Lellie Swords begins her fifth season as the head coach of the University of Cincinnati's women's lacrosse program after building a resume that includes a playing and coaching career at the premier level. Dedicated to the complete development of her student-athletes, Swords provides her athletes the opportunity to succeed athletically, academically, and as contributing members of the community.
The Bearcats continued its improvement in 2010, scoring more goals on less shots than the 2009 squad. UC recorded a .447 shot percentage in 2010, nearly doubled its assists for the season (78 in 2010) and improved statistically in ground balls (351).
In 2009 the Bearcats began the season with a three-game win streak and ended the season on a two-game win streak. Cincinnati scored 58 more goals, controlled 48 more draws, picked up 15 more ground balls, and tallied 76 more points than the inaugural team, showing improvement in every statistical category.
Academically, the lacrosse team has been honored with the BIG EAST Conference Team Academic Excellence Award during both seasons it has been a member of the prestigious league (2008-09, 2009-10). The award recognizes the highest collective grade-point average in each conference sport.
The squad also posted a perfect Academic Progress Report score in 2008 and Lindsey Marshall graduated magna cum laude in the summer of 2009. Ten UC players earned IWLCA Academic Squad honors over the last two seasons. For the 2008-09 academic year, Jess Kazaks, Lauren Kelly, Patty Kelly, Shannon Lynes, and Lindsey Marshall were honored and for the 2009-10 academic year Jen Mott, Kazaks, Patty Kelly, Lynes and Skelton were recognized by the IWLCA for excellence in the classroom.
Additionally, Cincinnati was recognized by the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) as earning Academic Squad honors for the 2010 season. UC was one of 48 Division I schools to receive the recognition in 2010.
Swords has also encouraged her athletes to become active members of the community, varying from volunteering time around the holidays at the Drop Inn Center to visiting the Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Other community service projects have included Adopt a Family, Adopt a Troop, Toys for Tots, Sports Buddies, Cincinnati Kid Fest, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Ronald McDonald House, Winners Walk Tall, Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, Bras for Bridges, and Breast Cancer Awareness. The Bearcats have also given back to the lacrosse community as well. During the summer and fall, the team hosted several clinics for area youth.
Swords became UC's first intercollegiate women's lacrosse coach on Feb. 16, 2007, and led the Bearcats to the first win in school history on March 7, 2008, against Saint Mary's. She was selected as one of three BIG EAST coaches to serve on the Intercollegiate Womens' Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Board of Directors.
Prior to her coaching stop at UC, Swords helped Johns Hopkins build one of the premier women's lacrosse programs in the nation. The Blue Jays posted a 56-28 record during her time on the Baltimore campus. In 2003 and again in 2005, she directed a defense that was ranked in the Top 10 nationally.
Swords mentored 2005 all-American Lacey-Leigh Hentz, who was a four-time first team all-American Lacrosse Conference (ALC) defender. In 2007, sophomore Sarah Gallion earned second team all-ALC honors.
Swords served as the defensive coordinator at Johns Hopkins and was promoted to associate head coach in the fall of 2006. She was a volunteer assistant for one season before being promoted to full-time status in August 2002.
After beginning her coaching career at George Mason, Swords moved on to Cornell where she worked primarily with the Big Red defense. During her three-year stay in Ithaca, N.Y., Cornell was ranked as high as No. 15 in the national polls and won the ECAC Championship in 2000.
In 2001, Swords was an assistant coach at the St. Paul's School for Girls in Baltimore while concurrently serving as a volunteer assistant at Hopkins.
A four-year letterwinner at James Madison, Swords started all 35 games over her final two seasons. She led the team in interceptions in each of her final two seasons and was awarded the squad's Unsung Hero award in 1996. She also garnered Virginia I/South II honors as a senior.
The Cherry Hill, N.J., native graduated from JMU in 1996 with a bachelors degree in kinesiology and minor in business. She continued her playing career on Team Toyota until retirement in 2005.
Swords' husband, Kyle, played professional soccer in the A-League with the Hershey Wildcats and Charleston Battery, and in the indoor league with the Harrisburg Heat and Baltimore Blast. The Swords have three children, Ryanne, Killian, and Jameson.
The LELLIE SWORDS File Personal Information Husband: Kyle Children: Ryanne, Killian and Jameson Education: James Madison, `96 (BS in Kinesiology) Playing Experience: James Madison, 1992-96. Team Toyota, 1996-2005
Coaching Experience Coaching Experience: 13 seasons Year at Cincinnati: Fourth Career Record: 14-36