Dennehy named new lacrosse coach

Megan Dennehy was hired as the first women’s lacrosse coach in school history on June 24. Dennehy comes to UVa-Wise from Queen’s University where she led the Royals to .500 record last spring. Photos courtesy of Queens Sports Information Office
Megan Dennehy was hired as the first women’s lacrosse coach in school history on June 24. Dennehy comes to UVa-Wise from Queen’s University where she led the Royals to .500 record last spring. Photos courtesy of Queens Sports Information Office

The UVa-Wise Athletic Department has made their first step into building a women’s lacrosse program with the hiring of Megan Dennehy.
Dennehy will lead the first Highland Cavalier women’s lacrosse team. A Maryland native, Dennehy spent the last six seasons as head coach at Queen’s University in Charlotte, N.C. where she led the Royals to a .500 record last spring.
Dennehy enters Wise looking for a return to the small college atmosphere she experienced as a student-athlete at Limestone College in Gaffney, S.C.
“I was looking for a change. Being in a large city there’s some distractions, so I wanted to make sure I kind of went back to my roots,” Dennehy said. “What I was noticing with two successful schools in my conference was that these were schools that didn’t have much around so that recruits were obviously choosing the school based off of wanting to win and wanting to be successful.”
This will be Dennehy’s second time working with a beginning program and her first as a head coach.
“I think that with starting a new program as an assistant I didn’t really have all of the control,” Dennehy said. “Now that I’m the head coach I’m committed to bringing in talented athletes in-state and out-of-state that can go with the mission I’m looking to start.”
Already recruiting, Dennehy is using her connections throughout the Division II women’s lacrosse world to get the word out about the new program at UVa-Wise.
She said she is making plans to continue the process by attending recruiting tournaments, emailing coaches and getting recruits on campus, an activity she’s planning for the fall semester.
While Dennehy looks for the future in the 2014 recruiting class, she may have several lacrosse hopefuls on campus already.
Several students showed interest at an information session before the close of spring semester she said.
“I think my initial reaction is to just to get those girls together often and talk about the commitment levels of a division II program and what it’s all about and see if they’re willing to commit to that and during their first year just having a lot of practices getting in the gym, lifting, so that their ready for the following year when we are officially competing,” Dennehy said.
The team will officially begin varsity play in the spring of 2015 and become the 13th varsity sport sponsored by the college.
The option does exist to participate as a club sport this spring. However, Dennehy said club play is dependent on current on campus numbers and where the program is at that time.
Whether this spring or next, Dennehy’s committed to the long term.
“Starting a new program the first year or two might be a little rough and you may not have everything that it takes to be successful,” she said. “But I’m really trying to take a different approach in the recruiting so that I’m making sure that these freshmen I’m looking at have the maturity level and confidence level to be successful and to be leaders on the field right away.”

Todd Galyean

Senior political science major Todd Galyean served as editor-in-chief for The Highland Cavalier for the fall semester of 2013. He previously served as new/features editor and opinion editor.

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