Women's Lacrosse Coach Bio
Jill Redfern is in her fourth year as head coach of the Lehigh women’s lacrosse program. Redfern has led the Mountain Hawks to the Patriot League Tournament in each of her first three seasons, to extend Lehigh’s overall streak to five in a row. In her time, the Mountain Hawks have won 11, 14 then 10 games for 35 wins to only 17 losses as Redfern continues to take the Lehigh program to new heights.
Last season, the Mountain Hawks advanced to their fifth straight Patriot League Tournament, joining Colgate as the only teams to qualify in each of the past five seasons. Lehigh also posted an impressive win at Navy in front of a national television audience on CBS Sports Network, joining eventual National Champion Northwestern as the only two teams to defeat the Midshipmen in Annapolis. The Mountain Hawks hung tough on the road against nationally-ranked ALC squads Florida and Penn State, taking an early second-half lead against the Gators, a team which rose as high as No. 2 in the national rankings. Lehigh finished among the national leaders in a number of statistical categories, ranking ninth in scoring margin (4.65), 11th in scoring defense (8.94), 12th in draw controls (13.94) and 13th in scoring offense (13.59).
Redfern helped lead senior Lauren Dykstra, who garnered three postseason All-America honors, which included becoming Lehigh’s first IWLCA All-American since 1996. The multi-dimensional Dykstra finished 2011 as the nation’s leader in goals per game, winning Patriot League Midfield Player of the Year to complete the cycle of league major awards; Dykstra previously won Rookie of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Redfern also coached Dykstra to a Lehigh and Patriot League record in career goals as Dykstra stands sixth in NCAA history with 257.
During her inaugural season on the sideline, Redfern led the Mountain Hawks to the fourth most victories in a single season in school annals, the most home wins in program history and the program’s third consecutive Patriot League Tournament berth as Lehigh tied the school mark for the most Patriot League victories in a single season (four). That would be one-upped as Lehigh went 5-1 in league play both in 2010 and ’11. Redfern’s success continued in 2010 as the Mountain Hawks jumped out to an 8-0 start before winning the Patriot League Regular Season Title and advancing all the way to the Championship Game.
Redfern was named the head women’s lacrosse coach at Lehigh on June 23, 2008. Prior to that, she served as the associate head coach of the program. During that time, she helped lead the Mountain Hawks to a pair of Patriot League Tournament appearances and helped mentor 13 All-Patriot League selections, three consecutive Rookie of the Year honorees and a pair of Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year award winners.
In 2008, Redfern brought on assistant coach Kelley Putnam (who is currently associate head coach at Lehigh). The two went on to mentor a program record eight All-Patriot League selections, including freshman Kelly Draper who earned the program’s fourth consecutive Patriot League Rookie of the Year Award - a first for all programs among all sports in Patriot League history. Redfern was also instrumental in the development of Dykstra who was named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, First Team All-Region and was selected to the final tryout for the United States Women’s Developmental Team.
Redfern has enjoyed a very successful career in coaching, which includes a previous stint at Lafayette College where she garnered Patriot League Coach of the Year honors in 2000 after leading the Leopards to the league title. Redfern also served as an assistant in both the field hockey and lacrosse programs at Lafayette for 10 years before assuming the head coaching position. In four seasons as head lacrosse coach (including her time at Lafayette), Redfern has recorded double-digits in victories each season, winning Patriot League Coach of the Year three times. Her overall career record now stands at an impressive 46-21 (.687).
During her playing days, Redfern was a two time Division III All-American at Ursinus College and earned the MVP award of the 1986 NCAA Tournament as she helped lead the Bears to a national championship. Following her collegiate playing experience, Redfern was a member of the US National Lacrosse Team from 1987-1993, and capped off her international play as a member of the winning United States World Cup Team in 1993, in Edinburgh Scotland.
Redfern is a 1988 graduate of Ursinus College, and later earned her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Lehigh in 1991. She was inducted into the Ursinus Hall of Fame in 1998 for her exceptional contributions to women’s athletics.
Redfern and husband Tom reside in New Jersey with their two children, Nicholai (14) and Cecily (12) and their dog Licorice.