(Tempe, AZ) Sun Devil Athletics has hired Taryn VanThof as the new Lacrosse Head Coach, Vice President of University Athletics Ray Anderson announced on July 5.
VanThof comes to Arizona State after an extremely successful six-year stint as the Assistant Coach at national power Florida. There she served as the Offensive Coordinator, Goalie Coach, Draw Specialist, and Recruiting Coordinator for the Gators.
“Thank you to Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson and Senior Associate AD/SWA Christina Wombacher for this opportunity to lead the Sun Devil Lacrosse program,” VanThof remarked. “I could not be more thrilled to coach at this extraordinary university.”
Under the direction of VanThof and Head Coach Amanda O’Leary, Florida has emerged as one of the nation’s premiere programs over the past six years. In 2022, the Gators made their fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament, earning a bid every year of VanThof’s tenure. She arrives in Tempe coming off two straight appearances in the NCAA Quarterfinal Round (Elite Eight) with Florida.
“Taryn VanThof is a tremendous addition to the Sun Devil Family.” Vice President of University Athletics Ray Anderson stated. “We identified her as the right person to lead this program on the rise because of her energy, passion, and desire to be at Arizona State.”
Prior to launching a budding career in coaching, VanThof was a standout All-American midfielder at Loyola Maryland from 2011-15. She competed at the professional level as recently as the 2021 season in the Athletes Unlimited League.
“We could not be more excited to name Taryn VanThof the Head Coach of Sun Devil Lacrosse,” Senior Associate AD/SWA Christina Wombacher exclaimed. “She is a dynamic recruiter, tireless worker, and fantastic leader that is ready for this next step in her career.”
Arizona State is coming off a record-breaking 2022 campaign in which they set new highs for overall (11) and conference (7) wins while making the Pac-12 Lacrosse Tournament Championship for the first time. The potential of the up-and-coming program attracted VanThof to the job.
“Arizona State offers an exceptional experience for their student-athletes,” VanThof added. “That is what made this such an easy decision and appealing situation. The program is in a great position with an excellent foundation. I look forward to being a Sun Devil!”
VanThof will take over a program that established itself on the national scene with several marquee wins last season. She will have plenty of talent to work with in Tempe, something she is very familiar with from her time in Gainesville.
While she was an assistant coach at Florida, the Gators combined to go an incredible 85-24 (78%) from 2017-22. That stretch included five NCAA Tournament appearances, six NCAA Tournament victories, all five possible Conference Tournament titles, and two of the three Elite Eight appearances in program history.
“I am grateful for my time at Florida,” VanThof mentioned. “Especially the opportunity to be on Amanda O’Leary’s staff, who I learned so much from over the past six years. Thank you to her and the rest of the Gators Lacrosse Family for all the support.”
It would be an understatement to say VanThof coached several talented players with Florida. A total of 18 Gators were named All-Americans during the five counting seasons (none in 2020 due to COVID-19). That group includes 13 Big East/AAC Attackers of the Year, Midfielders of the Year, and Goalkeeper of the Year, all coached by VanThof. An astounding 39 players earned All-Conference honors during that same span, with VanThof helping assemble one of the nation’s most talented rosters.
As the Offensive Coordinator, Goalie Coach, Draw Specialist, and Recruiting Coordinator, VanThof had an impact on all aspects of the program for the last six years. The Gators finished the season ranked in the Top-10 all but one of those seasons, proving to be one of the most consistent and well-coached teams in the country.
She began her coaching career at Rutgers in 2016, getting a taste of Big Ten action immediately following the completion of her collegiate career. During her only season in New Brunswick, she helped orchestrate a four-win improvement, with two Scarlet Knights named to the Big Ten All-Conference Team.
Before becoming one of the nation’s most well-respected assistant coaches, VanThof was a standout midfielder at Loyola Maryland. A decorated athlete with the Greyhounds, VanThof earned IWLCA Third Team All-America honors in each of her final three seasons from 2013-15.
The two-way star racked up 160 points (108 goals and 52 assists) in her career, while also accumulating 127 ground balls and an astounding 318 draw controls. VanThof is second to her sister Taylor in Loyola Maryland history in single-season (122) and career (318) draw controls.
A three-time All-Conference selection, VanThof helped Loyola to the NCAA Quarterfinals in 2015. In her final season, VanThof tallied a career-best 53 points (30 goals/23 assists), including two game-winning goals. The Greyhounds advanced to at least the second round of the NCAA Tournament in all four years of VanThof’s playing career, also making a quarterfinal run during her redshirt season in 2012. She was coached by three-time IWLCA Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year, Jen Adams, another major influence on her entering the coaching profession.
She played at the professional level as recently as last season in the Athletes Unlimited League, contributing seven goals and four assists while adding 17 draw controls, 10 caused turnovers, and seven draw controls. This is not her first stint with a professional league. VanThof was a part of history when she was drafted to the Long Island Sound (UWLX), helping pave the way as the Sound captured the inaugural UWLX Championship Trophy in 2016. She accomplished a similar feat during her time with the New England Command, leading them to the first and only WPLL Championship in 2018.
In 2017, she was selected as a U.S. Women’s National Team Member, representing the United States at the Championship Challenge and several other international competitions. She previously made the 38-player cut back in 2014 and 2015, competing in exhibition games.
The signs of what VanThof was bound to do for a career were showing early, as she dedicated her time on the coaching front throughout college. While with the Greyhounds, the Livonia, N.Y., native spent time as a coach and player coach with Seven Lacrosse Training (Baltimore, Md.), Lady Roc Lacrosse Inc. (East Rochester, N.Y.), and Maximum Exposure Lacrosse Company.
VanThof was selected by the Greyhounds’ coaching staff to represent the program on the Jeff Jansen Leadership Academy, where she honed her leadership skills with a variety of training sessions and activities.
In previous summers dating back to 2015, she has been a coach at the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy, working alongside some of the most iconic females in sports. There she has participated in community outreach while instructing aspiring youth lacrosse players in technical skills.
VanThof received her Master’s Degree in Sports Management from Florida this summer. Prior to that, she graduated from Loyola University Maryland in 2015 with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, earning a double specialization in Management and Marketing.
She arrives in Tempe with her fiancé, Travis, and their Great Dane, Myko.
Press Release courtesy of Sun Devil Athletics – Connor Smith