Pitt has hired Emily Boissonneault as its first varsity women’s lacrosse coach, athletic director Heather Lyke announced on Friday.
“It takes a special individual to build a program from scratch,” Lyke said in a press release. “You need someone who has great vision, relentless energy and confidence to build something unprecedented. I am excited we have found that type of person and leader in Emily Boissonneault. She brings to Pitt an excellent pedigree as a coach and player and knows what it takes to compete against the premier lacrosse conference in the country.”
Boissonneault will join the Panthers program immediately, but Pitt won’t field a team until the 2022 season. She comes to the Panthers from James Madison, were she was associate head coach for the last four seasons. Under her tutelage, the Dukes won three CAA titles, earned four NCAA Tournament bids and won the National Championship in 2018.
An Ontario native, Boissonneault is also an assistant coach with the Team Canada U19 National Team and was a member of the 2013 and 2017 FIL World Cup Canadian National Team. She also played professional for the Boston Storm of the United Women’s Lacrosse League. She played collegiately at Detroit and earned a master’s degree from Winthrop in 2015.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to be joining the Panther family as the first head coach of the Pitt Lacrosse program,” Boissonneault said in a press release. “Starting a program is a unique opportunity, and I am looking forward to getting to work and building a competitive program in the ACC, the premier lacrosse conference in the country. Throughout the process, it quickly became clear that Pitt was the place where I wanted to be head coach.”
Pitt makes nine ACC schools to sponsor women’s lacrosse, joining Boston College, Duke, Louisville, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Duquesne and Robert Morris also sponsor women’s lacrosse locally.
There are plans for a new lacrosse-specific playing field in Lyke’s Victory Heights capital plan for the Pitt’s campus athletics facilities. Pitt will host games at Ambrose Urbanic Field in the Petersen Sports Complex in the meantime.