Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard University and Bob Scalise, The John D. Nichols '53 Family Director of Athletics, have announced the endowment of Harvard Athletics' 20th coaching position and first funded entirely by women: The Carole Kleinfelder Head Coach for Harvard Women's Lacrosse.
This endowment, the third women's head coaching position at Harvard, was made possible through the generosity of 40 donors, including former players or their parents: Karen Everling Abate '90, Maureen Finn Austin '83, Rachel Burke '93, Becky Gaffney Campbell '92, Susan Carls Churchill '91, Kerry K. Clark '12, Megan Colligan '95, Stephanie Formica Connaughton '87, Erin Cleary Cook '96, Lisi Bailliere Dean '89, Nicole DeHoratius '90, Francesca DenHartog '83, Liz Berkery Drury '93, Lynn Frangione Dwyer '90, Ceci Clark Enge '92, Kimberly H. GwinnLandry '93, Char Joslin '90, Francie Walton Karlen '94, G. Barrie Landry P'93, P'99, Vanessa Lavely '04, Jennifer B. Landry Le '99, Sarah C. Leary '92, Heather Hussey Leder '02, Hilary Walton Lehman '02, Courtney Leimkuhler '01, Andy Mainelli '85, Genevieve Mallgrave '95, Lizzy Frisbie Matteini '02, Erin Kutner McCafferty '02, Keltie Donelan McDonald '01, Kate McAnaney Molinsky '89, Chris Sailer '81, Kate Schutt '97, Lila Rifaat Steinle '91, Genie Simmons Thorndike '86, Natalie Curtis Thorne '08, Maggie Vaughan '90, Julia French Veghte '90.
Carole Kleinfelder, for whom the position is named, guided the Harvard women's lacrosse program as head coach for 25 seasons from 1979-2003. During that span, the Crimson captured 12 Ivy League championships, including seven straight from 1987-1993, and won the 1990 NCAA title. Kleinfelder coached Harvard to a 260-132-3 overall record and 109-67-1 conference mark, while also helping the Crimson earn 52 All-America selections by 28 players during her impressive tenure.
"It is a remarkable testament to Carole Kleinfelder that so many of the Harvard athletes whose lives she shaped have come together to honor her legacy," said Harvard President Drew Faust. "Their generous gift is as much a celebration of a coach's leadership as it is an expression of the extraordinarily strong ties developed in the women's lacrosse program at Harvard."
"I'm delighted that a group of women has gotten together to do this," Scalise said "It's especially meaningful that they've chosen to name this endowment for their former coach – Carole Kleinfelder – a tremendous advocate for the sport of lacrosse and a mentor for her students."
Kleinfelder's 1990 NCAA championship team, which posted a perfect 15-0 record, will celebrate its 25th anniversary during an on-field ceremony prior to Harvard's home game against Yale on Saturday, April 25. The 1990 Crimson women's lacrosse squad, the only undefeated team in program history, was the first Harvard women's team to win an NCAA title and defeated Maryland, 8-7, in the championship game.
"The women's lacrosse program is very fortunate to have such wonderful and supportive alumnae," said Lisa Miller, The Carole Kleinfelder Head Coach for Harvard Women's Lacrosse. "This generous collective effort speaks volumes about the women who participated in the program, Carole's leadership at a time when she imagined what could be, and the meaning of sport for women. This effort, not only provides tremendous opportunity for our current and future student-athletes, but is also precedent setting for other women's programs at Harvard, in the Ivy League, and across the country.
"I am thrilled, thankful and proud to be the Carole Kleinfelder Head Coach for Harvard Women's Lacrosse."
Kleinfelder, a two-time National Coach of the Year while at Harvard (1990 and 1992), designed the first molded stick for women's lacrosse and coached the U.S. National Team in 1978 and 1979. Prior to her time in Cambridge, Kleinfelder was the president of the Philadelphia Lacrosse Association from 1974-76 and was later inducted to the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame as an athlete in basketball and both a player and coach in lacrosse in 1996. Kleinfelder picked up lacrosse at West Chester and earned three varsity letters before making the national team and graduating with a degree in physical education in 1965.
The Carole Kleinfelder Head Coach for Harvard Women's Lacrosse is the first women's head coaching position to be endowed since The Costin Family Endowed Coach for Women's Swimming and Diving and the Landry Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Ice Hockey were both announced in April 2008.