June 15, 2016
by Rob Moseley
Photo: Jeffrey Camarati/UNC Athletics
EUGENE, Ore. – With the Pac-12 Conference poised to sponsor women’s lacrosse beginning in 2018, the Oregon athletic department wants to set its own lacrosse program on a championship course.
To do so, the Ducks went out and hired a coach with championship pedigree.
The Ducks on Wednesday announced the hiring of Katrina Dowd as the second head coach in UO lacrosse history. Dowd replaces Jen Beck, who guided the program to a 120-97 record in its first 12 years of existence.
Dowd won three NCAA championships as a player at Northwestern, from which she graduated with a B.S. in communication studies in 2010. She comes to Oregon after four years as an assistant at North Carolina, where she helped coach the Tar Heels to national titles in both 2013 and the recently completed 2016 season.
“Coach Dowd has the kind of championship-caliber experience, both as a student-athlete and a coach, that will be perfect for taking University of Oregon lacrosse to the next level,” UO athletic director Rob Mullens said. “Her passion and commitment to an exceptional student-athlete experience made her the right fit for Oregon lacrosse. We’re particularly excited to see the level of skill development she brings to the team, given her elite playing career.”
Dowd was named first-team all-American and NCAA tournament most outstanding player as a junior at Northwestern in 2009, the third straight year she won a national title with the Wildcats. As a senior in 2010 she was again first-team all-American, as well as a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award as national player of the year.
Internationally, Dowd helped the U.S. national team win a World Cup championship in 2013. During that tournament, she set a national-team record with 26 goals in seven games. The attacker was named to the event’s “All-World” team.
“My philosophy is to teach the game with passion and belief,” Dowd said. “At the core that’s about player development and team chemistry. We’re going to attract the best student-athletes, provide them a one-of-a-kind student-athlete experience and compete at the highest level, with the ultimate goal of winning national championships.”
Dowd was North Carolina’s lead assistant as the Tar Heels won this year’s NCAA title. In her four years at Chapel Hill, Dowd was offensive coordinator and draw specialist coach; the Tar Heels were No. 5 in the nation in scoring with 13.59 goals per game in 2016, and No. 8 in draw controls per game with 13.41.
Dowd began her coaching career as a volunteer assistant in 2011 with Denver, which currently plays in the MPSF with Oregon. She then spent one season at Syracuse, and helped the Orange reach the 2012 NCAA final.
“I am honored and excited to become the women’s lacrosse coach at Oregon,” Dowd said. “I want to thank Rob Mullens, Lisa Peterson and the entire Oregon athletic department for this incredible opportunity. I would also like to thank the University of North Carolina and Jenny Levy for a phenomenal four-year experience.”
The Pac-12 Conference will begin sponsoring women’s lacrosse in 2018, when Arizona State begins competition and brings to six the number of conference teams participating, the NCAA minimum for an automatic bid to the tournament. Along with Oregon and ASU, the conference participants will include Cal, Stanford, Colorado and USC.