Winthrop University

Winthrop University Athletics
Winthrop Coliseum - 1162 Eden Terrace Dr Rock Hill, SC 29733
Division 1 South Carolina Southeast
Public Medium National competitor


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Julika Blankenship

In 2016, Blankenship joined the Eagle program from Queens University in Charlotte where she coached the Royals the past three seasons. Queens flourished under Blankenship, winning three consecutive South Atlantic Conference Tournament titles and making the program's first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2016 which included a first-round victory and appearance in the Elite Eight.

"I am incredibly excited to lead the women's lacrosse program at Winthrop University," Blankenship said. "John Sung and his staff have done an amazing job starting the program and developing them into a highly competitive team. I would like to thank Tom Hickman and Ken Halpin for this opportunity. Ken's vision for the athletic department is inspiring and parallels my mission for the program. The current state of the program, the future of the University, and the administration's commitment to success made this an offer I could not refuse. I look forward to the continued success of our program in the classroom, in the community, and on the field."

In three years at the helm of the Royals, Blankenship compiled a 44-12 overall record and a perfect 22-0 conference record. She was twice named the South Atlantic Coach of the Year and her squad earned a top 15 ranking each of her three seasons.

"What stood out with Julika was her commitment to preparation, irrefutable results as a coach, and her clear passion for the experience of her student-athletes," Halpin said. "I am confident she can build on the amazing success established by Coach Sung and am excited to see where her leadership takes our lacrosse program."

Prior to her stint at Queens, Blankenship guided the women's lacrosse program at Washington College in Maryland for five seasons, amassing a 49-32 overall record. She started her collegiate coaching career at University of California-Davis where she was an assistant coach for one year.

As a student-athlete, Blankenship had a standout career at Gettysburg College. She finished her career as the all-time leader in both points and assists. As a senior captain, she led the Bullets to their third consecutive Centennial Conference Championship and a berth in the NCAA Division III Quarterfinals in 2004. She was named a first team All-American by the IWLCA/US Lacrosse, Inside Lacrosse, and and was selected as the Centennial Conference and ECAC Southern Player of the Year. Blankenship, who was also a second team Inside Lacrosse All-American as a junior, put up back-to-back 100-point seasons in her final two years with the Bullets, breaking the single-season school record for assists in each of those seasons.

Blankenship earned a bachelor's degree in Spanish from Gettysburg College in 2004 and earned a master's degree in psychology from Washington College in 2008.

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Taylor Marshall

Winthrop head lacrosse coach Julika Blankenship has announced the hiring of Taylor Marshall as the squad's new assistant coach.

Marshall joins the Winthrop program after spending the last two seasons as an assistant at Florida Tech, a Division II school in Melbourne, Florida.

"I am extremely excited about the addition of Taylor to our staff," Blankenship said. "Taylor brings tremendous enthusiasm and knowledge of the game. She is no stranger to success, having helped her program to two consecutive NCAA appearances.

Taylor brings the kind of leadership and energy that this young team will thrive on."

While with the Panthers, Marshall was tasked with coaching the defense and goalies while also focusing on recruiting and practice preparation. In 2017, she helped improve the Panthers from 10-7 to 14-4 and continued that success with a 17-3 record in 2018.

In addition to two NCAA appearances, Marshall's defense led NCAA Division II in caused turnovers in 2018, forcing 15.9 per game.

Prior to coaching, Marshall played four seasons at Detroit Mercy. She saw time in 53 games as a defender, forcing 24 turnovers, picking up 39 ground balls and corralling 15 draw controls. The Titans reached the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship three straight seasons and Marshall earned an All-Tournament selection her senior year while also earning All-Conference honors as a sophomore.

"I'd like to first thank Coach Blankenship and Dr. Halpin for this opportunity," Marshall said. "I'm very excited and honored to work and learn from such a highly regarded person as Julika. This program has had a lot of success and their positive team culture is really significant and enthralling. I can't wait to be a part of it all, share my passion and help them grow."

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