Washington & Lee University

Washington and Lee University Athletics
204 W. Washington St. - Warner Center Lexington, VA 24450
Division 3 Virginia Northeast
Private Small National competitor

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Brooke Diamond O'Brien

Brooke Diamond O’Brien is in her 13th season as the head women’s lacrosse coach at Washington and Lee.


Over her 12 seasons, O'Brien has led the Generals to a 183-54 (.772) overall record. The Blue and White have won 11 ODAC titles (103-4, .962 winning percentage in league play) and made 11 trips to the NCAA Tournament, highlighted by a Final Four appearance in 2017. She has been named the ODAC Coach of the Year seven times, the VaSID Coach of the Year twice and was the IWLCA Chesapeake Region Coach of the Year in 2017.


The W&L women's lacrosse players have thrived under O'Brien's leadership. A total of 14 players have combined for 17 IWLCA All-America accolades, including four first team honorees. O'Brien's players have also totaled 45 IWLCA all-region laurels, 31 VaSID All-State citations and 78 All-ODAC honors. She has coached six ODAC Player of the Years, two ODAC Offensive Player of the Years, one ODAC Defensive Player of the Year, two VaSID Player of the Years, three ODAC Rookie of the Years and four ODAC/Farm Bureau Scholar-Athlete of the Years.


The most successful season in program history came under O'Brien's watch in 2017. The Generals went 19-2 overall (setting the W&L single-season record for victories) and captured the program’s eighth-straight ODAC Title. The Blue and White advanced to the NCAA Semifinals for the first time in program history, before falling to TCNJ, 5-4, in double overtime. W&L earned its first No. 1 ranking in the Nike/US Lacrosse that year, and for her efforts, O’Brien was named the IWLCA Chesapeake Region, ODAC and VaSID Coach of the Year.


In 2019, the team totaled the second-most wins in program history, finishing the year 18-3. W&L defeated four Top 20 teams during the season, advancing to the NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinals. The Blue and White led Division III with the fewest turnovers per game (11.86), and also set a new program single-season scoring record with 351 goals. The Generals claimed their 10th straight ODAC Championship, and notched 15 straight victories during the season, while going a perfect 11-0 at home. W&L also swept all five major ODAC honors, while putting nine players on All-ODAC teams.


The Generals continued their ODAC streak under O'Brien in 2018 and claimed their ninth straight league championship, while making the NCAA Tournament for the ninth consecutive year. W&L finished 16-5 overall and went a perfect 8-0 in the ODAC. The Blue and White fell in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at York (Pa.). O'Brien claimed the 150th victory of her career during the season.


O'Brien's first campaign at W&L resulted in one of the best seasons in program history. The Generals set a then school record for wins in a season (17-3) and at the time, achieved the highest national ranking (5th) in the history of the program. W&L went undefeated in conference play, claimed the conference tournament title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.


In 2014, O'Brien led the team to another 17-3 mark. The Generals claimed the ODAC title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament regional round after taking down Denison, 13-5, in the second round at home. W&L's season came to an end when it fell to fourth-ranked TCNJ in the regional round. Coach O'Brien also recorded her 100th career win in the ODAC title game after going a perfect 10-0 in conference play and 11-0 at home.


In the 2015 campaign, the Blue and White claimed a 16-3 overall record and a 10-0 mark in ODAC action. After claiming an ODAC title, W&L appeared in the NCAA Tournament and defeated Sewanee, 18-4, in the second round. The Generals’ advanced to the regional round of the playoff, before falling to 17th-ranked Fredonia.


O'Brien came to W&L after serving as an assistant women's lacrosse coach at Amherst College and as a graduate assistant women's soccer coach at Smith College from 2005-07.


At Amherst, O'Brien assisted in all aspects of the program and helped lead the Lord Jeffs to a No. 6 ranking and the NCAA Quarterfinals in 2006. At Smith, O'Brien was also involved in all aspects of the women's soccer program and helped lead the team to a 14-7-1 record and an ECAC New England Championship during the 2006 season.


O'Brien graduated Magna Cum Laude from Amherst in 2003 with a bachelor of arts in psychology and law, jurisprudence and social thought. She earned a total of 12 letters as a member of the women's lacrosse, women's soccer and women's basketball teams and served as a captain for all three sports.


In lacrosse, she was a two-time First Team All-America selection and two-time Kelly Award winner as the Division III National Goaltender of the Year. She was named the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division III Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was selected the Division III Women's Lacrosse Tournament's Most Outstanding Player in leading the Lord Jeffs to the 2003 National Championship.


In soccer, O'Brien was a four-time all-region selection as a goalkeeper, leading Amherst to the 2001 NESCAC Championship and an NCAA Tournament Runner-Up finish. She was a two-year captain of the basketball team. Following her playing career, O'Brien was presented the Howard Hill Mossman Trophy as the senior athlete who brought the greatest honor to athletics at Amherst College during their four years.


A native of Longmeadow, Mass., and an alumnus of the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Conn., O'Brien worked as a financial analyst with Goldman, Sachs & Co., in New York and London from 2003-05. She earned a master of science in exercise and sports studies from Smith College in the spring of 2007.


The former Brooke Diamond married W&L Assistant Football Coach Brendan O'Brien in July of 2011. The couple resides in Lexington with their sons Davis and Grant.

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Dani Ellis

Dani Ellis is in her second year as assistant women's lacrosse coach at Washington and Lee.


In her first season with the Generals, the team totaled the second-most wins in program history, finishing the year 18-3. W&L defeated four Top 20 teams during the season, advancing to the NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinals. The Blue and White led Division III with the fewest turnovers per game (11.86), and also set a new program single-season scoring record with 351 goals. The Generals claimed their 10th straight ODAC Championship, and notched 15 straight victories during the year, while going a perfect 11-0 at home. W&L also swept all five major ODAC honors, while putting nine players on All-ODAC teams.


Ellis came to W&L from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), where she served for the past two seasons. She was the graduate assistant for the Rams' women's lacrosse team during the 2016-17 season, and then was promoted to Director of Player Development for the squad during the 2017-18 school year.


In her time at VCU, Ellis assisted with the offensive players and overall game strategy during practices and games, while developing new drills and offensive sets for the Rams. VCU went 3-14 the year before she arrived, and Ellis helped improve the team's win total to seven during her first season.


Ellis earned a bachelor of science in psychology at Winthrop and was a four-year letterwinner on the women's lacrosse team. She played in 75 career games and totaled 75 goals and 85 assists. She earned her master of education in sport leadership from VCU in 2017.

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