Mindy McCord enters her 11th season as the Jacksonville women's lacrosse head coach heading into the 2020 and has compiled a record of 141-54 over her first 10 years with the Dolphins. Overall, this is her 31st season as a coach at the high school or collegiate level.
As the first-ever coach for the women's lacrosse team, McCord has led the Dolphins from a startup program to national prominence, highlighted by six appearances in the NCAA Tournament and a combined 14 conference regular season and tournament titles between the National Lacrosse Conference and the ASUN Conference. Under her direction, the Dolphins have also compiled 17 NCAA statistical championships and one individual statistical title (Rachel Hannon, Draw Control – 2012).
JU has set the standard for offensive success over McCord’s tenure, leading the nation in scoring on six occasions and setting the NCAA record for scoring offense twice – in 2012 and 2018. Most recently in 2019, the Dolphins led the nation in both scoring offense (18.00) and scoring margin (9.14).
Jacksonville matched its program record with 17 wins in 2019, including the Dolphins’ first-ever victory in the NCAA Tournament – a 22-7 drubbing of Mercer in the Opening Round held at D.B. Milne Field. The game was also the first NCAA Tournament contest hosted by the Dolphins. JU rode its win streak through its seventh consecutive ASUN Conference Regular Season title and its sixth ASUN Tournament crown. Following the tournament, five players were named to the ASUN All-Tournament Team, including MVP and freshman draw specialist Molly Brock. Eleven total players were named to the All-ASUN Conference Teams, with freshman goalie Dayna Martinetto named ASUN Freshman of the Year and McCord voted Coach of the Year for the second straight season and fifth time at JU. Martinetto was also named to the Inside Lacrosse Women’s Rookie of the Year Watch List.
The 2018 season saw the Dolphins bring home their sixth-straight ASUN Conference Regular Season title, along with their fifth ASUN Tournament title as they defeated Coastal Carolina, 25-19, in the highest-scoring ASUN Tournament championship. Additionally, Ashtyn Hiron earned ASUN Player of the Year honors, McCord was named ASUN Co-Coach of the Year, and nine players earned All-ASUN honors. The Dolphins earned their second-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament and fifth appearance in six years.
In 2017, the Dolphins earned a share of the ASUN regular season title after finishing 9-1 in conference play, and went on to win their fourth ASUN Tournament Championship in five years, defeating Coastal Carolina 11-10. McCord also coached two-time FIL World Cup participant for Team Australia Ashtyn Hiron. Two Dolphins were selected to represent JU at the annual IWLCA North/South Senior All-Star Game as Danielle Della Rocca and Erika Brager both played for the South Team.
The 2016 season saw the Dolphins post an NCAA-best scoring margin and points per game, along with second-best scoring offense, rank third in assists per game, sixth in scoring defense, and ninth in caused turnovers per game. McCord was again named the conference's Coach of the Year, and led seven players to First or Second-Team honors, as well as the ASUN Defensive Player of the Year in Ashtyn Hiron.
In its best season yet, Jacksonville recorded a program-high 17 wins in 2015 to secure its third consecutive ASUN championship. The Dolphins exited the NCAA Tournament in the opening round, falling 13-8 against Massachusetts, but left on a high note. The campaign ended with a program-best 11-game winning streak, and set a new single season best in points (467) and assists (156). The defense also surrendered a program-low 146 goals. It marked the first time the Dolphins earned a statistical championship in assists while also finishing first in scoring margin and ground balls.
The Dolphins were crowned Atlantic Sun champions in 2014 after trumping Detroit, 18-4, in the title game. Lauded for their offensive and defensive prowess, over the course of the season the Dolphins earned 11 A-Sun Player of the Week honors, 10 All-Atlantic honorees - including Player of the Year (Morgan Derner) and Defensive Player of the Year (Britt Orashen) - and three Academic All-Conference recipients, including Scholar-Athlete of the Year (Ali Hoffman).
The program continued to receive national attention as it brought NCAA statistical titles in scoring (15.4 per game) and ground balls (24.25) back to the First Coast and closed the season with the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) honoring the team and four student-athletes for academic achievements.
Collectively, JU’s grade point average earned the team a spot on the Division I Academic Honor Squad while former Fins Alexandra Hoffman (Finance) and Kaitlin Stewart (Computer Art and Graphic Design) joined rising seniors Tori Seitz (Accounting) and Holly Ventimiglia (Physical Education) on the Academic Honor Roll.
Directing the Dolphins to a 13-6 record in the 2013 campaign, the team was ranked first in the NCAA in scoring (15.86 goals per game), caused turnovers (11+ per game) and ground balls (25+ per game). To top off her amazing 2013 season, Coach McCord was named Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year and was selected to coach the IWLCA Division I Senior All Star Game as the coach of the South team. Twelve players earned individual all-conference awards at the conclusion of the season.
Coach McCord’s team also proved to be scholar athletes with a combined team GPA of 3.47, which was the second highest team average in Div. 1 women’s lacrosse. Her squad earned the IWLCA's highest academic recognition in 2013 and has posted a remarkable team GPA higher than 3.3 since 2011.
In their third year, McCord guided the Dolphins to the title in 2012 as JU won the conference tournament on top of a 6-1 NLC record. The Dolphins beat rival High Point, 19-6, in the final capping a season-ending run that saw the team give up a paltry 5.5 goals per game in the last eight contests while winning eight of their last nine. Coach McCord landed her 100th career victory in the 20-10 win over Louisville on March 12, 2012.
On top of winning the NLC title, 2012 saw the Dolphins lead the country in scoring (18.6 goals per game) for the second consecutive year and defender Rachel Hannon set the NCAA all-time record for draw controls in a season (131).
In just their second year, McCord guided the Dolphins to a regular season NLC championship in 2011, posting a 7-0 record in league play and a 14-5 overall mark. The Dolphins also won two NLC Tournament contests, advancing to the conference championship game against High Point.
JU led all Division I teams in scoring average, posting 308 goals in 19 games for a 16.21 goals-per-game average. McCord’s team joined Stanford, Maryland and national champion Northwestern as one of just four programs to crack the 300-goal mark. The Dolphins also thrived in the classroom, recording a collective 3.34 grade-point-average.
In 2010, McCord's team finished first nationally in ground balls in finishing its inaugural campaign 7-11. That season also included the first victory in JU history when the Dolphins beat Detroit-Mercy, 15-13. In building a program from scratch, McCord earned co-NLC Coach of the Year honors after JU advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament.
As a women’s lacrosse and field hockey coach, McCord has accumulated 251 wins in two sports at all levels. Her teams have earned either first-place championships or runner-up status 12 times during her 23 seasons as a head coach. McCord has recruited and developed 11 All-Americans, 23 regional All-Americans, and six conference players of the year.
McCord’s coaching career began while studying for her masters in Counselor Education at Virginia Tech. While attending the school, she coached the women’s lacrosse club team for two years, helping them to earn Division I status in the ACC.
Her full-time coaching career began as a 23-year old head coach at prestigious Oberlin College in Ohio. As one of the NCAA’s youngest head coaches, she hit the ground running winning consecutive lacrosse conference titles in 1997 and 1998. During the 1997 season, her squad boasted an undefeated conference record (11-0), leading to North Coast Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors. The two titles were the only two championships won by any program at Oberlin College during her four-year tenure.
She continued her career at McDaniel College as head field hockey and lacrosse coach. While in her hometown (Westminster, Md.), McCord won the school’s first and only conference title in field hockey, where she is second all-time with 61 victories and has the school’s best winning percentage (.656). For her efforts during the 2002 season, McCord was named Centennial Conference Coach of the year in field hockey.
She rebuilt the lacrosse program at McDaniel, helping the Green Terror to a 10-6 record in 2002 and establishing recruiting in-roads that have led to McDaniel becoming a consistent top-25 program.
McCord moved to the First Coast in 2004 and immediately began spreading her joy of lacrosse into the community by building and consulting with youth leagues, high school programs and officials groups. She took over a fledgling program at Nease High School in 2006. The program had won only three games in their first three seasons combined, but in her first season at the helm, Nease won four games and climbed to a top-20 ranking in the State of Florida. Nease went on to win consecutive district titles, and back-to-back #8 rankings in Florida in '07 and '08. During the 2008 season, Nease finished with a record of 13-5 and a ranking of #16 in the southern United States. During her final season at Nease, McCord earned her 100th win as a lacrosse coach (102-73). For her efforts at Nease, Mindy was named by her peers as US Lacrosse-Orlando’s Coach of the Year.
McCord co-founded with her husband a national travel lacrosse club called the Lax Maniax Elite. This club has helped more than 275 young women from Florida go on to play lacrosse in college and has boasted 22 high school all-Americans. The program won the 2007 and 2008 Southeastern Lacrosse championship and is recognized as the leading national club in the south.
For the past four years, McCord has served as a Division I representative to the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA), and has served the last four years on the Division I ranking committee. Along with those duties, McCord served the JU community as a member of EAC from 2012-16 on the wellness committee and was the Vice President of the EAC from 2015-16.
As a player, McCord has national and international playing experience. She was a four-year starter at Lynchburg (VA) College, earning rookie of the year, team captain, all conference, regional All-American, and North/South Senior All Star game honors. Coach McCord also played while studying abroad in Australia. In 2015, McCord was inducted into the Lynchburg College Hall of Fame.
McCord was born in Westminster, Md., and attended Westminster High School where she played field hockey, lacrosse, and ran track, earning honors in all three sports. In her senior year, she founded and implemented the first lacrosse club in Carroll County, Md., for middle and high school girls. Her husband Paul is the associate head coach at JU and works for Legacy Global Sports. Their daughter, Taylor, played lacrosse at Jacksonville and earned her BS in 2015 and her MBA in 2016, and currently works for Black Knight Financial. The couple also has a two and a half year old son, Lytton, born in 2015. The family resides in Neptune Beach, Fla.