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Monday, June 24, 2024

If the gorgeous facilities weren’t enough, the Florida lacrosse program just gained some additional street cred.

Head coach Amanda O’Leary announced last week that Caitlyn McFadden, the reigning two-time ACC Player of the Year, NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player and recent National Champion, will be a new assistant lacrosse coach for the Gators.

“This is a slam dunk hire,” O’Leary said. “Caitlyn is one of the most decorated lacrosse players ever and is the epitome of a successful student-athlete.”

McFadden, a current member of the United States Women’s Lacrosse National Team, captained the 2010 Maryland Terrapins which won the national title and just concluded a decorated career that saw her claim numerous accolades including All-American honors and female Scholar Athlete of the Year awards.

“As a player, I was fortunate enough to be part of a national championship team and I know the amount of dedication and hard work that it takes to get there,” McFadden said. 

McFadden’s hiring came on the heels of the departure of assistant coach Jennifer Ulehla. With a spot to fill, UF jumped at the chance for an impactful hire.

“We looked at all the options available and Caitlyn’s name kept popping up,” O’Leary said. “Everyone said great things about her and I met with her at a tournament we were both at. She was very interested. UF was an easy sell.”

Despite her youth, McFadden’s transition from player to coach will come very easy to her, O’Leary said.

“It is a different dynamic,” O’Leary said. “But it is all about respect. Our players have seen her play. They’ve seen her work ethic, commitment and determination. She’ll command respect.”

McFadden is no newbie to coaching, as she has worked camps across the country since 2007.

The Phoenix, Md., native worked as an instructor for Elevate Lacrosse Camps and Maximum Exposure Lacrosse Camps. She also conducted youth camps with the National Team.

Coach O’Leary referred to McFadden as a “student of the game” and said she will be involved in all aspects of coaching.

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Innovative offensive and defensive schemes are just some of the things McFadden will bring to the UF lacrosse program. O’Leary also said recruiting will be impacted by the hire.

“Every kid knows who Caitlyn McFadden is,” O’Leary said. “The name recognition will certainly help us because who wouldn’t want to come and be coached by one of the best players in the country.”

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