Everyone has to start somewhere. Cathy Swezey saw to it that the Vanderbilt
Commodores started on top in their first season in the American Lacrosse Conference.
In her fifth season as Vanderbilt's head coach Swezey led the Commodores to
the inaugural American Lacrosse Conference championship, a title which will
secure an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by the 2004 season.
The ALC preseason poll forecast the Commodores to finish third. They exceeded
those expectations in no time. They clinched the conference title with three
weeks remaining in the season and finished unbeaten at 6-0. Overall they went
It was a theme that continued throughout the campaign as Swezey consistently
guided the team to victories over higher-ranked opponents. The first two over
Johns Hopkins and Penn State, moved Vanderbilt from No. 19 to No. 11 in the
Brine/Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association Division I poll.
She helped lead the Commodores to their highest ever ranking - No. 8 - in the
poll. VU ended the season at No. 10 and earned a No. 9 seed in the 16-team NCAA
Tournament. For her efforts, Swezey earned Coach of the Year honors from the
American Lacrosse Conference and InsideLacrosse.com.
The 2001 season was an uphill battle, due in large part to the loss of seven
starting senior leaders and the dependence of 10 freshmen players against a
tough schedule. Although results were not achieved in terms of wins and losses,
Swezey's fourth season was an opportunity to instill a sense of character and
mental toughness into the players which guided the team to future greatness.
In her third season, Swezey took her 2000 team a few steps closer to her goal.
The Commodores defeated a Top 10 team, Boston University, for the first time
in the history of the program and ended the year ranked 13th in the nation-one
spot from reaching the NCAA Tournament.
Swezey was nominated for "Coach of the Year" by the Intercollegiate
Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association, as she led Vanderbilt to a 10-6 record
against one of the toughest schedules in the country.
"Cathy is one of the nation's brightest young coaches," Director
of Vanderbilt Athletics Todd Turner said. "She had tremendous success as
a player, has worked in some excellent programs and knows what it takes to win
Swezey's coaching career began at her alma mater, Trenton State College. She
was a graduate assistant coach for both the field hockey and lacrosse teams
from 1994-1996. During that time, the lacrosse team earned two NCAA championship
titles, and the field hockey team earned the title in 1995. While coaching,
Swezey was able to earn her master's degree in health education.
The three-time All-American had a rare two-sport career at Trenton State, earning
stardom in both field hockey and lacrosse.
Swezey, a centerback for the field hockey team from 1989-92, led the team to
two national championships (1990, 1991). In her junior year, she was named All-American
and All-Conference. Following her senior season she was selected as the New
Jersey Athletic Conference College Player of the Year, named to the NJAC All-Conference
team for the second time and the NCAA Four All-Tournament team. She earned regional
and national All-America honors.
Success followed Swezey onto the lacrosse field as well. She started for Trenton
State's national championship teams in 1991, 1992 and 1994 and for the 1990
national runner-up squad. Swezey missed her 1993 season with a knee injury,
but returned to the field the following year.
Not only was she an All-American in 1992, she received the honor again in 1994.
Swezey also captured Regional All-American honors in 1992 and 1994, named to
the NCAA Final Four All-Tournament team in 1992 and 1994 and the Attack Player
of the Year award from the South Jersey Lacrosse Club her senior season.
Swezey became a member of the United States lacrosse squad upon graduation in
Swezey Quick Facts
||Moorestown (N.J.) High School
||Trenton State, 1993
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology
Master's in Teaching degree from College of New Jersey, 1996
||Played Attack/Center: Moorestown H.S., Trenton State (Captain of 1994 > squad),
U.S. National Team (1994-95).
||All-American (1992, 1994), All-Region (1992, 1994), Attack Player of the Year
(1994), NCAA Final Four All-Tournament Team (1992, 1994), NCAA Division III National
Champions (1991, 1992, 1994), NCAA Division III Runner-Up (1990), North/South
Collegiate All-Star Game (1994).
Member of the United States Women's Lacrosse Association, Graduate Assistant,
Trenton State College (1994-96), Assistant Coach, James Madison University (1996-97),
Vanderbilt University (1997-present).
* American Lacrosse Conference Coach of the Year (2002)
* InsideLacrosse.com National Coach of the Year (2002)
* Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association National Coach of the
Year Nominee (2000)