SU Fills Women's Lacrosse Head Coach Vacancy with Former Program Star
Syracuse University is replacing a hugely successful head coach for its Women’s Lacrosse Team.
12 NCAA Tournament appearances in 14 seasons. That’s the resumé former Syracuse women’s lacrosse head coach Gary Gait held when he took over as the men’s lacrosse coach on June 10th. From 2013-2016, the Orange made the national semifinals every season. Thanks in large part to Gait’s successor.
On Wednesday, Syracuse University named Kayla Treanor the third head coach in Syracuse women’s lacrosse history. As a player, Treanor is SU’s all-time leading scorer with 260 goals. She also set a program record with 79 goals in a single season back in 2014.
“I am ready,” the accomplished Treanor stated in her introductory press conference. “This is an opportunity I’ve wanted for a long time. This isn’t something that I just stumbled upon. I have been working at this my whole life.”
Treanor has coached the last five seasons at Boston College, appearing in four national championships and taking the title in 2021 over Syracuse. Her time as a player and a coach impressed Syracuse Athletic Director John Wildhack and the search committee.
“She’s a perfect fit for our culture,” Wildhack mentioned in his opening statement. “It would take me a half hour to recite all of Kayla’s accomplishments. Her knowledge, passion, and commitment is unsurpassed.”
The team’s leading scorer last season, Meaghan Tyrrell, showed her excitement on social media this morning.
The Syracuse lacrosse family is extensive, welcoming, and strong. Kayla Treanor knew about this connection as a player, but this bond within the program has only amplified.
“Syracuse is all about the family...the support I’ve gotten is unbelievable,” Treanor acknowledged. “For me, I said it feels like I’m coming home. It certainly feels like I’m coming home. I’m so happy to be coming home to Syracuse alums and families that have taken me in.”
Family and unity are goals Treanor wants to emphasize as head coach. The other goal that is embedded in Treanor’s program is the obstacle SU has been trying to hurdle for years.
“It’s two major things: I want the student-athletes to come here and love their experience. I want them to leave and say the same thing I did, that this was the best four years of their life. My second goal is to bring a national championship back to Syracuse.”
Syracuse women’s lacrosse has appeared in nine consecutive NCAA tournaments with no hardware to show for it. Within this nine-year run, the Orange have finished as national runner-up three times.
As a coach at BC, Treanor was also a national runner-up three times. She knows what it’s like to finish a win away, but after the latest spring season, knows how she can get the Orange over the hump.
“They [the Boston College coaching staff] taught me alot. They taught me how to be a championship coach. I know what it takes with the pieces, the commitment, the discipline. Syracuse has had a lot of success and I’m looking to build on that success and hopefully bring home a championship.”
Although Treanor becomes one of the youngest coaches in the sport, the 27-year-old has a plethora of quality experiences in the biggest moments. When asked if Treanor’s age was a concern, John Wildhack came back with a resonating response.
“Pat Summit was 23. Mike Krzyzewski was 27. Coach Boeheim was 31. I think your question has been answered.”
None of this, both within the Syracuse women’s lacrosse program or for Kayla Treanor, would’ve been possible without Gary Gait.
“Gary Gait gave me an opportunity that changed my life,” Treanor stated. “I owe a lot of my success to him. Coach and I have a unique bond. When he really believes in you, it’s incredible what you can accomplish. He believes in me and it’s such a powerful thing.
Coach Gait’s squad finished with a 17-4 record last season. Treanor will have a lineup full of IWCLA All-Americans, including Emily Hawryshcuk, Meaghan Tyrell, and Megan Carney at her disposal. Emma Ward, Jenny Markey, and a midfield headlined by Sam Swart will be valuable tools for Treanor to utilize, as well.