Xavier Names Meg Decker Inaugural Women's Lacrosse Coach

PHOTO COURTESY OF HARTFORD ATHLETICS


CINCINNATI — Xavier University Vice President and Director of Athletics Greg Christopher is excited to introduce Meg Decker as the head coach of Xavier’s 19th sport, women’s lacrosse, which will begin competition in the 2022-23 academic year. Decker comes to Xavier from the University of Hartford, where she has been the school’s first-ever head coach since 2016, including four years of competition.

Decker, a two-time All-Big East Conference selection as a player, is certainly no stranger to the league or when it comes to building collegiate women’s lacrosse programs. She built the program from the ground up at Hartford. She helped build Virginia Commonwealth University’s women’s lacrosse program from scratch as an assistant coach and was a student-athlete on the inaugural women’s lacrosse team at the United States Naval Academy. 

“Meg is the perfect fit as a positive, intelligent, energetic leader to get our program started,” Christopher said. “Her experience starting programs at three schools, as a head coach, assistant and a player, stands out. She knows what it takes to start a program and to be the CEO of a Division I program. She has great familiarity with the BIG EAST Conference and has played lacrosse at a high level collegiately and at the professional level.”
 
“I am very excited about this opportunity,” Decker said. “I want to thank Greg Christopher, Susan Lipnickey and everyone whom I met during the search process at Xavier. Xavier is perfectly situated to be a force in the world of women’s lacrosse. The history and culture of academic and athletic excellence provide a clear path for future success of women’s lacrosse. Winning is in the DNA at Xavier. I am familiar with the strength of the programs in the Big East Conference and have had the opportunity to both coach and play against many of them. I can’t wait to get started.”
 
Academic success has gone hand-in-hand with improved play on the field during Decker’s head coaching career. The Hartford women’s lacrosse team landed almost 90 percent of its roster on the America East Honor Roll the past two seasons and nearly 75 percent of the roster earned Commissioner’s Honor Roll distinction for achieving a grade point average of 3.5 or higher. During that same period the offensive possession time doubled over the past two full seasons, 2019 and 2021, from 11 minutes to 22 minutes, the team increased its offensive possessions by 50 percent and doubled their goals per game.







In addition to Hartford from 2016-21 and VCU from 2014-16, Decker has coaching experience as the head coach of the Flash Club Women’s Lacrosse in Tustin, Calif., and as the director of the Whirlwind Lacrosse Tournament in Newport Beach, Calif. Additionally, Decker is the New England Director for Trilogy’s middle school Leadership and Lacrosse camp. 

Outside of coaching, Decker served as a multi-year Committee Member and later became Committee Chair for the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Association Convention Planning Committee, planning and leading the annual event for all collegiate women’s lacrosse coaches. She also served on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for the University of Hartford Department of Athletics. Additionally, Decker was a contributing member of the America East Working Group considering how to best support the mental health of student-athletes through balancing their time obligations in academics and sport. 

A native of Baltimore, Md., Decker enjoyed a standout collegiate career as the Division I Rookie of the Year at Navy (2008) and a Big East standout at Loyola (2010-11), having sat out the 2009 season to satisfy transfer rules. She helped lead Loyola to a school-record 17 wins, the 2011 Big East championship and an NCAA quarterfinal appearance in her final season. Decker finished her career with 113 goals and 154 draw controls as a collegian. She was a two-time All-Big East selection at Loyola, which was a Big East member in women’s lacrosse from 2006-13.
 
After graduating, Decker was invited to the U.S. Lacrosse national pool tryouts in 2015. She had also been invited to the tryout in 2008 while still an undergraduate student. In the inaugural draft of the United Women’s Lacrosse League, she was selected by the Philadelphia Force in 2016, where she spent two years as a midfielder. She continued her professional career with the Boston Storm, where she spent one season as a defender. 
 
Decker, who studied chemistry and oceanography while at the Naval Academy, graduated from Loyola in 2011 with a degree in Psychology. She continued her education at Hartford, and will receive her master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology this December.

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