ALLISON KWOLEK NAMED WOMEN’S LACROSSE HEAD COACH
CLEMSON, S.C. — Allison Kwolek (pronounced KWOH-lek) has been named Clemson’s first Women’s Lacrosse Head Coach, Athletic Director Dan Radakovich announced on Monday. Earlier this summer, the university announced the planned addition of the new varsity sport along with women’s gymnastics. Lacrosse is expected to begin competition in Spring 2023, while gymnastics will follow suit in 2024. Kwolek has served as head coach at the University of Richmond since 2013, which includes a 64-16 (.800) winning percentage, a 27-5 conference record and two conference tournament and two league regular-season championships in the past five seasons. Richmond was nationally ranked in the top-10 each of the last two seasons and has qualified for the NCAA postseason in two of the last three tournaments, which doesn’t include the 2020 season in which the Spiders started 7-0 and defeated No. 6 UVa before the season was cut short due to COVID-19.
“We are delighted to welcome Allison and her family to Clemson,” said Radakovich. “Allison brings tremendous knowledge of the game and proved to be a great fit as we looked to identify our first head coach. The response from the community has been overwhelming for Clemson women’s lacrosse, and we’ll lean on Allison’s expertise and vision to build this program the right way.” “I’d like to thank President Clements, Dan Radakovich, Stephanie Ellison-Johnson, Graham Neff, Kyle Young and Jordy Kirr and the entire administration for this opportunity,” said Kwolek. “Clemson offers the unique opportunity to build a program from the ground up and implement my vision and culture from day one. The ACC is the pinnacle of college lacrosse, and it is a tremendous opportunity to begin a program at a school so committed to the success of the student-athlete. That commitment was everywhere I looked on my visit to campus and I am excited to start building the program immediately.”
The Spiders have enjoyed their most successful run in their program’s history under Kwolek’s leadership. When the William and Mary graduate took over the program in 2013, Richmond had accumulated just 10 winning seasons since their inaugural season in 1983. Kwolek racked up seven winning records in her nine seasons as the head coach, resulting in a cumulative record of 101-52 (.660). Kwolek’s success was not limited to the regular season, although she did garner two A10 regular-season championships over the past five campaigns. The Spiders are 11-5 in postseason play under Kwolek, including a 3-0 run in the 2019 A10 Tournament, culminating in being crowned conference champions for a second-straight year. Kwolek has qualified for seven straight A10 Tournaments and has reached the championship game in six of those appearances. She has coached five Atlantic 10 Players of the Year, along with numerous all-conference selections. Two of her players have been named to the watch list for the Tewaaraton Award, a recognition earned by the best player in NCAA men’s and women’s lacrosse.
Prior to her time at Richmond, she served as an assistant at the College of William and Mary, Columbia University, and Dartmouth College. Formerly known as Allison Evans, Kwolek was an All-CAA midfielder at William & Mary and defender on the USA Team. She was inducted into the Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Potomac Chapter in February 2015 and named to the William & Mary Athletics Hall of Fame in 2020. She and her husband Mark have a daughter, Olivia.