Innovative. Difference-Maker. Creative. Stellar. Spectacular: All words used to describe Jen Adams throughout her illustrious playing career on the collegiate and international levels.
Those same adjectives hold true for her coaching and leadership styles as she enters her 10th season at the helm of the Loyola women's lacrosse program in 2018.
Since coming to Loyola, Jen Adams has directed a resurgence of the program back to national prominence. Inheriting a squad that posted a 6-10 record in 2008, Adams turned that into an 11-6 mark in 2009 and an 11-7 record in 2010. Her 2011 squad won its first of two-straight BIG EAST Championships, returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004 and tied a school record for wins in a season, posting a 17-3 record. Her 2015 squad tied that record with a 17-5 mark and won a second-straight Patriot League title, while the 2016 team gave Adams five conference championships in six years, winning a third-consecutive Patriot League Championship.
Entering the 2018 season, Adams has a career record of 121-56 in nine years. The three-time IWLCA Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year led Loyola to six-consecutive NCAA Championships appearances from 2010-16, where she was one of just six coaches in the nation to have led their program to a win in the NCAA Tournament each of those first five years.
In conference play, Adams’ squads have dominated. In the last six seasons, her teams have posted an overall record of 48-2 in regular-season conference contests and have claimed five league titles – back-to-back BIG EAST Championships (2011, 2012) and three-straight Patriot League titles (2014, 2015, 2016). The BIG EAST title in 2011 was the first for the program, while 2014 win was the school’s first-ever Patriot League Championship, a League it joined for the 2013-14 school year.
Nationally, seven of Adams’ squads have began the season ranked in the top-15 of the IWLCA Preseason Coaches Poll, while Loyola's stretch of four-straight years ranked in the preseason top-10 made the Greyhounds one of just seven programs in the NCAA to be ranked among the nation’s top-10 teams from 2012-15. She’s also brought 17 All-America honors to the Greyhound, including churning out nine All-Americans and producing three of the program’s eight three-time All-Americans: Marlee Paton ’14, Taryn VanThof ’15 and Maddy Lesher '16.
As a member of the BIG EAST Conference, Adams picked up co-BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors in 2011 and led the Greyhounds to back-to-back BIG EAST Tournament titles, a 27-12 record in conference games and a 4-2 mark in tournament action. Four times in her five years with the conference, she guided a Greyhound to a major conference award, with Grace Gavin being tabbed the BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year in both 2010 and 2011, and Marlee Paton and Kellye Gallagher picking up midfielder and defender of the year honors, respectively, in 2012. Paton and Gallagher also became the program’s first pair of first-team All-Americans since 2003 that year.
Adams didn’t miss a beat in transitioning to the Patriot League in 2014. Tabbed as the League’s preseason favorite each of her first four years, Adams guided the Greyhounds to an unblemished 34-0 record in regular-season play, a regular-season championship each of those years and three-straight tournament titles, as well. She has been named the League’s Coach of the Year three times (2014, 2016, 2017) and brought eight major awards to the Greyhounds, including three-straight Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year accolades to Maddy Lesher.
Under her tutelage, Adams has coached eight All-Americans, with five being repeat honorees, and one Tewaaraton Award finalist. She’s collected 17 All-America, 42 All-Mid-Atlantic Region and 52 all-conference honors for her players, while 12 major conference awards have gone to Loyola throughout Adams’ tenure.
Prior to coming to Loyola, Adams served as the associate head coach under Cathy Reese at the University of Maryland during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. She was also an assistant to Reese at the University of Denver from 2004-06.
At Maryland, Adams rejuvenated the Terrapins offense to play in her up-tempo attacking style. In her first season as associate head coach, Maryland scored 287 goals, the most it had recorded in a season since 2001, Adams' senior year.
In 2008, Adams helped Maryland ascend to a No. 2 rank nationally. The Terrapins finished with an 18-3 record and were ranked sixth in the NCAA in goals scored and second in total points.
Adams took a break from the college game during the summer of 2012 and 2015 and assisted her sister, Trish, at the Under-19 World Championships. The Adams duo led the U-19 Australian National Team to a silver medal in 2012 and to the semifinals in 2015. She will serve as the Australian's U-19 Co-Head Coach with former Greyhound Stacey (Morlang) Sullivan for the 2018 World Championships.
As a Player
Adams is regarded as the finest female lacrosse player of all time. Putting together arguably the greatest collegiate women's lacrosse career in the sport's history, Adams led Maryland to four-straight national titles from 1998-2001, including a 21-0 record in 1999 and a 23-0 mark in 2001.
Adams put together arguably the best collegiate lacrosse career of any player in the collegiate ranks during her tenure at Maryland from 1998 -2001. She racked up honors like she scored goals and recorded assists and was named to the NCAA Division I Women's Lacrosse 25th Anniversary Team in April 2007.
The Brighton, South Australia native, was named the three-time national player of the year and was the first recipient of the Tewaaraton Trophy in 2001.
Adams set every scoring record for the Terrapins - season and career - helping them win national titles in each of the four seasons she spent in College Park. She finished her storied career with 267 goals, 178 assists and 445 total points. Her marks for total points stands today as an NCAA record, and her goals total is still a record at Maryland.
In addition to her career marks, Adams had single-season performances that also rank amongst the best in Maryland and NCAA history. During her Tewaaraton-winning senior season, Adams led the nation with 88 goals, 60 assists and 148 total points, setting school single-season marks in the process. Those season totals only added her name one rung higher, as she had set school records with 81 goals, 55 assists and 136 total points the previous season.
Adams' efforts were not limited just to the lacrosse field. In addition to her three All-America honors as a player, Adams earned the 2000 and 2001 Honda/Broderick Award for women's lacrosse excellence in the classroom and on the field. She also garnered CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team honors as a senior.
She was also named the National Attacker of the Year in 1999, 2000 and 2001 and earned Atlantic Coast Conference Female Athlete of the Year laurels in 2000 and 2001.
On an international level, Adams has been a member of the Australian National Team since winning the U-19 World Championships in 1995. She went on to represent Australia at the senior level, including captaining them to a 14-7 defeat of the United States in the gold medal game of the 2005 World Cup. She scored four goals, and assisted on three others, in the gold medal game and earned All-World honors after leading all players with 26 assists and 47 total points.
Adams was also a member of the Australian National Team that took home the silver medal the 2009 Women's World Cup in Prague, Czech Republic. Adams recorded a team-high 15 goals and led the tournament with 26 assists and 41 total points in the World Cup and recorded a goal and a pair of assists against the United States in the gold medal game. In 2013, Adams tore her ACL during training camp prior to the games, but still captained the Aussies to a silver medal in Oshawa, Canada.
In addition to her continued participation with the Australian National Team, Adams has been a highly sought clinician around the world and is the primary spokeswoman for STX Women's Lacrosse.
Adams graduated from Maryland in 2001 with a bachelor of arts degree in sports marketing