University of Chicago women's lacrosse launched a new era on Thursday with the hiring of Kate Robinson as the program's first head coach.
Director of Athletics & Recreation Erin McDermott previously announced the addition of women's lacrosse as the school's 20th varsity sport on January 18. UChicago's newest intercollegiate program is set to begin varsity competition with Robinson at the helm in spring 2019.
"We could not ask for a higher quality person or coach to lead women's lacrosse," McDermott said. "Kate Robinson is first-rate in everything she does. I am confident that with Kate's vision, philosophy, and abilities, women's lacrosse will thrive. Transitioning a club team to varsity at Whitman College along with experiences as a coach and player have prepared her perfectly. We are excited to welcome Kate as the first head coach of a varsity women's lacrosse team at the University of Chicago."
"I am tremendously excited and honored to be joining the University of Chicago and the already-successful athletics department," said Robinson. "I am very grateful to Erin McDermott and the entire search committee for the opportunity to start the varsity women's lacrosse program. This is a premier institution as well as a place where the new women's lacrosse team will flourish, and I am thrilled to be part of that process."
Robinson began her coaching career at Whitman, which competes at the NCAA Division III level within the Northwest Conference. She was also that program's first head coach as the Blues moved from club to varsity status under her guidance. Over her three years, Whitman doubled its win totals in each subsequent season. After posting two victories in 2015 and four in 2016, Robinson's squad peaked with a 9-6 record in 2017. The Blues also took second place in the NWC with a 6-2 conference record.
The continued ascent in the win column helped Robinson earn recognition as the NWC Coach of the Year in both 2016 and 2017. Her teams produced 12 All-NWC players during her tenure, including five this past season. Sophomore Lindsay Schwartz was named the NWC Player of the Year and Mary Noyes garnered NWC Freshman of the Year accolades. Schwartz was also picked as a First Team All-Region honoree by the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA).
Before her arrival at Whitman, Robinson spent two years as assistant coach at Stevens Institute of Technology and one year as graduate assistant coach at her alma mater, The Catholic University of America.
Robinson was a record-setting lacrosse player for Catholic as an undergraduate and pulled in three All-American honors in the process. She was a four-time All-Region selection and a two-time Landmark Conference Player of the Year. Robinson ranks as Catholic's career leader in goals (268) and points (383), while also holding single-season records for goals (91), assists (44), points (121) and caused turnovers (45). Additionally, she was a two-time team captain on the basketball team.
When UChicago women's lacrosse makes its varsity debut, it will do so as an associate member of the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW). The Maroons will continue to be a full member of the University Athletic Association (UAA), while also retaining associate football membership within the Midwest Conference (MWC).