Temple made history in 2016 when it finished second in the Big East Conference tournament.
The Owls finished third during the regular season after being chosen to finish sixth in the preseason coaches’ poll. The team was led by coach Bonnie Rosen, associate head coach Jennifer Wong and assistant coach Claire Hubbard.
Rosen and her coaching staff were recognized for their hard work when they were named the conference’s co-staff of the year, sharing the honor with the University of Florida’s staff. It was Rosen’s first coach-of-the-year honor since she won the Atlantic 10 Conference’s award in 2008, when the Owls made their last NCAA tournament appearance.
“When you get a coaching award, it is a reflection of the success of your team and that’s what you look for as a coach,” Rosen said. “Last year we won and we did it as a huge team effort and it was really wonderful to have our colleagues recognize the accomplishments of the team and the players who were on our team.”
Former attacker Rachel Schwaab, who led the team in goals last season, said the award was well-deserved.
“It was really awesome for them to finally get credit,” Schwaab said. “I know they won’t talk about it that much. It was awesome to see them get that accolade and I think just the season in general deserved that award.”
The coaches’ jobs extend beyond the field. Rosen has had nine players earn the Inquirer’s Academic All-Area honor and has had 42 players named to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association’s academic honor roll.
“The biggest thing I feel as a coach is that the competitive Division I lacrosse experience has the ability and should be something that enhances the higher education process,” Rosen said. “For me it goes hand-in-hand with academics. So to me doing both well is what we strive for.”
Rosen has also gotten her team involved in the community through Friends of Jaclyn, an organization that connects children who have brain tumors with collegiate sport teams to help improve their quality of life.
The coaches lead by example by getting involved in the local lacrosse community. Wong serves as the chairperson for the IWLCA outreach committee that focuses on diversity and minority development.
“Bonnie made me take over the committee to improve the number of minorities getting into coaching and staying involved in coaching,” Wong said. “It’s been great for meeting people. And it’s been really nice to hear the stories and share in their own professional development and journeys.”
Each coach took a different path into lacrosse and to Temple.
Rosen started playing lacrosse when she was in seventh grade and started coaching at camps when she was in college. She came to Temple in 2006 after serving as Connecticut’s coach for 10 years. Rosen started UConn’s program in 1997 and coached the Huskies to eventually become a Top 20 program.
Wong started playing lacrosse during her freshman year of high school and played goalkeeper at Connecticut under Rosen from 2001-05. She always aspired to be a coach.
“The funny story is I actually dreamed of coaching when I was younger instead of being the professional athlete,” Wong said. “So I think it is something that has always been in me and something that I was interested in.”
After coaching Rutgers University’s goalies and defense for two years, Wong made the move to Temple in Fall 2007 to get her master’s degree and serve as Rosen’s graduate assistant coach. She was promoted to associate coach in 2010 after a one-year stint as the head coach at Immaculata University.
Hubbard started playing lacrosse when she was 4 years old and came to Temple in 2015 to start her coaching career after playing at Stanford University from 2007-10.
“To be perfectly honest my connection came after meeting and speaking with Bonnie,” Hubbard said. “I thought it would be a great first step for me in terms as a mentor who could help me start my coaching career.”
Rosen is the Owls’ fourth head coach since the program was started in 1975 by Tina Sloan-Green, who won two national titles and led Temple to nine NCAA tournament appearances in her tenure. In comparison, Temple’s football team is currently on its 27th head coach and fourth in the last 10 years.
“I knew the history of Temple lacrosse well from my college days and of the success of the program,” Rosen said. “It’s very rewarding to be a part of the success and history of the program and to be able to move that forward has been just a real honor and continues to be something I couldn’t be happier about.”
Tessa Sayers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SayersTessa.