Meghan Dennehy will enter her sixth season at the helm of the women’s lacrosse program at UVa-Wise and her 12th season as a collegiate coach when the Cavaliers begin play in 2020.
The coach guided UVa-Wise to back-to-back regular season and conference tournament titles over the school’s final two seasons in the Mountain East Conference in 2018 and 2019. Overall, Dennehy has posted a 53-33 record since starting the program at UVa-Wise in 2015. A year ago, she claimed the 100th win of her coaching career as she has tallied 102 total victories.
Last spring, the Cavs posted a 9-1 record in league games and a 13-6 mark overall as the school won its second regular season and conference tournament crown in as many seasons. Under Dennehy’s direction, seniors Jessica Apgar and McKayla Grasham earned Second-Team All Midwest Region honors while the duo joined three other teammates as All-MEC First-Team performers.
In 2018, UVa-Wise posted a program-best 14 victories en route to an unblemished record against conference competition as the school claimed its first league title. The Cavs capped the year with a triple overtime victory over Shepherd University in the conference tournament finals to finish the year 7-0 against league foes.
For her efforts, Dennehy was tabbed MEC Coach of the Year for the second time in four seasons while goalie Melanie Reilly became the first player in school and league history to earn all-region acclaim by being tabbed second-team all-region. Reilly also earned MEC Defensive Player of the Year accolades and joined five teammates who claimed All-MEC First-Team honors.
In 2017, the Cavaliers posted a then program-best 12 victories while recording a 4-1 mark in MEC play. Finishing second in the regular season league standings, Dennehy’s team had three players named All-MEC First-Team while Reilly was named Defensive Player of the Year and Jesse French took home Freshman of the Year accolades.
In five seasons, Dennehy’s players have been named to an all-region squad three times while being named All-MEC First-Team on 18 occasions. UVa-Wise lacrosse student-athletes have also claimed two Defensive Player of the Year awards, a Freshman of the Year honor and a plethora of weekly awards under Dennehy’s tutelage.
Before coming to UVa-Wise, Dennehy was the head coach at Queens University of Charlotte for six total seasons. Dennehy came to Queens in the fall of 2007 as the assistant lacrosse coach. After a semester of being at Queens, she took over as interim head coach. The team finished with a record of 11-7 overall and finished third in the conference. Shortly after the season ended she was promoted to head coach. In her six years at the helm, she compiled a 49-57 record playing some of the toughest competition in the nation.
Queens’ women’s lacrosse team finished second overall defeating the number six team in the nation Pfeiffer University advancing them to the conference finals for the first time in the history of the program. Four of Dennehy’s players were named to the all-conference academics team while two players earned all-region recognition and one was selected second team all-American.
Over Dennehy's six-year stint, she had 23 players named to the all-conference team, 10 named to the all-tournament team, 10 named to the conference academic team, one conference player of the year, one conference freshman of the year, eight all-region team selections, five academic all-American team selections and two all-Americans.
Before Dennehy joined the Queens Athletics coaching staff, she served as the assistant lacrosse coach at Belmont Abbey College for the ’05-’06 and ’06-’07 seasons. There, she was an integral part in building the women’s lacrosse program that began in 2005. With her assistance, the team ended each season with an 8-10 record, and in her final season was ranked 10th in the nation. Dennehy’s main role at Belmont Abbey was to work with the defense, but she was often involved in other aspects of the game as well. In addition to these duties, Dennehy recruited prospective athletes and created and implemented a lifting program for the team.
Dennehy, a native of Gambrills, Maryland, is a 2004 graduate of Limestone College where she received a bachelor’s degree in fitness and wellness with a minor in biology. At Limestone she earned All-American honors for three consecutive seasons in lacrosse. During her senior year as a captain, she led the Saints to a 13-4 record and a national ranking of third in the country. During that same year Limestone made its first appearance in the school’s history to the NCAA Final Four. Over the course of her career Dennehy set a school record with 58 goals in the 2004 season and also holds school records for goals (151) and points (193) in a career. She also played two seasons of soccer. In 2013, Dennehy was inducted into the Limestone College Hall of Fame.
Dennehy is married to Jen Boa who works with the team as its leadership and character development coordinator. Boa is also a clinical assistant professor of social work for East Tennessee State University. The couple and their daughter Olivia live in nearby Norton.