Brenna Gallagher ('16) enters her first year as the IUP head women's lacrosse coach for the 2019 season. She was named the program's seventh head coach on July 30, 2018.
Gallagher returns to her alma mater after spending the last two seasons with the Misericordia women’s lacrosse program, including 2018 as the head coach. She led the Cougars to the team’s fourth straight Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) championship game appearance and a 12-9 overall record this spring.
Misericordia boasted a 6-1 MAC Freedom record under Gallagher, finishing second in the division behind 7-0 FDU-Florham. The Cougars outscored division opponents 125-46, scoring at least 19 goals five times. They led the division in scoring with 320 goals (15.2/game) and finished second with a scoring margin of +5.5. Misericordia displayed balanced scoring under Gallagher, with nine players scoring at least 20 goals and five totaling 40 or more points. Sophomore Kaila Quinlivan led the team with 54 goals and tied a program record with 85 points.
Five of the Cougars' nine losses came by two goals or less, including an 11-9 decision to FDU-Florham on the road in the MAC Championship. Gallagher and Misericordia secured the program's fourth straight trip to the ECAC Championships, falling to Marywood in the semifinal round.
Gallagher helped five players earn all-conference honors in 2018, including four first team selections. She also saw two underclassmen – Brianna Ladner and Quinlivan – named to all-region squads.
Gallagher was named the head coach at Misericordia in May 2017 after one year as the team’s graduate assistant coach, handling many of the day-to-day operations under interim head coach MaryKate Stauffer. The Cougars set a school record for wins in 2017 with a 14-5 record and advanced to the ECAC title game.
She went into coaching in 2016 after a standout collegiate career with the Crimson Hawks. A second team All-American selection as a senior, Gallagher led IUP with 53 ground balls and 26 caused turnovers and finished second with 63 draw controls. The ground ball and caused turnover totals are both top five marks in single season program history.
Gallagher finished her career as the program’s all-time leader with 161 ground balls and 73 games played, starting 71 times. She’s also currently second in the IUP record books with 91 caused turnovers and ninth with 100 draw controls for her career.
She started 15 of 17 games as a true freshman in 2012, finishing second on the team with 22 caused turnovers. Gallagher combined for 40 caused turnovers her next two seasons, before playing just three games in 2015 after suffering a season-ending injury. She was awarded a medical redshirt and returned for her All-American 2016 season.
Gallagher and the Crimson Hawks had a combined 60-28 record from 2012-16, advancing to the semifinals of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) tournament three times under head coach Mindy Richmond. Gallagher now replaces Richmond, who went 105-67 in 10 years at IUP, after she left to take over the program at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.
Gallagher earned bachelor's degrees in child development and family relations, and sociology and human services from IUP. She is currently pursuing her master's degree in organizational management.