Two of College Lacrosse's Biggest Offseason Hires Reunite at U.S. Training Camp


SPARKS, Md. — After Kayla Treanor unleashed her trademark sidearm stroke on this scalding afternoon during a shooting warm-up at Tierney Field, Michelle Tumolo quickly followed — her shot pinging the pipe before it settled into the net. 

A similar sequence played out recently in the coaching carousel, rather than on the turf.

The former Syracuse stars, All-World selections from the 2017 World Champion U.S. team competing at this week’s national team training camp and current players with Athletes Unlimited, drew headlines after they filled two of the most notable women’s Division I coaching vacancies less than a week apart. 

Treanor was named the third head women’s lacrosse coach in Syracuse program history on June 23. Yesterday, Army officially announced that Tumolo would become the next Noto family head women’s lacrosse coach. 

The close friends both described the transition and career moves as a “whirlwind.” Case in point, Treanor doesn’t have a Syracuse email address yet.

“It’s been a crazy past couple days, but it’s all good stuff,” said Treanor, who gave her introductory press conference last Wednesday. Tumolo called it the best press conference she had ever watched. 

“I took notes,” Tumolo said. 

“I am just beyond excited for Kayla,” she added. “That was the right fit. It was the right pick. She was it above and beyond.”

Treanor succeeds her former coach, the legendary Gary Gait, who a week earlier transitioned from coaching the Syracuse women to the men.

A four-time first-team All-American at Syracuse and an assistant coach at Boston College since 2017, Treanor was on the opposite sideline of Gait in the national championship. The Eagles prevailed, clinching their first NCAA title in program history. As a player and a coach, Treanor has been on the field for seven of the past eight final fours. 

On Tuesday afternoon, she shared the field with her former players, 2021 Tewaaraton winner Charlotte North and BC freshman sensation Belle Smith, along with new ones in the Orange’s Sam Swart and two-time captain Emily Harwyschuk. Both Swart and Harwyschuk will return in 2022. Harwryschuk will not suit up for this training camp as she continues to recover from the ACL tear she suffered this spring. 

“I don't think there's anybody more deserving,” North said of Treanor. “I think she's going to be an amazing head coach at Syracuse. Those girls are lucky because she's so inspiring and she'll change your life. I'm lucky that I got two years with her and now getting to play with her is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I cherish every moment that I get with her.”

Tumolo noted she talked with Gait about the opening at Syracuse, but was not interviewed by the university’s search committee. She said she didn’t apply to any positions afterward, since she wanted to “stay true” to her team at Wagner which he had led since 2018. She guided the Seahawks to the NEC championship game in 2021 after winning the conference title in 2019.

But after she received an email from senior associate athletic director Kristen Fowler and then talked with Army men’s lacrosse coach Joe Alberici and West Point’s search committee, she became enamored with the academy’s mission and their goals for leadership. 

“Truthfully, I wasn’t looking,” Tumolo said. “Then when I started talking to them I fell in love with it.” 

She visited the academy’s campus on the banks of the Hudson last Friday. 

The past couple days, not surprisingly, have involved a lot of calls. Tumolo wanted to make sure Kristen Skiera, who led the program at West Point from club to varsity status in 2016 before leaving for Virginia Tech this offseason, knew she would take care of the program moving forward and that she respected what she had built with the Black Knights. 

Over the past 24 hours, Tumolo held meetings with the Wagner team and her new team at Army, plus its 22 current commits. Some of her former Seahawks players sent her messages that she called the nicest she had received in her life. They brought her to tears. 

“It just shows that this is why I do it,” Tumolo said of the messages. “This is why I coach because of the influence you have on other women.”

She swapped a suit and loafers she wore most of last week for shorts and cleats today, but said it’s all worth it. 

“I keep saying coming here only makes me a better coach,” Tumolo said. “I’m learning from great coaches and I’m learning from great players and being immersed in the best lacrosse.” 

That includes Treanor, who showcased her slick moves and scored several times during the final portion of practice. The two capped the first day of training camp with a celebratory handshake on the sideline. About 30 minutes later, they walked off the field together.  

“We both have new paths in our lives right now, but we’re still connecting and learning from each other as coaches and players,” Tumolo said. 

“She is one of my closest friends in life and an amazing mentor,” Treanor said. “I’m really lucky to have her.”

Most Recent

Take Me Back: The Next Level

"Take Me Back" pairs star players with up-and-comers from the their hometowns.

The Man Who Can't Be Moved: JT Giles-Harris is as Steady as They Come

On the field or in his thoughts, Giles-Harris never gets too high or too low.

Former D-III Star Max Wayne Chases Pro, USA Box Lacrosse Dreams

Player ID camp began the roster selection process for the 2024 U.S. Men's Box Team.

Emily Hawryschuk shoots

Team One: The Launch of the U.S. Women's Box National Team

Emily Hawryschuk rips a shot during a player ID camp for the U.S. women's box team.

Twitter Posts