAA Division III Coach of the Year four times (2006, 2011, 2017, 2018), Metro Region Coach of the Year 10 times (2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018), and Centennial Conference Coach of the Year twice (2013, 2015). Cantele was tabbed Division III Coach of the Year by Inside Lacrosse for the third time in 2018.
Gettysburg has won at least 14 games in each of the last 19 seasons, including a school-record 21 in 2006, 2017, and 2018. The program has maintained a national ranking in every poll since the 2000 season. In 2006, the Bullets ascended to the No. 1 spot for the first time in program history, a feat it duplicated in 2007, 2012, 2015, 2017, and 2018.
Cantele earned her 300th career victory with a 17-3 win over McDaniel College on April 4, 2012. She notched win No. 200 when the Bullets defeated Gwynedd-Mercy College 21-2 on March 3. On April 10, 2002, Cantele became the program’s all-time coaching victories leader and the first Gettysburg women’s lacrosse coach to win 100 games when the Bullets downed Dickinson College 16-9. She led her 1995, 1997, and 2001 squads to the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Mid-Atlantic playoffs, capturing the championship in 1995.
Cantele has been recognized as one of the top contributors and proponents to the sport of women’s lacrosse. In the fall of 2016, she was given the Diane Geppi-Aikens Memorial Award, one of the highest honors given by the IWLCA. The award recognizes lifetime achievement to the women’s college game.
In 2009, she was awarded the Judith M. Sweet Commitment Award by the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA), given to those individuals who have provided outstanding leadership and commitment to colleagues and student-athletes in intercollegiate athletics. Also in 2009, Cantele was named head coach of the U.S. Developmental Team and she served an assistant coach with Team USA during its run to the gold medal at the 2013 World Cup.
Cantele also compiled a school-record 121 coaching victories and five conference championships in 10 years with the Gettysburg field hockey program before resigning in 2002 to focus on women’s lacrosse and her new role as senior woman’s administrator. Cantele is also the Assistant Director of Athletics and oversees the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
Prior to returning to her alma mater, Cantele turned around the lacrosse program at Plymouth State University, taking a 3-9 team in her first season there to a 10-2 team in her last in 1992. In her four seasons at the helm, she was 24-23. She also coached the Panthers’ field hockey team for two seasons, leading the squad to a 20-11-2 record and an appearance in the ECAC semifinals.
Cantele served as a graduate assistant with the field hockey team at Miami (Ohio) University from 1986-88 where she attained an M.A. in physical education with an emphasis in sport psychology/coaching behavior. She also served as the head coach of the club lacrosse team at Miami.
Cantele is one of a select few to lay claim to national titles as both a coach and as a player. A 1983 graduate of Gettysburg, the former Carol Daly helped the Bullets win the school’s first national title with the field hockey team in 1980. That team won the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) Division III Tournament – the precursor to the NCAA Championships. A dual-sport athlete, Cantele also competed on the Bullets’ lacrosse team and led that program to its first national playoff appearance in 1981.
Cantele resides in Gettysburg with her husband, Mike, a 1988 Gettysburg grad and the head athletic trainer for the Bullets.