For the 2018 season, the University of Indianapolis Women’s Lacrosse team will see changes in its coaching staff. Interim Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach James Delaney moved up from his position as assistant last year to make room for new Assistant Women’s Lacrosse Coach Erin Abbott.
After completing her education and lacrosse career at Lindenwood University in May, Abbott took on the coaching role at UIndy. During her time as a student athlete, Abbott was team captain for three years, earned all-conference for all four years, was a two-time All-American, and led her team in four NCAA Championship semifinal appearances.
Abbott also earned Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year twice, which demonstrates her background knowledge on the defensive side. She already has been a great help to the team on defense, according to Delaney.
“Erin’s done a fantastic job in her early time here as an assistant. Obviously, she brings tremendous knowledge to the defensive side of the field., [which is] something that really complements me and balances my offensive mindset,” he said. “She brings a wealth of experience. She’s championship proven and went to four Final Fours. She knows what it takes for us to get to that next level, and that insight is invaluable.”
Abbott said, despite getting a job in coaching so quickly after graduation, She was not always sure about participating in lacrosse as a career. Now that she has the position, she said she hopes to bring her knowledge to the program.
“Coaching was not something that I always really thought about, but after I graduated from Lindenwood in May, it became more of a real idea for me,” she said. “I was really looking to give back to the sport and still be involved, because lacrosse has been a huge part of my life and given me so many opportunities. UIndy has some amazing facilities and a program that I really think can grow into an elite program and compete for a national championship. I’m all about winning. I’m a competitor, so this university had a lot of things that I was definitely interested in.”
According to Delaney, there has been little adjustment in having Abbot as assistant coach and him at interim head coach.
“It’s been great, no adjustment. Erin and I are very close as coworkers, but then also very close as friends. I think that’s the best relationship you can have,” Delaney said. “It really hasn’t been a difficult adjustment. We look forward to working with each other every day. We look forward to bouncing ideas off [of] each other and talking lacrosse. She’s a super-great person to work with and work alongside to build this program into a championship team.”
Abbott said that she has a lot to look forward to as a coach this season. She said the women’s team has a lot of raw talent, and she is excited to help them grow and develop as players, as well as to grow with them as a coach.
“I’m pretty confident in my abilities, obviously, I have a lot of growing to do in this area, but I have a lot of great mentors… My previous coaches at Lindenwood have been a fantastic support system,” Abbott said. “I just love being out on the field and trying to share my knowledge and watching these girls grow and develop. The time that I spent on the field and sharing my knowledge is probably the best part.”
According to Delaney, Abbott has already been helpful to the team and has adjusted well to her new leadership role.
“I think the players really respect her a ton and know that she knows what it takes to get to a championship. So when she speaks about things there’s no ifs, ands or buts about what she’s saying and the girls know that she’s going to help us get there,” he said. “She’s a tremendous leader. All those traits are fantastic. But then you pair them with her in-depth knowledge of the sport and of the defensive position. She is going to be, in my opinion, one of the best coaches to walk through here. I just hope that I can keep her around for as long as I can, because she’s going to be such a great coach and work her way up the ladder so fast.”