Anne Murray Named Head Coach of Columbia Women's Lacrosse

Anne Murray spent the past four seasons as Fairfield's associate head coach.


NEW YORK — With more than 12 years of NCAA Division I collegiate coaching experience, including nine combined seasons as both a coach and player in the Ivy League, and after helping to lead programs to eight NCAA Tournament berths and 12 conference regular season and tournament championships, Anne Murray has been named Columbia University’s new Head Lacrosse Coach, Campbell Family Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education Peter Pilling announced on Thursday.

“We are excited to welcome Anne Murray as our new lacrosse coach at Columbia,” Pilling said. “With the sustained success that she has achieved at the collegiate level, Anne brings a high level of coaching experience at a variety of institutions, including nine years as both a coach and player in the Ivy League. Everywhere that she has been, Anne has shown a commitment to achieving success and building a positive team culture. Her vision for the program includes having student-athletes that are hard-working, balanced academically and athletically, and fundamentally sound in their skill development.”

“At Columbia, we aim to compete for championships and provide an outstanding student-athlete experience. Anne fits into that vision.”

Murray arrives at Columbia after serving four successful seasons as the Associate Head Coach at Fairfield University under Head Coach Laura Field. During her tenure at Fairfield from 2017-21, the Stags captured three Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships, won three MAAC tournament titles, compiled a four-year 43-18 overall and 24-3 MAAC record, and made three NCAA Tournament appearances. The Stags won back-to-back Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships in her first two campaigns with the program in 2017-18 and 2018-19. After a COVID-19 shortened 2019-20 season, the Stags rebounded with a dominant 2020-21 season as they finished 13-2 overall, won the MAAC regular season with a 10-1 record, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament after capturing the MAAC’s tournament title with three straight victories.

“I am grateful for the opportunity Peter Pilling has bestowed upon me and for the confidence he has shown in me through this process,” Murray said. “I also want to thank Matt Scally for the leadership and support he has shown along the way, as well as the time and effort everyone involved in the search committee has provided. I am honored to join the Columbia Athletics community and the university as a whole.”

“I consider myself fortunate to be able to represent such an esteemed institution and look forward to working with the unique individuals that make up the administration, coaches, staff, athletes, and alumni of Columbia University. I will cherish the role as Head Lacrosse Coach and cannot wait to begin the journey ahead with such a passionate group of women, both as players and alumnae. The program has a loud heart and all are ready for the task that is ahead. These young women pride themselves in their presence on the field, their ability in the classroom, and their efforts in the community.”

“I would also like to thank Head Fairfield Women’s Lacrosse Coach Laura Field, Fairfield Athletic Director Paul Schlickman, and Head Princeton Women’s Lacrosse Coach Chris Sailer for their guidance and help in preparing me for this.”

Before joining the Fairfield staff, Murray was a member of Chris Sailer’s coaching staff at Princeton from 2013-17. During her tenure, the Tigers claimed four Ivy League Regular Season Championships and two Ivy League Tournament Championships in that span. Princeton’s five NCAA postseason berths during Murray’s tenure included three trips to the Second Round and two appearances in the National Quarterfinals as the Tigers compiled a total of 64 wins with Murray on the sidelines.

Before heading back to her alma mater Princeton in 2013, Murray served on NCAA Division I coaching staffs at Mount St. Mary’s (2009-10), Virginia Tech (2010-11), and Rutgers (2011-12). At Rutgers, Murray was charged with practice planning, scouting, recruitment, and implementing game-day strategies. She directed drills at practice to help improve individual and team stick work, coordinated in-game substitutions and managed video of opponents and prospects. The Scarlet Knights posted a winning record of 9-7 in 2012. At Virginia Tech, Murray helped lead the Hokies to their first winning season in 10 years in 2011 as she worked primarily with the defense, while also coordinating team travel, breaking down video and recruiting student-athletes. Murray implemented unified team strategies in practice, improving team and individual play as well as developing leadership and mental toughness within the team.

Through the years, she has also worked with a variety of high school lacrosse clubs since 2007 and has coached at various clinics and camps throughout the Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York Metropolitan areas.

As a student-athlete at Princeton from 2006-09, Murray helped guide the Tigers to a 49-22 record, four straight NCAA Tournament berths with three NCAA quarterfinal appearances, and the 2006 Ivy League championship.

A Pittsburgh native, Murray earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Princeton in 2009. She is working toward completing her Master’s degree in American Studies at Fairfield.







THE ANNE MURRAY FILE

Date announced as Columbia Head Coach: July 8, 2021
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Family: One of nine children.

Education

  • Master of Arts, American Studies, Fairfield University, 2018-present

  • Bachelor of Arts, History, Princeton University, 2009

  • Mount Lebanon High School graduate, 2005

COACHING CAREER

  • Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach, Columbia University, 2021-present

  • Associate Women’s Lacrosse Coach, Fairfield University, 2017-21

  • Assistant Women’s Lacrosse Coach, Princeton University, 2012-17

  • Assistant Women’s Lacrosse Coach, Rutgers University, 2011-12

  • Assistant Women’s Lacrosse Coach, Virginia Tech University, 2010-11

  • Assistant Women’s Lacrosse Coach, Mount St. Mary’s College, 2009-10

COACHING ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Helped guide teams to 12 conference titles (seven regular season and five tournament titles) and eight NCAA Tournament postseason appearances … Has helped develop seven All-American players, including three First Team All-Americans, and players who have earned one Tewaaraton Award finalist, an IWLCA Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, an IWLCA Goalie of the Year honoree, and a Yardley Love Unsung Hero award winner.

PLAYING CAREER

Played four years at Princeton (2005-09) … Attacker who guided the Tigers to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, three NCAA quarterfinal appearances, the 2006 Ivy League title, and a four-year 49-22 record … Saw action in 51 career games … High School All-American who guided Mount Lebanon High School to four regional titles.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT MURRAY

“Anne is a smart and innovative coach who will take her talent for recruiting and her competitive drive back to the Ivy League where she has thrived. While we are sad to see her leave Fairfield, I know I speak for all of our Stag Family in thanking her for her time with us and wish her the utmost success in her next venture where I know she will undoubtedly exceed all expectations.”

— Laura Field, head women’s lacrosse coach, Fairfield

“Coach Murray has played an integral role in developing Fairfield Women’s Lacrosse into the premier program in the MAAC. Her intelligence, competitive spirit and value of the student-athlete experience are inherent qualities that will serve her well at Columbia. We will miss her positive energy and team first approach but are thrilled for her to take this next step in her professional journey. Great hire by Columbia!

— Paul Schlickmann, director of athletics, Fairfield

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