LEWISBURG, Pa. – Randall Swope, who coached the Bucknell women's lacrosse team for eight seasons over two separate stints, announced Tuesday that she would be stepping down from her position.
“I would like to thank director of athletics John Hardt and senior associate director of athletics Maisha Kelly for the opportunity to coach at Bucknell,” said Swope. “I am very proud of the student-athletes and what this program has achieved during my tenure, and I will be following their continued success moving forward. Bucknell University is an amazing place, full of tradition, and where student-athletes are supported and encouraged to become their best in the classroom and on the field.”
Swope's initial two-year turn as Bucknell's head coach came in 2003 and 2004, when she led the Bison to .500 or better records and berths in the Patriot League Tournament in both years. In 2003, the team reached the Patriot League Tournament championship game for the first time in school history.
A standout player herself at the University of Maryland and as a member of the U.S. National Team, Swope departed Bucknell after the 2004 season to focus on her international career while also assuming the role of girls' athletic director and varsity lacrosse and soccer coach at The Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland.
After additional stints as an assistant coach at Stanford and head coach at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., Swope returned to Bucknell prior to the 2012 season.
Assuming the reins of a program that had not enjoyed a winning season since her own 2004 team finished 8-7, Swope's rebuilding process paid dividends in 2016, when Bucknell was one of the most improved teams in the country. The Bison finished 10-8, a 7.5-game improvement from the previous season, and returned to the Patriot League Tournament for the first time since 2009. They also set a new team record with 221 goals while leading the nation in assists per game (8.1).
The Bison recorded another winning ledger after finishing 9-8 this past season, and the team made it back to the Patriot League Tournament for the second year in a row.
Swope will depart Bucknell with a program-record 51 coaching victories (51-82).
“I would like to thank Randall for her service to Bucknell Athletics and her dedication to the student-athletes on our women's lacrosse program,” said Hardt. “The team has shown tremendous improvement over the last two seasons, and Randall has positioned the program to achieve even greater success in the very near future. I wish Randall all the best in her future endeavors.”
The Bison will return seven starters next season, including six of their top nine scorers from 2017. A national search will begin immediately to identify Bucknell's next head women's lacrosse coach.