Elaine Jones takes over as new women’s lacrosse head coach

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Elaine Jones has taken over the position of head coach for the UIndy women’s lacrosse team, according to a UIndy Athletics article posted on Nov. 9th. Her taking over the position follows the Greyhounds taking home the national title during the spring. The process that went into selecting Jones for the position spanned several months, according to Associate Athletics Director for Business Operations Erin Abbott-Gillin.

Women’s lacrosse head coach Elaine Jones stands in front of the camera for a photo at lacrosse practice. The Greyhounds are coming off of a monumental year having won the national championship, and they finished the season with a 22-1 record and 12-0 at home.
Photo by Gabe Eastridge

“Coming into the program, we wanted somebody who could continue the winning tradition [when] we just came off of a national championship, and we thought that was really important for the girls who came here and chose to be part of UIndy because they felt like it was a winning culture,” Abbott-Gillin said. “So first and foremost, picking somebody who could continue with that trend and transition… We also wanted somebody who the girls could go to and feel comfortable with and that was able to kind of move us forward and support our athletes.”

Jones has also had a substantial career in coaching women’s lacrosse, according to UIndy Athletics, Jones led the women’s lacrosse program at Longwood University in Virginia and in 2018 had the team leading the league in assists. Although Jones will not have much time with the players before students get out for winter break, she is optimistic about the team’s performance.

“I think they [the team] look good. I think they’re receptive. I think there are some

things that, I do differently than their previous coaching staff did, or what they had done in the fall,” Jones said. “So I think there’s just a little adjustment period where, they have to be like, Well, we haven’t done this before, but we’ll give it a go.” 

Given the changes in play style that might occur, the players have been responsive and open to learning, according to Jones.

“I think they’re being receptive, and I think in the two days that I worked with them, they seem to be working hard,” Jones said. “So, I’m excited to see what tomorrow brings.”

Winning a championship is hard, but defending the title is even harder, according to Jones. Additionally, Jones said she intends to help the Greyhounds keep their national title.

“… Winning a national championship is an amazing feat, and not everybody gets to do it,” Jones said. “There’s one winner in DI, DII, DIII. And this team got to do it last year and I think that should be celebrated. We should be proud of that. I’m proud of them even though I didn’t coach them.” 

Jones has also had extensive playing experience, according to Abbott-Gillin. The experience of playing and being a coach is something that can benefit this team, and Jones intends to bring those years of experience to the field.

“She’s a huge testament to the sport and has seen it through for a long time. I mean, I laughed with her that not a lot of people know this lacrosse used to be played without boundaries. So if you think about a field, there were literally no sidelines…,” Abbott-Gillin said. “She’s excited about the direction of the sport. And I think that that’s really cool that she’s bought into where we’re going and she’s always learning and always watching lacrosse, and always seeing how she can improve as a coach.”

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